Kim Swan: “St. George’s Needs So Much More”

August 21, 2012

The Town of St. George needs ‘So Much More’ in order to properly meet the challenge of a competitive tourism market, UBP and St George’s MP Kim Swan said.

Mr Swan said: “The announcement by the Minister of Tourism of Bermuda’s new brand this week “Bermuda, so much more” has understandably received a positive reaction locally and hopefully will be greeted more favourably overseas.

“Unfortunately, for St. Georgian’s the problems that we have experienced in the east end have been caused by the downgrade and closure of many of our key products that came under the PLP government’s purview.

“For example:

  • The premature closure of the St. George’s Golf Course;
  • The surprise demolition of the St. George’s Golf Course Clubhouse with Restaurant, bathrooms, showers and other facilities;
  • The uncertainty around the lease for the development of a Hotel at the former Club Med site;
  • The ongoing need for a facility for St. George’s Volunteer Fire Service;
  • The demolition of the St. Catherine Beach Pavilion; and
  • The absence of dedicated cruise ships;

“The impact caused by the discontinuance of these amenities, services and facilities, have contributed significantly to the decline in economic activity and quality of life on offer in St. George. In addition, the failure of successive government administrations over a twenty year period, to increase the hotel beds in the Town of St. George has also adversely impacted our marketability,” continued Mr Swan.

“The unfortunate part for us in the East End is that the Town of St. George – considered Hub #1 in the National Tourism Plan – is without any major economic engines such as its golf course that can help fulfill the promise the marketing message that Bermuda Tourism is selling overseas.

“Many of these points were conveyed to Tourism Minister the Hon. Wayne Furbert recently when he unveiled the National Tourism Plan in St. George; he was especially reminded that among other things restoring St. George’s Golf Course with a vision to market golf in St. George’s would greatly enhance the marketability of St. George. Since then we have seen the grass cut – which makes the area far more presentable – but we need an immediate plan to re-open the St. George’s Golf Course.

“Today, it is the Town of St. George which needs ‘So Much More’ in order to properly meet the challenge of a competitive tourism market internationally.

  • Greater support on the focus to build on the lucrative yachts trade;
  • Transparently address the lease on the Club Med property;
  • Review our public beach facilities and develop a plan to provide adequate bathrooms facilities;
  • Greater capital funding targeted to rebuild the infrastructure within the Town with a view to capitalize on our historic significance, unique artifacts and natural beauty;

“The Town of St. George is a historic gem that needs requires a greater emphasis financially to rejuvenate our physical product. The recent marketing focus must be supported on island by a high quality product to ensure visitor satisfaction which is a key to secure repeat visitors,” concluded Mr Swan

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Comments (31)

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  1. east1 says:

    st geo needs alot of everything. driving down there is depresssing everything is closed down. or boarded up. we need st geo back! more resturants more bars. nightlife..something..

  2. Concerned says:

    It is for the people of St. George’s to want change and betterment – many are happy to sit and complain about everything and everyone else. They need to come together, embrace the visions of the Mayor and his committee and make things happen. For to long this has been going on – allowing this Gov’t to dictate what is best for St. George’s – now they know but will they make a stand – work together to get the golf course as it should be, store keepers to re-invent themselves, especially with the young blood that is coming into the town. Challenges St. George’s – are you willing to take them on not only for the Town but yourselves. Rise up from the ashes and be counted!

  3. Way To Go ! says:

    I agree St. Geo needs SO MUCH MORE ! I was actually having this very same conversation this weekend. More business more entertainment, more attractions – (exhibits, museum) anything to bring more traffic, people, and a reason to visit the East End ! This has contributed to the closure of many of the businesses in the East End.

    As for the Cruise Ships is it not possible to build an offshore docking mechanism?

    • Way To Go ! says:

      Just an idea – I’m thinking it could possibly be errated not far from I believe its St. Catherine’s Beach.

  4. Concerned says:

    Just last week Mayor Bascome was on Mr. David Lopes show encouraging people to come to St. Georges for late night shopping and to visit the many museums that were open. I have liked the idea of shop/dine on Friday/Saturday evenings. I also wish the Antique shop would open – there are some great treasures there – even if it was a Friday/Saturday twice a month, it is a shame to see the doors closed and people actually window shopping.

