San Pedro proposed for first floating restaurant/casino in Belize

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 23            June 8, 2000

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In the March 2nd, 2000 issue of the San Pedro Sun we reported the proposal for a floating restaurant in San Pedro. It has now been learned that Blue Reef Barge Limited, a Belize Company has amended their original plan to include a gambling casino in addition to the restaurant. The following is information obtained on the proposed tourist facility.

    The business plan, named The Blue Reef Experience, states it will be a multi-faceted tourist facility on barges near the reefs of Ambergris Caye. The facility's primary objective will be to add "another unique tourist destination just minutes away from any of the great Ambergris Caye Resorts."

    The floating entertainment center will be outfitted to provide unique state-of-the-art amenities and tourists will be treated to a modern facility that provides: a full service restaurant and club that offers a variety of drinks, food and appetizers at reasonable prices; live entertainment utilizing local artists with Mayan and Caribbean flair; a permanent Coral Reef and Mayan education exhibit depicting art and photos of the reef and Mayan history; and a gift shop featuring Belizean arts and crafts.

    In its first expansion, the Blue Reef Experience will reportedly add a gaming facility and after hours club for the late night crowd; and a glass wall and floors in a section of the facility to allow tourists to view the reef inhabitants in their natural surroundings. Amenities are geared to add to the ambiance of the waterfront while catering to the late night tourist. Operating hours would be from 11:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. at night and expand as business dictates. Tourist pickup points at various resorts along the beach would be utilized to provide high-speed water shuttles from the beach to the facility.

    It further states the barges will be moored near the reef. Piers with floating ramps will allow shuttles and other boats to load and unload tourists in a safe and orderly manner. The proposal vows the company will "keep the preservation of the environment a number one priority" by not using disposable serving products. Furthermore, all waste and refuse will be transported to a proper waste management facility on the island and the waters around the facility will be monitored and tested on a periodic basis. Also many of the food items used in the operation will be pre-cooked on the island and then heated at the facility.

    Projections for the first year show the Blue Reef Experience is estimated to create thirty-five (35) new jobs with an economic impact of BZ$3,066,746.
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