Dear Senators,

Please allow me to present a case for the SDO.

Tucker’s Point directly employs 243 employees, over 90 per cent are Bermudian. Our Food & Beverage sub-contractor employs a further 75, many of whom are Bermudian, or the spouse of a Bermudian.

Our Tourism industry has been declining for several years and is in dire straits. If Tucker’s Point is allowed to fail, that decline will continue, jeopardizing Bermuda’s reputation as a destination in our overseas markets. 

Our current reliance on large numbers of cruise passengers is not working. While welcome, the economic benefit to the island’s economy is minimal. These tourists simply do not spend the type of money that land based visitors do. Our tourism industry has reached such a low that even taxis are being repossessed. Who could have ever imagined such a situation in Bermuda? Our tourist industry is in dire need of a bold, imaginative and innovative intervention. The Tucker’s Point Hotel and the proposed partnership with Rosewood Hotels represent that new direction for Bermuda.

It has been argued that Tucker’s Point should go into receivership and new owners be found. That option, while attractive in theory, simply does not work in the hospitality business. Resort hotels, especially high end properties, sell more than just rooms; they market expectations and provide experiences. Hotels use advance deposits to secure rooms. No-one will send money to a hotel if they are unsure that the hotel will be in business when they want to take their vacations.

Those opposed to the Tucker’s Point expansion would have you believe that the property will become a sea of concrete. They conveniently forget that Tucker’s Point is donating environmentally fragile land to the Bermuda Government to be preserved forever. The SDO also contains protections and sets out building conditions that must be complied with.

Progress often requires sacrifice. My grandparents were required to sell their land in St. David’s during WWII. However, most would agree that the island has benefitted from the military bases and the airport that resulted from that development.

There has been a great deal of attention to the manner in which the land was acquired from its former owners 88 years ago. This is a story that needs to be told. However, this is being used as a reason to reject the SDO. I argue the opposite; this is a compelling reason to support the SDO. The land was compulsorily taken in order to facilitate the development of a tourist industry. While we can’t reverse the past, this history places a responsibility on Bermuda, and an obligation on the hotel developer to ensure that the tourism product established on that land to be the best, most successful resort that can be developed. That opportunity exists with the further development of Tucker’s Point. To allow Tucker’s Point to fail now would render the sacrifice made by those families in vain. That would be the real tragedy.

I am aware of the great pressure on you from a small, vociferous, environmental lobby, which makes up for in volume what it lacks in size. Please, I pray, do not let the noise dissuade you from making a difficult but necessary decision, one that will have a major effect on Bermuda’s economic future. My livelihood (and home) depend on the passage of this SDO.

Sean Pitcher, Night Manager, Tucker’s Point

Editor’s note: This letter was provided to us via Troncossi Public Relations.

 

Special report: Tucker's Point