PHOTO: (left to right) – Acting CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Ms. Carolyn James; Jay Cashman’s Board Chairman, Mr. Jay Cashman ; Minister of Tourism, Sen. the Hon. Richard Skerritt; SCASPA’s CEO, Mr. Jonathan Bass and Ms. Shelly Isles, SCASPA’s Legal Officer.
The St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) and Massachusetts-based Jay Cashman, Inc. have inked a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of a US$31 million cruise pier, capable of berthing two Oasis-class ships at Port Zante.
SCASPA’s CEO, Mr. Jonathan Bass speaking at a ceremony said the signing is a timely response to the challenges that SCASPA is facing with respect to berthing at the cruise ship facility.
"The unprecedented growth in the cruise tourism sub-sector that St. Kitts has experienced over the past six years, has placed tremendous pressure on our berthing infrastructure, particularly on those days when more than three large vessels request berthing," he said.
Mr. Bass pointed out that as St. Kitts continues to grow in status as a must visit Caribbean destination, the need for additional berthing is paramount for SCASPA to meet the projected growth in demand for berthing and a sustained cruise industry.
"There is no doubt that the strategic partnership that is being developed between SCASPA and Jay Cashman Inc. is an ideal one that will benefit St. Kitts tremendously," said Mr. Bass, pointing out that MOU is a non-binding agreement with respect to the construction and development of the second cruise pier to be built west of the existing pier.
He said the Private- Public Sector Joint Venture arrangement with Jay Cashman Inc. providing all the financing for the construction of the pier in exchange for a 30-year concession under which the state corporation will continue to manage and operate the cruise facility. Both companies will collaborate in marketing the destination to cruise lines.
Construction is expected to start in September 2013 and completion by November 2014.
Jay Cashman’s Vice President Mr. David Vingiano in brief remarks said the company has the capability of doing this type of work with cruiselines and looked at several projects in other Caribbean islands and was really impressed about St. Kitts and its growth that took place over the last five or six years which is not by accident but due to the hard work of both the public and private sectors of the different initiatives that make cruiselines really want to come to St. Kitts and contribute to the economy of St. Kitts.
Responding to questions from the media he disclosed that the new pier will be constructed "west of the current pier at a 45-degree angle."
Jay Cashman’s Board Chairman, Mr. Jay Cashman said the quality and maintenance of the new pier will be a priority over the next 30 years.
"The success of St. Kitts is also my success. We have a partnership where everybody needs to work together in order to create a product that is going to basically drive the economy here in tourism for St. Kitts."
The documents were signed by Messrs Cashman, Bass and Minister of Tourism, Sen. the Hon. Richard "Ricky" Skerritt.