Westrec Marinas expands in the Caribbean

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Encino, Calif.-based Westrec Marinas has been awarded the management and operations contract by the Port Authority of Jamaica for The Marina at Port Antonio and West Harbour Development Project in Jamaica, the company reported in a statement Friday.

Westrec Marinas was chosen through a process issued by The Port Authority of Jamaica in the fall of 2003. Westrec Marinas’ appointment of the management and operations contract for the next five years encompasses: The Marina at Port Antonio, Henry Morgan Marina, Port Antonio Boat Yard, many other amenities, retail facilities, restaurants and bars that make up the entire West Harbour Development in Port Antonio, according to the company.

This project, spearheaded by Noel Hylton, chairman and CEO of The Port Authority of Jamaica and the Marina Committee, opens Jamaica to the yachting sector formerly non-existent on the island, the company stated.

The Marina at Port Antonio offers a 50-slip complex that accommodates megayachts up to 350 feet LOA with a maximum depth of 17 feet, to fishing and sailing vessels. The facilities include a crew lounge with billiards, Internet, laundry and showers and soon to open, the first full-service boatyard in Jamaica for repair and maintenance with a 100-ton travel lift and 50-bay dry storage for up to 80-foot boats, the company reported.

In addition, The Marina complex provides single and three-phase power, three telephone lines at each berth, and shore storage. As an official Port of Entry, The Marina at Port Antonio has 24-hour customs and immigration available, said the company.

Caribbean to become new megayacht destination?

Westrec Marinas projects the Western Caribbean will become a new yachting destination for megayachts and Jamaica’s location in this region provides a platform for economic and socioeconomic opportunities while establishing a new marine industry.

“I think this will open up an abundance of new opportunities for yachtsman and the marine industry business as a whole. It also further enhances the flourishing business relationship between South Florida and Jamaica,” said Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion, who has also been deeply involved with Broward County’s International trade and commerce with the Caribbean.

According to the recently released Marine Industry Economic Impact Report commissioned by The Marine Industries Association of South Floridam (MIASF), the megayacht sector of the industry has experienced tremendous growth from the previous report released in 1997. Much of this commerce is due to the fact many vessels base in Broward County while visiting or chartering to nearby Caribbean destinations, according to the company.

“Given Westrec Marinas depth of experience and breadth of operations, this alliance augurs well for Port Antonio’s return to glory as a premium yachting destination,” said Ricardo Allicock, the consulate general of Jamaica from the Southeast region. “As well, this new partnership symbolizes broader mutual benefits which may accrue to Jamaica and South Florida entities through the facilitation of U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, Ms. Sue Cobb’s Building Bridges Initiative.”

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