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Frigate Bay, St. Kitts – Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino, a family-run business formerly known as Jack Tar Village for over 20 years, is the proud venue for the Thirty-Sixth Annual Leeward Islands Debating Competition (LIDC).

The prestigious debating competition runs from Thursday, February 28 to Sunday, March 2, 2008, starting at 7:00p.m.

This debating competition contested by college (tertiary-level) students across the Leeward Islands has been held in St. Kitts before, but never at a hotel until now.

Explaining the decision to move from the usual local venue, the Basseterre Senior High School Auditorium, Mr. Gairy Knight, the LIDC Organizing Committee’s Media Coordinator, said that the hotel – with its inviting ambience and extensive amenities – is an ideal place for the contingent of 145 people to have “everything in one.”

So, the 5,000 sq. ft. Conference Room is not only the venue for the LIDC, but also for the Cultural Night (Friday, February 29 at 9:00p.m.).

Then, on Sunday, March 2, the Closing Ceremony, Dinner and Dance will be held in the Royal St. Kitts Open Air Restaurant from 9:30p.m. until…

Participating in the LIDC are representatives of Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten.  Representatives of the British Virgin Islands will be observing the debates in preparation for their first-time participation next year.

This year, Royal St. Kitts is commemorating the remarkable history of the hotel, which includes many “firsts” for St. Kitts and Nevis.

On November 13, 1973, Honourable Robert L. Bradshaw laid the stone for the first hotel in Frigate Bay, now a vibrant tourist area.  (A photograph of the stone with the inscription “This stone was laid by the Hon. Robert L. Bradshaw, J.P., Premier of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, on 13th November 1973 to mark the commencement of Hotel Development on Frigate Bay” is available at the National Archives, along with photographs of Premier Bradshaw and Minister of Development, Hon. C.A. Paul Southwell at the Groundbreaking Ceremony.)  The Hotel opened in May 1976.

Royal St. Kitts Hotel reopened on Saturday, September 10, 1983 as Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino under its present ownership, which gave St. Kitts its very first casino and major hotel, with the addition of close to 200 rooms that added to the original 100 rooms.

In 1984, to mark the First Anniversary of Independence of St. Kitts-Nevis, the Government issued stamps, including one to commemorate the construction of Royal St. Kitts Hotel (SG 161 15 cents).

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