    As far as the golf course goes – why not ask for people who work on other golf courses or used to be employed on the golf course to donate their skills/labour for a few hours on their days off along with Mr. Swan who was the Pro there.

    Come on St. George’s stir up your pride – it hasn’t died, it’s dormant!!

    • Eastern says:

      Are you planning to get involved or are you just telling others what they should do?

      Whether you realise it or not there are several individuals that have already contributed their time to help maintain the golf course.

      However a golf course is not just about cutting grass. Golf course machinery, fertilizer, water supply and many other items are required are to maintain a golf course which cost a considerable amount of money. What are you going to contribute; time or money?
      Words are cheap, action is what is needed.

      • Concerned says:

        I would love to get involved and have told the Mayor.

        What happened to the machinery and so on that was there – I am not afraid of a challenge – Change is desperately needed and has been said over and over and over again by many, including Mayor Bascome and will only come about when everyone is on board – everyone. I have found that when people see people taking and involved in positive action they will come on board – in so many ways. Again, it goes back to the PRIDE of St. George’s people not just the Town but the outskirts (Wellington, Ferry Reach, Cut)as well.

        Now, I scrolled down and read M.P. Mountbatton JP’s comments and am wondering – does the International airport and the newly re-opened airport on Southside fees, etc. go to St. George’s and if not, I think a portion should.

        • Unbelievable says:

          The airport falls under St. Georges and the taxes etc collected are supposed to go to St. Georges. Opperative word SUPPOSE. Never has, never will….

    • Unbelievable says:

      Thank you Eastern. At one point people were volunteering their services in keeping the grass down. But then they were told to leave and now it is in the despicable state it is in now. The problem with our current Government’s mindset is simple: Let someone else do it! Because they are hoping that someone will get tired enough of things looking the way they are and do just that, use their own blood, sweat, time and resources (money) to get shit done. Meantime Government sits up and justifies the over runs as money spent on infrastructure. And the gullible fools (yes unfortunately I have been one for MANY years) continue to believe it. But as soon as someone produces receipts to the contrary they are blasted for being liars, racist etc!
      So tired of this honestly!

  5. pebblebeach says:

    Hey Kim Swan and Company…quit whining and waiting for a Government handout…Develop a plan, seek out potential investors and get a move on…

    It is quite obvious that the Government has no money to invest in the Old Town…

    • Come Correct says:

      So the government can destroy it and leave the people to pick up the pieces? How do you compete with the governments plan? Operation “bring the island to its knees” brought to you by the BBC & Co. Oh and good luck getting your golf course back from the unofficial motocross club. Also why was that pavillion and bar torn down, if anything we need more of them. I used to drive there from town just to sit off and enjoy good music, drinks and a generally nice environtment, no crowd of gangsters to be seen. This government and their stupid idea that clearly have no thought process behind them just blows my mind. Wayne, I have a high school diploma and I could do your job with my left nut tied behind my back. Bunch of loosers with their vision blocked by hatred.

      • Come Correct says:

        Sorry that was rather unfair to say there’s NO thought process, I almost forgot they’re trying to destroy everything to do with our colonial past. My bad.

      • say it like it is. says:

        Agree with you. What is Dame Jennifer doing? I thought she was the MP for Ye Olde Towne? She needs to be held accountable! We should all go stand outside her house and ask her what she intends to do about it. LOL…

        • Come Correct says:

          You mean her brothers house? She must be living in his appartment to save money right? The plp should take notes from her, cuz that wasn’t in the economic toolkit panflet…wait whats that? They did? Oooooohhhhhh that makes sense now. Kimda reminds me of that movie Arthur with Russel Brand…”Hobsen, I want to go squander some wealth” lol only differences, he had money to burn and it was a movie, this is so real its painful.

          • Concerned says:

            I can’t fathom how Bermudians like MP’s like that – they want your votes and expect your vote whether you see them or not, they don’t call or send cards of sympathy or happy birthday, they mail Christmas cards to people on the Voter’s list (I return mine) – you see me, know me but don’t speak – return de card. How can you encourage people to better their country/community and you don’t live there – how can you live with yourself.

