The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

September 20, 2013

Resort project opens tiny Bimini to the world

BIMINI, Bahamas — Every time a cruise ship docks in Bimini, the population of this tiny archipelago just 50 miles off the coast of Miami could nearly double.

That may be profitable for a place that lives off tourism. But many worry the recent launch of a new cruise line disgorging hundreds of visitors each day could be too much of a good thing.

The ship is one component of a global casino company’s project to bring unprecedented waves of tourists to Bimini, which has long defied change. Some fear it will destroy a marine environment teeming with fish and coral, and ruin a diving and sport-fishing capital of the world.

It’s also provoking somewhat of an existential crisis, posing a challenge to Bimini’s identity as a rustic and hard-to-reach getaway, known as a haunt of Ernest Hemingway and the setting for a tryst that ended a U.S. presidential run.

“Unless you are a fisherman, a diver or a drunk there was no reason to come to Bimini. But they are changing that,” said dive shop operator Neal Watson. “It’s getting to be a different place.”

Changes are coming fast. Malaysia-based Genting Group is spending at least $300 million on Resorts World Bimini, quickly becoming the largest employer in the cluster of islands and creating sharp new demand for housing. Working in partnership with a Florida developer, the company opened a casino in June, expects to finish a 350-room hotel by Christmas and 50 luxury villas a month later on their 700 acres of North Bimini. The company has plans for shopping, restaurants and nightclubs, is considering a second hotel and is in the process of upgrading the airport to accommodate larger planes.

“It’s created more jobs, of course, and you know, it is keeping people busy,” said Edith Romer Johnson, who sells lobster pizza at a shop outside the resort. “And the more money we have on the island, the more it goes around.”

Text Only
National News
  • State Dept: 'No American is proud' of tactics

    The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror suspects and misleading Congress, according to a White House document.

    July 31, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Indiana sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 29, 2014

  • Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer

    Medicare's finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year's estimate.

    July 28, 2014

  • After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care

    After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 28, 2014

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business.

    July 25, 2014

  • Official: Hospital gunman intended to kill others

    A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, authorities said Friday.

    July 25, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 25, 2014

  • Illinois woman, 47, dies rescuing boy in Wisc. lake ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Friends and family are mourning the death of an Illinois woman who drowned while rescuing a 9-year-old boy in a Wisconsin lake.The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports 47-year-old Karen Wessel of Arlington Heights d

    July 25, 2014

AP Video
Facebook