FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas — Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey put to rest criticism that began to surface about problems with accommodations for some of the athletes attending the fourth edition of the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Track and Field Championships, taking place in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
While taking in some of the action at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex on Friday morning, Minister Moxey took time out to speak with the media, where she openly addressed the issues concerning some of the athletes’ accommodations.
“There has been an issue,” Minister Moxey noted. “The issue started with a transformer (at the hotel) that blew and it created some challenges. Immediately we kicked into action and began to go to plan B, which was to allow some of the athletes to go to another property. We arranged transportation. “I commissioned a team that is a customer service team that is addressing every need or every single issue that presents itself. So, we are on top of it. We are doing that. I believe that the visitors are now in a good place. I have spoken to teams individually, hearing their concerns, allowing them to express what their concerns are and we are addressing them.
“This morning, during breakfast, I went around and spoke to just about every athlete that was there, to find out how they were doing and they are now happy. They are in a good place.”
Minister Moxey pointed out that The Bahamas took on the hosting of the fourth edition of NACAC and were able to get things prepared in 90 days, when it is actually an 18 month process. Asked why Grand Bahama was considered to host the event if there were challenges during the preparation, Minister Moxey pointed out that Grand Bahama was selected, because Grand Bahama needs it.
“We’ve been through a tough time,” she added. “We’ve come through (hurricane) Dorian and that’s why there was an issue with Grand Lucaya. Their system has not been utilized fully in a long time. It hasn’t handled that kind of volume in a long time, that’s why the transformer blew. But the property is a beautiful property. It’s now working the way it is supposed to work. The guests that we’re speaking to now, they’re happy and they’re excited about being in Grand Bahama and being a part of these championships.
“We look at Grand Bahama as the home of entertainment and events so we want to ensure that we go above and beyond to exceed expectations. This happened, so we addressed it immediately. I was attending a meeting in Nassau with the Heads of Government, I left there to get back to Freeport, to be on the ground to ensure that everything was in order. So,I’m satisfied to say that it is and we are catering to the needs of the visitors.”
The Grand Bahama Minister noted that since Dorian and the pandemic, there are Grand Bahamians who have not had a job in three years; there have been the closure of hotel properties and businesses. She said there are families that are hungry and in need of help.
“So, whatever I can do to ensure that GB gets what it needs to get, I will do, so that Grand Bahama can be revitalized. Our government is one of compassion, where we look to bring to this island and to Abaco and other areas that were impacted by Dorian the much-needed help they deserve.
“I can’t begin to express how much the economic impact hosting this Meet is already having on Grand Bahama. We have people who are able to work and earn money to pay their bills. The impact is widespread. It is touching the hotels, the taxi drivers, the tour bus drivers, the restaurants. The island is booked out solid. We’ haven’t seen this kind of economic activity in Grand Bahama in a long time.
“So, I am grateful to the government of the Bahamas. I’m grateful to NACAC, I’m grateful to all of the people who helped to make this happen. I’ve said to the athletes and various teams, thank you for being here. Thank you for making Grand Bahama island the home for this edition of the NACAC championships. Thank you for helping us in honoring Anita Doherty, who has done so much for the sporting community.”
Minister Moxey said that she and her team quickly kicked into action to ensure that everything got back on track.As she sat with Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture at the GB Sports Complex watching some of the races during the morning session of day one of the meet, Minister Moxey said that she was pleased with the way things were going. The day was a beautiful one and the meet was running on schedule. She said she was happy to get some good feedback from athletes who were satisfied that things had worked out well for them.