‘Not Commercialisation, It’s Entrepreneurialism’

July 9, 2018

Glenn Jones Bermuda July 6 2018[Written by Glenn Jones]

Dear Bermuda,

The Bermuda Tourism Authority plan for Shelly Bay Beach is not commercialisation, it’s entrepreneurialism.

The proposed execution is non-permanent and entirely removable. It’s cost effective and sustainable – utilising the existing power and parking infrastructure at the site. The plan honours the cultural traditions of Shelly Bay and protects its family-friendly nature.

Concessionaires lining up for the chance to offer their products and services are smartly gearing it toward children and families.

The Bermuda Tourism Authority team has recommended concessionaires think about popsicles, ice cream and snowballs. In other destinations we’ve seen children dazzled by tepees that double as small tents, sandcastle building activities and kayaks – safely miniaturized to work for adventurous little kids.

Meantime, on the programming side, we’ve seen interest from a variety of locals interested in providing family-friendly activities. A culinary expert wants to do a once monthly family fish fry. There’s a massage therapist who’d like to try a twice-weekly experience at the beach under a pop-up tent at dusk. A food truck operator who has been parked for more than a year without serving a single customer is optimistic about hitting the restart button at Shelly Bay.

The great news is that all of the interest is coming from Bermudian entrepreneurs. Men and women who have long waited for an opportunity like this after repeatedly being hit in the face with a wall of bureaucracy, a resistance to change. Finally, the little guy feels like he has a shot at “yes”. We’re proud to be the little guy’s ally; he’s heard “no” long enough.

The Bermuda Tourism Authority spent 15 months devising a plan for Bermuda’s public beaches that was a proper balance between limited commerce and conservation. The objectives are noble: Enhance the beach experience for visitors and locals; provide opportunities to Bermudian entrepreneurs; and create Bermudian jobs

Shelly Bay Screen Shot Vision Board

Since the spring of 2016, when the Beach Economy Vision was first completed, it has been a beacon of collaboration – winning the support of both political parties, of BEST, of civil servants and the overwhelming majority of the visitors and locals who contributed their viewpoints.

More recently area Members of Parliament, Ministers of Government and the Parks Commission have given it the thumbs up. Yet suddenly and dramatically, dissenters have emerged. And re-emerging is the pessimism of entrepreneurs.

Message recently received [name removed]: “We were seriously considering a proposal for the concession but to be honest, not sure I’m interested in the negative vibes – not when it comes to putting my money on the line. It’s unfortunate that our progress is hindered by people so opposed to change for opposition’s sake. I mean, for the love of God, nobody owns the beach!”

It would be unfair to blame entrepreneurs who feel this way. Who could take another “no”? Their road is plenty hard enough without a rhetorical dust up in the public square. And while the Bermuda Tourism Authority advocates for the little guy at every possible turn, it is also committed to consulting with people who would prefer those entrepreneurs be denied a chance to follow their passions. Consultation and dialogue, even among those who disagree, has been the modus operandi since day one.

As the dialogue continues with anyone in the community who would like to engage, we hope ultimately that the little guy wins. He deserves a break. And the community can give him that break without over-crowding Shelly Bay, impeding anyone’s access to the beach or denigrating the traditions which made the place so great to begin with.

- Glenn Jones


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Comments (65)

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  1. Izzypop says:

    Your fighting a dead horse
    Residents can’t see past their own emotions
    It’s not always about Bermudians working
    Good luck
    U hv a big fight ahead of you…

    • Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

      Did you observe Shelly Bay on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? They days are just an example of how Shelly Bay is used by Bermudians and independent tourists alike enjoying themselves without The BTA assistance.
      Meanwhile hoards of visitors were on Horseshoe Bay spreading out with their lounge chairs,umbrellas AND towels AND ENJOYING THEMSELVES. They were not mingling with residents because residents have been relegated to the back and eastern section. We do not want that to happen to Shelly Bay and with their Beach Vision plan of lounge chairs, suntents, massage tables, tikibars, big floats and more…IT WILL HAPPEN.

      • wondering says:

        you are correct but i opine that your view is short sighted. there are more tourists being funneled to Horeshoe beach that the beach can entertain and after a few years, a beach gets mundane. tourists want amenities at the beach and MOST Bermudians that go to shelly bay hide in the shade and the few that do venture onto the sand ought to have an option of not carting their whole house to the beach AND support a local business….i am beginning to think that the poster above @Izzypop…..we always come up with a vision of dread and then want to circle the wagons because somebody stole my job or opportunity….the BTA is govt sanctioned and whilst they may not always agree, this is a good initiative and with buy in from the community and a happy medium of commercialization and local flair, this should not be an issue. we are getting the pants beat off us by our islands to the south and SOME of us perpetuate what my Granny taught me about places like Tucker’s Town and even South Shore Road “you CAN’T go over there” despite Bermuda being a free country!!!

