FRIDAY, MAR. 18: It’s hard to remember an issue that has attracted more comment and more controversy than the planned expansion of Tucker’s Point.

The hotel’s request for a Special Development Order to build 78 new residencies and 70 hotel rooms on its 240-acre site overlooking Castle Harbour has attracted the attention of developers, hoteliers, environmentalists and race campaigners.

As the Senate prepares to vote on the issue today, we recap some of the key comments over the last few weeks.

“This is Bermuda’s newest, most upscale resort. It absolutely needs to succeed. They need to do whatever it takes to make sure that happens. To have that resort fail or falter in any way shape or form would be a tragedy for our industry.”
– Norman Mastalir, managing director of Fairmont Bermuda

“BEST urges members of the Senate not to bail out mainly foreign shareholders with the treasure of Bermuda’s heritage of protected lands.”

“The Senators have more information than the MPs did and hopefully they will make a more informed decision.”
– Stuart Hayward, chairman BEST.

“It would be like destroying the equivalent of the Yellowstone National Park.”
— David Wingate.

“This is a slap in the face to the original residents and their descendants.They were made to give up their land and homes all those years ago so someone else could make money and exploit their property and they and all Bermudians are being told it will have to be given up once again for the same reason.”
— Lynne Winfield, CURB

“I plead to the Senate to let it go through. What I’m concerned about is the economic wellbeing of Bermuda. There are not many options available. We are sitting on the edge of a precipice unless we start to do things differently.” 
— Former Premier (UBP) and property developer Sir John Swan in The Royal Gazette

“The SDO will balance the economic needs of hotel development with the environmental needs of Bermuda.”
— Environment Minister Walter Roban.

“Under the banner of helping tourism we are destroying the very things that tourists come to see.”
— Tom Vesey, Bermuda Sun columnist.

“Even with all due care and diligence by the developers, destruction of caves and potential extinction of cave-limited species is a very real threat.”
— Dr. Tom Iliffe, professor of marine biology at Texas A&M University and world-renowned cave expert.

“We need to recognise the economic value of our precious remaining open spaces which are the very amenities that draw visitors to our unique island.”
— National Trust director Jennifer Gray.

“Why should the Bermuda Government offer an SDO that will eventually take away a large portion of Hamilton Parish woodlands in order to make good the HSBC loans?”
– Allan Marshall, UBP candidate for Hamilton South district 7.

“I’ve spent a lot of time and sober reflection considering this. It is an important responsibility and not one I take lightly.”
— Joan Dillas Wright, one of the three independent Senators whose votes will be crucial today.

 “If you get kicked out, or you are NOT selected to run again, you may not get your job back in this climate and at your current age. So you tow the line. Or don’t speak.... if you hope to run again.”
– Dale Butler explaining why he voted for the SDO in an interview with the Royal Gazette.

“Really what we are doing is getting Tucker’s Point out of a financial hole, and the impression I get is that they’re close to insolvency.”
— the UBP’s John Barritt.

“Uncle Ben gave his 70 acres away for 8,500 pounds under duress. Under an order from the tribunal he had to take it or leave it. He took it along with my great, great grandmother, and my great, great aunt and their sisters.”
— Deputy Chairman at of the Tucker’s Town Historical Society, Denny Richardson.

“We can’t reasonably be held accountable for what happened in the 1920s. It would be disrespectful to those people who gave up their homes for this to fail and their great grandchildren were unable to find jobs in the tourism industry they gave so much to develop.”

“No members of the Government have any investment in Tucker’s Point. There’s no conflict. We buy milk from Michael Dunkley – that’s as close as we get.”

“We have given access to our books, forecasts, all financial data to our lenders, their investment advisors and the financial and real estate investment advisors to the Government.”
— Ed Trippe, president, Tucker’s Point

Note:  Comments were made in Bermuda Sun interviews, press conferences or the House of Assembly unless otherwise stated.