Video: Ariel Sands Groundbreaking & Concept

November 12, 2014

[Updated with videos] Groundbreaking for the new $85 million Ariel Sands project is underway this morning [Nov 12] with actor Michael Douglas, Premier Michael Dunkley, Minister of Economic Development and Education Dr. Grant Gibbons, Minister of Tourism & Transport Shawn Crockwell, and Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy in attendance.

Aerial Sands Bermuda Michael Douglas (3)

Earlier this year, Mr Douglas posted on Facebook saying, “Just returned from Bermuda, the home of my mothers family for the last 400 years! The family has had a cottage colony called Ariel Sands for the past 60 years. Now we are building a new one… very exciting.”

The recent Throne Speech said, “Groundbreaking is set to take place next week at Ariel Sands, the start of an $85 million cottage colony development that will create between 50 and 70 jobs during construction.”

Aerial Sands Bermuda Michael Douglas (1)

The Ground breaking is still underway, and we will update with additional information and a video as able.

Update 12.42pm: Slideshow added showing 40 photos from this morning’s groundbreaking

Update 2.48pm: Shadow Tourism Minister Zane DeSilva said, “We are happy to see that Michael Douglas and the Ariel Sands family are reinvesting in Bermuda by way of redeveloping this historic site.

“Today’s press conference, which unveiled the demolition of the current site, sets the stage for redevelopment of a new cottage colony that will hopefully add jobs to our economy, and lure more vacationers to our shores. The features that have been described in the press conference sound first class and will be a welcome addition to our tourism product.

“We cannot, however, speak to much more about the Ariel Sands project as there doesn’t seem to be anything on file to speak to what the proposed development will be. All that can be seen on file is the approval for demolition.

“We speak with cautious optimism as until the resort has undergone the planning process and approval has been granted to begin construction, it is difficult to speak with any certainty.”

Video of the groundbreaking

Ariel Sands conceptual stage visualizations by Onsite Engineering

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Articles that link to this one:

  1. PLP & Minister On Ariel Sands Redevelopment - : | November 13, 2014
  1. somuchless says:


    • Black Soil says:

      Can’t wait to hear Chris Famous’s spin on this…

    • This is good and I am sure in more ways then one we can all appreciate this, but Mr Premier if it is not to much can you take time out of your portfolio as the photo up premier and deal with your responsibilities as the minister for national security. Guns being fired and everyone under the sun has address the country besides the like of the office of the minister for National security.

    • Kunta says:

      I wonder how many unemployed Bermudians will be hired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • CommonSensenBda says:

        More than were employed under the PLP who managed to get many of the folks unemployed after 2010′s debacle.

        How many people were UNEMPLOYED during the last three years of the “People Government”? 3,000+ according to the Labor Force Survey.

        And how many jobs were created during those last three years?

      • High road says:

        Depends on how many try to get the work!

  2. watching says:

    So where are the plans? what will be built? has it gone through planning permission? or was this just much ado about a demolition?

    • aceboy says:

      What do you think this is, the Grand Atlantic?

    • Ronald says:

      Quit starting your vile, negative crap! I feel sorry for you.

    • G says:

      I believe they had plans approved many years ago – (around 2006). I think this may be the location for them:

      • The Skink says:

        @G says: You are spot on! A wealth of information. Glad to see there are those among us who are not afraid to dig to find facts rather than resorting to conjecture and I dare say…gossip! Well done ‘G says’.

        This project is one of a few that Bermuda really needs to raise the profile of Tourism and Bermuda in general.

        Rebuilding Bermuda’s tourism product and economy one step at a time.

    • Please says:

      watching what? Progress!!

    • It makes me smile how many dislikes that this person has, just a sure example of how many O.B.A supporters gather together to show strong opposition against another opinion,well life has taught me when the majority is against you, 9 out of 10 times you struck a nerve and most times your completely right, also for the record I love it when most disagree with me, because I don’t want to be in the kiss up club.

  3. Student Abroad says:

    This is great news. Keep it Comming

  4. Let's Go Bermuda says:

    Fantastic news….been closed too many years…great to see new life coming….it is a beautiful spot….congratulations….

  5. Lois Frederick says:

    Thanks for having confidence in Bermuda again. Jobs too.

  6. Justin says:

    The PLP wouldn’t even put out a press release saying this is a positive development for Bermuda. SMH – Party before country…

    • bdaman441 says:

      Good news article with nothing at all political about it…..except this stupid comment. Do you want to hear from them? Would you feel better then?? Celebrate the good news for Bermuda and try to leave the politics out of it….boring political trolls.

  7. swing voter says:

    progress confirms confidence in BDA ;-) who can respond with negative questions this

  8. Builder says:

    The OBA are getting positive things done!