    • Unbelievable says:

      No one is whining. All they are asking for is that they get a fair share of the tourism business just like everyone else. St Georges has no cruise ships, no hotel, etc. And one of the strong points of business, the golf course, was demolished. Do you know how much business the golf course alone brought to St. Georges besides golf? Those that played would stop at various restaurants/bars after their game which helped them survive, and in some cases, thrive! While Dockyard has been pushed forward in every possible way, St. Georges has been kicked to the way side and left to die a slow death. Jennifer has done abolutely nothing for her constituency, NOTHING!!! Kim and Kenny can only do so much, but with limited resources it is extremely hard and exhausting.

  6. bornbermudian says:

    Didnt you hear… they started a shoe store in the old town… everything’s going to be fine!

  7. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    St. George’s is the ultimate Trans-Atlantic stop-over Olde Towne . It’s strengths , it’s history in shaping America and supporting England , are grossly under played and under highlighted . From a Confederated hide-out to a privateering enclave , to the oldest Parliament in the western hemisphere … Somebodies asleep at the wheel .. Reduce landing fee’s for crew and passengers of both air and ocean going vessels if they are booked into a property in St.George .

  8. Hmmmmm says:

    Kim, if the Government cut off the supply of toilet paper to St. George’s would you all stop wiping while you wait for an alternative?! Nothing on your list has any bearing on the dead, decaying and under-invested Towne of ST. George’s. If there was something there to attract people, the cruise lines and other tourists would be falling over themselves to get there. It is NOT the GOvernment’s responsibility to paint the buildings, invest in new tourism ventures and to make the Towne attractive to people. The smaller ships that can make it into St. George’s don’t exist out of North America anymore so get over it and get busy attracting yachts. You’re almost ten years behind because you were told this and as usual, puffed out your chests and thought you were so special that NCL would keep the Norwegian Majesty just for you. Welcome to reality.

    • Terry says:

      Only person “puffed out your chests” is you.
      Hidding behind a………..”Hmmmmm.

    • Concerned says:

      I was angy with the people of St. George’s and the Mayor at the time – how culd they allow all of the damage that has taken place: Hotel demolished, the golf course taken away and given to a hotel that doesn’t exist and demolish that, demolish the beach house on Fort St. Catherine – couldn’t the people see what Government was planning at the time – nope, all they could see was promises – well, Man has broken more promises and the Lord NONE! The buildings, HMMMMM, are taken care of – if you come to St. George’s look around and you will see the painters either the National Trust or perhaps St. George’s Corporation. Perhaps the two T-shirt stores could have a big blow out sale to rid themselves of some very much outdated stock and re-invest in themselves with new ideas, new lighting and other ways – take a look around and see what needs to be done. Drugstore, I am very pleased with their renovations and updating – excellent.

    • Eastern says:


      I don’t usually say things like this on blogs, but you are an idiot. You know absolutely nothing about St. George.

      While government pours money into Dockyard, they constantly are pulling the rug out from under St. George.

      The tourism minister came to St. George to push his “new” tourism product and went on about infrastructure and the need to take advantage what we already have and that we need to find away to shore up the months of January through March….DUHHH……how can St. George’s Club and the ever growing list of visitor apartment rentals in St. George survive without a golf course.

      Right now there is only the history, the people of St. George and Tobacco Bay that brings them to St. George.

      This golf course should never have been closed and Ewart Brown’s argument that it was losing money is not true.
      In the year up until it closed it was not only in the best condition since it had opened, but it was quite full most of the time.

      This is all part of a plan to bring St. George’s to its knees, but I’m not sure why.

      Shame on you Dame Jennifer, you should be ashamed to call yourself a St. Georgian.

      Dame Jennifer doesn’t even live in St. George anymore; hasn’t for years. She moves down to St. George when an election is called and moves back o’er the bridge the day after the election.
      You’ll never get my vote again.

      • Hmmmmm says:

        The Government has “poured” money into Dockyard because they were receptive to change. You need to engage in some introspection and cast your mind back about 6 years when the discussion about widening Town Cut came up. Here are some questions you need to ask in St. George’s:
        1. Why is there no full length boardwalk along the Harbour to this date? Hint: ask Henry Hayward.
        2. Research the audited financial statements of the golf courses and you will see that each one of them, Port Royal and Ocean View included have been suffering losses for many years. hint: ask Wendall Brown.
        3. Read the May editions of the Royal Gazette and see the reference to St. George’s being like Monaco and all the money folk have been making from the yachts down there. No golf course required.
        4. CHeck the records for a public meeting held in St. George’s in 2005/6 when the Zenith and Horizon had stopped coming; the Nordic Prince was a thing of the past and the Norwegian Majesty was on its last legs; check the record for what the people of St. George’s told the Government. Hint: it was a rejection of becoming a mega yacht port and opting to handle looking for small cruise ships on their own.
        5. Ask Holland America why the Veendam (orignally intended for ST. George’s) now calls only at Hamilton. Not the Government’s call, but theirs because they got sick of weather issues preventing them from calling at St. George’s and having to compensate their passengers.

