The Minister of TEATT Announces Vision for Waterpark and Boutique Hotel Development Near Port St. Maarten

November 9, 2022 10:38 am

PORT ST. MAARTEN – The Council of Ministers (COM) recently approved the vision plan known as the Quarter Development that would entail the construction of the largest waterpark in the northeastern Caribbean and a boutique hotel on the adjacent property to the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facility.

The anticipated US$100 million development will take approximately 18 months to construct and will complement other destination enhancements such as the marketplace in Philipsburg.

Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Hon. Omar Ottley said on Tuesday: “It is truly a pleasure to see the Council of Ministers unanimously approve the Quarter Development master plan. This has been in the works for many years, and I am extremely honored that I am a part of this as Acting Minister of TEATT.

“My mission is to maximize our economy as much as possible and strive to make St. Maarten the number one tourist destination, not only in our region but in the world. The Quarter Development will take us to the next level while revitalizing Philipsburg and increasing touristic activities on the Dutch side of the island.”

The project will enhance the local labor market with up to 500 new job opportunities upon completion and around 600 construction jobs during the construction period.

The Acting Minister of TEATT went on to say, “We recently developed the SOS (Scope of Services) policy with the intention to boost the Investment economy, while using as much of our local resources as possible. I look forward to making this vision not only a reality but a success.”

These developments add to the experiential value of the destination for visiting guests and the local community while sustaining St. Maarten’s forefront tourist destination position.

Using renewable energy, the water park with its thrill rides, lazy river and boutique-type hotel will contribute to destination appeal and will include conference facilities catering to the niche market of the tourism industry, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences & exhibitions).

Port St. Maarten Group (PSG) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alexander Gumbs said on Tuesday that he was elated with the approval of the vision by COM. “There has been much discussion for more than 12-years with respect to the property adjacent to the port.

“The Government of St. Maarten, locally based Platinum Harbor Holdings, Royal Caribbean Group and the Port over the past months have been working diligently to align our ideas and concepts for the property, and this has culminated into a renewed vision for the area. This will be a considerable spin-off for our national economy.”

Josh Carroll, vice president, Destination Development, Royal Caribbean Group said, “We are delighted to continue to collaborate on this initiative with the Council of Ministers, Port St. Maarten and our local partners that boosts the local economy and diversifies and enhances guest offerings for not only cruise guests but for everyone that enjoys the destination.”

Carroll, went on to say, “As we progress, local community engagement will be key to ensure we are identifying opportunities for local entrepreneurs to bring the spirit of St. Maarten to our guests.”

Gumbs also shared, “Our repeat guest visitation rates are 2.5 times, with a mixed demographics that come to the island, and we must be able to cater to them by reinventing and reinvesting into the destination to remain the port of choice in the region.

“Our collaboration with the cruise industry will continue. There are plans to extend the second cruise pier for us to keep pace with new trends and developments within the cruise industry and as we see an increase in volume to the island.

“As we prepare for the next generation of ships, we have reached a critical juncture in our development. The new project will also benefit the local community when it comes to events by schools, cultural and artisanal events, as well as other organizations. We are all excited that we reached the point with the approval of the vision plan,” Gumbs concluded on Tuesday.