    • Coffee says:

      This has nothing to do with the OBA ,or any political party for that matter ?

      • Trulytruly says:

        Pure coincidence Im sure. I’m sure there will be a few more lucky coincidences coming too. Just dumb luck I suppose.

      • ya right says:

        Coffee you are right. Most people don’t really get that these days. They believe everything under the sun has to do with politics.

  9. Rhonda says:

    nice to see this coming to fruition…a promises was made to rehire the old staff back which where mostly, if not all Bermudian..let’s see what happens..

    • Ronald says:

      Another eternal pesimist. I feel sorry for you. So sad that some people wake up in a foul mood everyday. Pity.

    • Joonya says:

      I agree Rhonda, but if one is constantly late for work, and has a bad attitude when finally getting to work with poor or non existing customer service skills, then guess what… you aint getting that job. Its that simple. Really.

  10. watching from above says:

    where was the plp rep?

    maybe he wasn’t invited,I wonder why

  11. watching says:

    Lot of dislikes on my post, but seriously.
    How can you have a groundbreaking but the development hasn’t even gone through planning yet? WHat are you breaking ground on?
    I would love to see Ariel sands redeveloped and opened, but it appears they are a pawn in the OBAs political game. The groundbreaking should be after the plans are approved and things are all set for the construction of the new product.

    • Jeremy Deacon says:

      who’s to say it has not gone thru planning? Maybe it has but everyone missed it?

    • Terry says:

      When own all that land and the resources for improvement you can break ground anytime you want.
      If you don’t get that then your a ………….
      I give up.
      I really do.

    • Mixitup says:

      I’m all for development and job making, but dumping sand on the ground and sticking shovels in it does not convince me.. What and where are the plans, timelines, job opportunities (number) to be generated. Talk to the people.

      • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

        if all the information that you request didn’t come past your desk …then it’s probably on a need to know basis.

      • hmmm says:

        PLP fan alert

      • Trulytruly says:

        I know many are skeptical after many false starts in the past down at club med.This is a new era. The OBA are not messing around. They mean business.

      • serengeti says:

        Talk to the people? Kinda like Ewart and Patrice who promised the groundbreaking for the new Grand Hyatt in November 2011? That kind of talking?

      • CommonSensenBda says:

        Yes, talk to the people like Karl Bavarian did with Premier Brown. How many people were employed to start that FiINE project? Another feather in the PLP’s Bennett!

        Wait a minute, no building actually occurred. Strange really.

    • planning says:

      Where does it say that there is no planning approval? Did I miss something from the news article?

      • watching says:

        I check the building permits in the official gazette. Plus I would think there would have been some discussion.

        • serengeti says:

          You don’t need planning permission to demolish something.

          Still, you can understand why Zane is sensitive to the planning issue, givn his little ‘episode’ when Roban had to resign.

        • Terry says:

          They don’t need a “building permit”.
          The PLP are not the Government. Nothing has to be run through them until it is tabled in HOA.

          Where do you come up with this devisive stuff.

          I have 4 acres in Paget.

          I want to build some cottages and it is zoned for it.
          I do not need a building permit if I dig a hole with a bulldozer and/or a shovel.

          No wonder the island is so screwed up.

          Guess you will be calling for a permit for free speech next.

          I need a rum.

    • Edmund Spenser says:

      Watching apparently isn’t. The conceptual model for the development is in the video above called “… Conceptual Model” When you only “watch” for the negative sometimes you miss the positive.

  12. campervan says:

    There are people who blow hotels up, and there are people who get hotels built.
    I believe that the gentlemen standing in the photograph here will get a hotel built

  13. Terry says:

    Almost finished my new book.
    Should be out in 2016.

    Bermuda Was Another World.


  14. Jo Blo says:

    Lets see how many folks on a knee jerk make this about the OBA and or PLP. NEWS FLASH!! INVESTMENT DECISIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS TIED TO WHO IS IN GOVERNMENT! Ask the Greens!

  15. Navin Johnson says:

    Thanks Zane for your usual dribble……

  16. C says:

    we hv heard this song before. Many times. While it would be wonderful to have Ariel sands back, when I see the machines digging, walls built and Bermudoans employed, I will believe it.

  17. Steve Davis says:

    Got to love all the naysayers. PLP supporters desperately clinging to the drift wood as the OBA waves of success continue to wash away the remains of their sinking ship.

  18. HRB says:

    won’t it be wonderful…omgosh!!! Thankyou to Mr Douglas and the Dill Family…this is fantastic for our Island and so excited about having Ariel Sands back…. best best wishes for the future!

  19. Your God says:

    Zane Desilva finally admits its difficult for him to speak with any certainty.

    I finally agree wholeheartedly with Zane’s statement.

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