        Trust me, I know more about this than you might like to admit. ST. George’s is a fifedom and in the glory days the “boys” ran it as they liked and when the politics went against them they formed the wonderful St. George’s Foundation so they could run the town around Mariea Caisey. Now that there’s nothing to fight over, when’s the last time you heard the Foundation say a dickey bird about their precious town?

        If all you have to offer is those tired shops and the occasional dunking in the Square then the hotel will not save you. The people will stay on site and go to Hamilton when they feel like getting out.

        Get a grip.

        • Terry says:

          Thank you Jennifer.

        • Eastern says:

          @ Hmmmmm,

          What a load of rubbish, but I’ll take the bait!

          1. the reason there is no boardwalk along the waterfront in St. George is because that land along the water front is all private property. Would you give up your waterfront land for a boardwalk so that everyone and his brother can wonder on to your property at will?
          It is funny that you mention Henry Hayward because the property his company owns has an open dock the length of the property which is always open to the public.

          2. You are right, but St. George’s Golf Club actually made money in the last year it was open. Prove me wrong!!!

          3.This is where you really go off the deep end (no pun intended). If you happened to spend time in St. George you will already know that there is a Mega Yacht facility in St. George, operated by Bermuda Yacht Services. You can’t compare visiting yachts to a golf course; a golf course can be used year round but the yachting season is only April to June and the month of November. Insurance companies will not insure yachts travelling in the North Atlantic from July through October.
          And visiting yachts don’t come here in the winter, although they’d be able to play golf if they did…..if there was a golf course.

          3. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The smaller cruise ships that could negotiate town cut stopped coming here altogether. The Mega yacht port came in after the cruise ships stopped coming.

          5. Again you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
          The Veendam, was originally planned to come into St. George, but they added two decks to the ship making it sit deeper in the water which meant that town cut was too shallow to accommodate her.

          You have now proven yourself to be an idiot, idiot.

        • Come Correct says:

          Care to tell us what’s different about dockyard? Same sh$tty shops, check, theatre, check, bars, check, restaurants, check, beach, check, history, check…wait a second, different historys, that could be it? That would explain having a known member of the BBC running in St. Geo, u know, assuming you plan is to bring it to its knees. Only in Bermuda. What’s next are we going to dig up Sir George Summers heart?

      • pepper says:

        The so called Dame has lost all credibility in St George !!!!! we need Kenny Bascome to represent us… this man has a heart of gold…and we can trust him..People Jennifer is all about herself, just ask the teachers that she has pissed off….Ithink we have all had enough of the dame…..

  9. smh says:

    Reading some of these comments just makes me see how stupid some people can really be . How is he whining all you PLP supporters need to go lay down somewhere. Goverment has made many bad decisions in East.

  10. blockade runner says:

    we need chickens more than we need a government. club med told st georges in the 1980s they needed topless beaches. they need drinking on the street ,and legal weed too, the place is boring and has the ambience of the nasty penal colony it always has been. the tourist rebranding is a waste without human progress. the tourist industry is marketing to people who are ALREADY DEAD. all they want is mown grass, churches, cemetaries and golf look at the ad of a woman jumping off a cliff. knock down that airport arrivals for a great start to a new st georges

  11. blockade runner says:

    suddenly the megalomaniac control freaks are silent so ima kick yo a#s some more, you need a real casino too, not a scuzzy lookin rusty freighter. everyone will come see your nude gay beach for the facebook pics. legalize marijuana and prostitution for super bonus visitors. without human progress, st georges aint gonna be worth 1 peppercorn

  12. blockade runner says:

    SO MUCH MORE is a hilarious lie. i see with my eyes SO MUCH LESS east west town and country. we need chickens more than we need a government in the future.