    • Onion Juice says:

      Is this de same BTA who pays their CEO’s $1000 a day,and get a $40,000 bonus for declined tourism?
      What a F!@#ing JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Politricks says:

        All the numbers I have seen have shown an increase in tourism over the past 2 years or so.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Isn’t tourism growing..finally…?

      • Cranberry says:

        Tourism is growing – I’m not a fan of the BTA – but can’t deny tourism is growing….

        • mjthompson says:

          tourism is not growing because of the Bermuda tourism authority, good thing we have lots of ships coming in and also do the comparison, what are the air arrivals and remember we only have so many beds now in Bermuda so when there are less beds, we factor in cruise ship arrivals which have been significant this year, it has very little to nothing to do with bta. Can they prove their worth, and how they contribute. we are giving away free money to them.

          • sandgrownan says:

            Yup, there it is, the second dumbest thing I’ve read today.

            What’s your plan, your idea? What would you of? You seem to have all the answers, and all the background. Are you pissed off you don’t have your snout in the trough?

      • Cranberry says:

        Money’s got nothing to do with it mate – and Tourism is on the up – way up. Well for me and my clients it is… Where do you live that you haven’t seen this???

      • Mike Hind says:

        Don’t confuse him with facts! He has an agenda he’s been given…

      • Fed up says:

        @Onion Juice. Funny how your swearing response doesn’t get deleted. You are mean to humans. You are always quick with certain articles but yet mute on others….Sad. Hope your family will finally organize a intervention for you. Bless.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Haven’t you figured it out yet ? OJ is clickbait .

          • Fed up says:

            I know. A Troll in full effect. I just want more people to know how this individual treats people. Silence them with kindness. Peace and Love always.

            • Oh Jay says:

              OJ works for them

              It’s part of the propaganda machine….it’s the only way they can get people to like them…lie, and be a racist! :)

  2. sandgrownan says:

    Why was the previous plan by a local Bermudian entrepreneur not allowed to proceed after, as I understand, he spent significant dollars on the site?

    Did he not fit the “profile” required by the local MP?

    • Question says:

      Look at a photo of them both. The reason will become evident.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Shouldn’t the decision have been made before he spent his own money?

    • Come Correct says:

      And people like you are the very reason the OBA lost.

      Look up past news and you will discover why he bailed out you RACIST rat.

      • sandgrownan says:


      • Anbu says:

        Lmao. Ooohhh you called him a racist on the internet. Look at the cohones on you. We still domt suffer like you do.

  3. Rhonda says:


  4. PBanks says:

    Good piece. Unfortunately we haven’t seen the objections of late make their way to this or the other main news media outlet, but this is a good counter as far as encouraging entrepreneurs to make something out of what of late has been a shambles with regard to enhancing and providing amenities to Shelley Bay Beach.

  5. watching says:

    I personally don’t have a problem with much of this.

    A monthly fish fry can happen regardless of this plan or not. There are always community functions at shelly bay and many other beaches.

    I do think the massages are not necessary though. That part I would toss out of the plan.

    • Hey says:

      They do them / or have done them at the back of the beach at Southampton Princess. Why not Shelly Bay.

      • Varied says:

        Different situation because South P owns the property around the beach and has it fenced off to guests only?

  6. Rhonda says:

    Don’t let the BTA convince you to set yourself on fire, because it creates jobs..

    • Onion Juice says:

      Just a long arm of OBA.

      • sandgrownan says:

        How do you figure that?

        I’m not a fan of this particular direction, but on the whole the BTA has been a good thing.

      • jt says:

        It would appear that the PLP have no issues with the proposal.
        Grow up.

    • Kevin Dallas says:

      Please explain how the presence of three small businesses selling things people want at the beach, that are owned by Bermudian entrepreneurs, requires anyone to set themselves on fire?

      • C.Griffin says:

        Mr.Dallas. You know that that is not the only issue so dont pretend innocence to prove your point. You get paid too much to ignore and not honestly address this very important community concern.

        • Question says:

          So. No answer then.

        • jt says:

          Like most things it is likely only those opposed that are vocal. Many in the community are in favour or take no issue.

