Dockyard is open for business as normal and has a packed line-up of events, that is the message that Andrew Dias, general manager of the West End Development Corporation, wants to get out to everyone in Bermuda and to the cruise ship passengers coming to the island.
“Everyone is desperately excited by the America’s Cup and I am lucky because where I work means I get to see the teams out on the Great Sound,” Mr Dias said.
“To say it is a spectacular sight is a big understatement. There is a huge vibe of excitement. It is almost tangible.
“I have to say, also, that the sailors are a fantastic bunch. They fit right in, they are friendly and fun. They’ve really made an important contribution not only economically but socially as well. They have been very involved in local projects.”
Mr Dias has overseen a massive amount of work at Dockyard with around $13 million invested in restoration work
“Places like Moresby House, Prince Alfred Terrace, the Chicane Building and the Sail Loft are unrecognisable,” he said. “Many of the buildings we have renovated will be used for the America’s Cup event, but after that they will come onto the local market.”
Mr Dias has also been overseeing the development of Cross Island, nine acres of reclaimed land which will be home to the America’s Cup Village.
A study has been conducted into the future of Cross Island so that a use that is sustainable and economically viable can be found if the America’s Cup does not come back to the island.
“We are being extremely diligent and careful about Cross Island,” Mr Dias said. “We want any future use to be job creating and to contribute significantly to the Island’s economy. We have completed our part of Cross Island on time and on budget.”
While the America’s Cup is taking place, Dockyard will remain open for business as normal, with a full line up of events for locals and tourists.
“People can easily travel between Dockyard and Cross Island via free train shuttle,” Mr Dias said. “I would recommend that people come to Dockyard via ferry as I am sure the roads will be busy.
“We have had some queries from people, especially overseas, about whether Dockyard is operating as normal. I must stress that it is and we have a full line up of events.”
Some of the highlights include a Go Karting Grand Prix on April 29 and 30, the End to End on May 6, and an Easter Family Fun Day this Sunday. Restaurants, the museums and fun activities stationed in Dockyard will also all be open.
“We also have daily events throughout the high season for both visitors and locals and on any given day there can be up to ten different events going on from morning until night, Mr Dias said. “This won’t change during the America’s Cup.”