Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Tourism, made it clear when he delivered remarks at a ceremony to celebrate the Malcolm Guishard Recreational Park’s first anniversary, that the facility is the most recent example of a sustainable development project on the island.
“It is a wonderful facility for families, for picnics, and I was particularly pleased to hear that 40 percent of those who come here are children. It means therefore that next generation that’s upcoming that they are recognising and realising the value of leisure. They come to the park to enjoy what nature has to offer. So when we talk sustainable development, we talk about our people and the quality of life that our people enjoy.
“This Malcolm Guishard Recreational Park is a significant contribution to that. It is the only facility of its kind in the entire federation, the only one, and so we are delighted it is here and as you would have heard, we have already started the process of doing more. I’m told we would have a boardwalk; we will have some development on the beach side, we will have more parking and we will create here a mecca for entertainment, for leisure, for people to feel comfortable, and for people to enjoy themselves on the island of Nevis and for that we are truly grateful,” he said.
The Nevis Pinney’s Beach Park Project was a collaborative effort between the NIA and the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan). On July 19, 2019, during an historic visit to Nevis, President Tsai Ing-wen turned the sod at Pinney’s for construction of the recreational park.
Meantime, Mr. John Hanley, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism on Nevis, noted that phase two of the project has commenced.
“We have already begun work to enhance the area adjacent to the park where the restaurants and beach bars are located. This project, valued at US $3.3 million, is expected to be completed over the course of 16 months,” he said.
The tourism official explained that Phase 1 of the project which cost US$2.7 million, has gone beyond expectations in what he termed a successful first of year of operations.
“By all accounts, a little over a year on, we can say with confidence that the park has had a successful first year. From its first day of operation to the present, almost 40,000 persons have visited the park, with the busiest days on weekends. Our peak visitation was in June 2022, when 3,170 persons attended a concert at the park hosted by Tropix. We also had approximately 2,000 persons here for the premiere viewing of the MSR film ‘ A Week in Paradise’ which was shot on location in Nevis.
“The park has also been the venue of a host of private and corporate functions including weddings, birthday and anniversary celebrations and staff incentive events, not to mention a host of government functions such as workshops, award ceremonies and exhibitions. Since the park’s opening almost 200 events have been booked. Truly, it can be said with some authority, that the Malcolm Guishard Recreational Park is no white elephant but a mecca for a wide range of individuals with varying recreational and business needs.
“The highly accessible location of the park close to the main tourism hub at Pinney’s Beach, the variety of options for use of the park as well as the attentive and dedicated staff have all contributed in large measure to the success of the park’s first year of operation,” he said.
Mr. Hanley added that the demographic of the 40,000 visitors to the facility in its first year consists of 23 percent male adults; 37 percent female adults and 40 percent were children. One quarter of the visitors came specifically for special events.
In light of the number of visitors to the park, the tourism official stated that plans in the near future include attracting more children and adults.
“Given these statistics, we intend to do even more in the near future to attract and cater to our children who make up almost half of the persons visiting the park, by adding more amusement rides and attractions. We continue to ask our adults not to use and damage items intended for our children.
“Given the disparity between male and female visitation, our creative team at the park will craft activities that will further engage our ladies and add new attractions that hopefully would encourage more men to use the park for exercise, general recreation and other purposes,” he said.