        • wondering says:

          it is evident that a small group of people want the beach to themselves and could give a hoot that the beach and adjacent fields (x2) have adequate space and are SOOO close to the beach that it could work….we are just living in the 21st century but have yet to shrug off our Industrial Revolution mentality……..we act as though we are on the steam train while we comment from our cellular phone on Bernews!!

      • Cranberry says:

        Hi Kevin – the article talks about the ‘Cultural Traditions’ of Shelly Bay. I am not aware of any, are you?

        Asking for a friend… ;)

      • Cranberry says:

        Well not having to set yourself on fire puts this in a totally different light!!

        Gonna have to rethink my Fire Extinguisher Concession plan then…

    • jt says:

      Where does your MP stand on this?

  7. LocalsOnly says:

    Hey BTA, teach your graphic designers to recognize local under water scenes from ones in another ocean. That snorkel picture is of Pacific fish. You may not care about the difference but those who are being appealed to certainly do. There are lots of great local photographers. Give them some work. :|

  8. Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

    ‘The Bermuda Tourism Authority plan for Shelly Bay Beach is not commercialisation, it’s entrepreneurialism.’

    The BTA Plan for Shelly Bay is APPROPRIATION, GENTRIFICATION, COMMERCIALIZATION and UNNECESSARY RUINATION of the authentic, traditional and cultural celebration of the Bermudian way of picknicking and natural way of mingling with and entertaining tourists who come to Shelly Bay; those visitors who always have and always will seek the experience of REAL BERMUDA….the ones who want to see, learn and involve themselves in ‘REAL BERMUDA’.
    There are many other venues, both public and private to promote for those visitors who wish other contrived amenities and activities or more active watersports.

    • Double S says:

      Appropriation? Gentrification? Why don’t you just stop beating around the bush and openly advocate for re-segregation. You’ve become very emboldened with the belief that you can determine what happens at Shelly Bay ever since you got the previous project halted. Let me guess he wasn’t a ‘real’ enough Bermudian for you.

      And the funny thing is you are retired and are able to enjoy the beach any day you want, whilst you seek to hinder progress and deny others a job.

      • Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

        Advocate for Re-segregation? Not ‘real’ enough Bermudian?Explain those statements clearly please, for all to hear.We wouldn’t want this conversation to be misunderstood.

        Hinder progress and deny jobs? Commercialization of every popular public beach is progress? Do you know what progress are being advocated for Shelly Bay, by myself and others
        - adding and maintaining toilet and shower facilities- thats a job or two there
        -re-establishment of the handicapped ramp to enable the physically challenged to get to the beach and water – another job
        maintenance of the playground equipment that is used by both children of visitors and locals – another job
        - having a student operate a snack cart or as suggested a lunch wagon – another job

        And as I enjoy Shelly Bay Beach, in my retirement, i also enjoy the unique and authentic Bermudian’vibe’ celebrated by tourists and locals alike.
        Those who want a tourist trap can be directed to those places where more jobs and entrepreneurship is encouraged, as those tourist traps grow.

        Emboldened? Yes, I speak on Shelly Bay but Please also do not assume that i am speaking only for myself.I am speaking for beachgoers across the spectrum who like Shelly Bay ungentrified and not commercialized.

    • Question says:

      By “real Bermuda” you mean with “real Bermudians” don’t you. Ones whose parents came from the Caribbean in the 1970’s and got status.

  9. Rocky5 says:

    Just can’t fix stupid!

  10. Community First says:

    The vexing issue of how to encourage, engage and support progress in Bermuda.

    The BTA appears to have missed a step in community consultation on this particular beach being part of their Five Beach Plan – what process was used to consult and why are people reacting so negatively? It appears to be a special beach for many and maybe only those within walking distance should determine how their beach is to be used.

    There is something not aligning with what people are saying and it may be time to get back in the room and invite experienced community facilitation to identify what might work for everyone.

    Move beyond the town halls and fight for the microphone set up – that clearly is not working – get people talking in small groups about questions like: What is a beach in Bermuda?

