Despite opposition from environmentalists
in the British Virgin Islands, the BVI government approved
construction of and gave the go-ahead to the 650-acre Beef Island
Golf & Country Club Resort on Beef Island, which is separated
from the main island of Tortola by a short bridge.
date has been announced as of yet.
Right now, Beef
Island's main claim to fame is its international airport, which
links the BVI with airports in San Juan, St. Thomas and several
smaller Caribbean islands.
of the upscale resort and golf course has been stalled for some
time while environmentalists and government authorities squared off
against each other.
Orlando Smith championed the $80 million project, which will cover
most of Beef Island (the airport will remain intact) and will
include an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
acknowledged the importance of protecting the environment, he said
that "we must also think about creating jobs, growing our economy
and securing our tourism industry for the future."
Opponents of the
project included biologists, environmentalists and critics who
contended that the project would create only low-wage jobs and
would distort the local housing market.
also said that the pollution and habitat destruction caused by the
resort would damage important breeding grounds on an island noted
for its reefs and mangrove forests.
contended that "strong environmental protections" would be in place
before the developer, Applied Properties, breaks ground.
agreement included a concession from the developer to scale back by
10% the number of planned hotel rooms and rental villas and to give
preference to local contractors.
To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].