  11. Stephen Thomson says:

    Bermuda needs to continue to branch out, be creative and support local entrepreneurs.
    Quite simply, why not have some amenities at a beach?
    Good ideas that all deserve support.
    Well done BTA.
    Jet skis weee initially not accepted….now they are.
    Harbour Nights was moaned about….now it’s celebrated
    Twizzies……well you know the story
    Bermuda needs to be creative and exciting.
    Look how underutilized Warwick Long Bay is. Pristine is one thing but desolate is another.
    Countries all over the world use their natural resources to their advantage. Our very obvious natural resource is our magnificent beaches. To designate 4 or 5 out of literally hundreds is not over development by any stretch of the imagination.
    We have way to many nay sayers in Bermuda.
    Press on BTA….you are doing a super job for all of us.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Capitalist ideology always looks at it from their perspective while neglecting the concerns of the people.
      Same concept of how Neo Colonialism destroyed many lands, you want Bermuda to be creative and exciting,having a beach recreated is not gonna boost tourism unless its a nude beach or a cannibis free zone beach.
      We have the most exspensive City in the world, so are you atttacting high end tourist who can afford it or blue collar tourist who can go to the South of us for a cheaper price and experience a real EXCITING TIME which many of us can attest too.
      Thats why our collage season flopped, you complained that they were breaking stuff and fined them $1000 for a joint, now you want to be revived from the stuck up, conservative image that you created.
      Shelly Bay Beach is one of the only beaches in Bermuda that caters to our children for its vast distance of shallow water and Historical tradition of family and community camping and picnic gatherings.
      The people will resist the decision of those who have ulterior motives and selective economic interest.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Time will tell

      • Anbu says:

        Ya we know time will tell. But we all know you and other like minded individuals will do all they can to sabotage any effort made solely based on your perception of “bermudian” and so it go

      • Oh Jay says:

        OJ is a racist..

    • Stand for Truth says:

      And we have too many people whose ancestors did not build this Island with their blood, sweat and tears, who are telling those who are their descendants what is best for Bermuda. And please do not talk that mess about we are all immigrants, that is a talking point by a certain group of the Island.

      Before slavery our ancestors where traveling the world, while another group of people were still in the Caucus mountains/caves.

  12. BermudianLova says:

    There was a local guy that spent a ton of money to fix up the old building there and then you took it away from him BTA/GOV. You guys protested him so much and then you come out and give it now to other people. Wrong in so many ways.

    • Real says:

      The government didn’t take it away the fool signed a contract/deal and came back to get a better offer. A deal is a deal.

  13. Cow Polly says:

    I would suggest pumping the BTA’s money into Admiralty Cove instead of Shelly Bay as a beach for Bermudian entrepreneurs. Then when SSM is properly recognised turn Shelly Bay into the Pink Beach :-)

  14. just wondering says:

    So- we have two public beaches (Horseshoe and Tobacco) with facilities – thats it!! Like it or not (and for some reason most here seem to not like it) when people come to beaches on holiday they dont want to drag coolers and chairs etc with them to the beach – they want and expect decent facilities. Bermuda is an expensive destination and our visitors expect a certain level of service. If they dont get it they dont come back – they also write reviews on Trip Advisor etc and discourage others from coming. The BTA are NOT (it seems) trying to put up a 24 hour beach bar and nightclub – they are simply wanting to set up some sort of facility that will benefit both visitors and make money for Bermudians. What on earth is wrong with that????

    • BermudianLova says:

      This statement you have written about facilities is wrong. Tourists do not come to Bermuda for beach facilities, they come for the beauty of the beaches. They love that they are not too busy and that they are untouched. The two worst facilities are horseshoe and Tobacco Bay. Like they are horrible. Fix these two first before trying to mess up Shelly Bay. And again tourists come for the beauty of the beaches, how untouched they are. FACT.

      • Oh Jay says:

        ” Tourists do not come to Bermuda for beach facilities, they come for the beauty of the beaches.”

        No, they come here because it’s a short flight from the east coast.
        They expect amenities, they don’t get them.
        Bermuda has nice beaches….as do a number of other places. Those other places are cheaper, have better weather, and a much more agreeable population.

        It’s not 1920 anymore…Bermuda isn’t the only destination.

        bermudians need to humble themselves, we’re not as great as we think we are.

  15. Infidelguy says:

    Glen Jones,

    Good luck reaching these knuckle-heads.

    What a bunch they are!


  16. eve says:

    Bermuda is not a popular destination for young families due primarily to the cost and reading Glenn’s vision for Shelley Bay sounds like it is to attract local families not tourists. BTA has funded a number of events and projects that were directed at locals but slid in under tourism. It is the local’s tax money that is funding all these BTA events and projects and local’s should have the right to question how and where their tax money is used. For those taxpayers who forgot, BTA was to become self-funding…..

  17. Stevie says:

    Onion juice. Grow up.

  18. Çharlly X says:

    Upgrade the Facilities ! But not inundated with Service providers. Don’t Damage the environment.

  19. Oh Jay says:

    Shelly Bay is the crappiest beach in Bermuda, you lot can have it.