‘World-class’ plan for Snorkel Park

  • New venture: architectural project manager Vanessa Daniel, left, contractor Paul Franco, operations and programme manager Jennifer Turini Ysseldyke, CEO and development director Belcario Thomas, productivity and business intelligence Natasha Thomas, operations director Dennie O’Connor, CPA controller Joyce Hayward (Photograph by Peter Matcham)

A new “world-class” beachfront fun zone planned for Snorkel Park Beach in Dockyard will provide a venue for Bermudian artists, entrepreneurs and business collaborations, the new operators said yesterday.

Belcario Thomas, the chief executive of the project said the new-look attraction would create more than jobs and include a water park and upgraded nightlife.

Mr Thomas added: “We will enhance the island’s guest experiences overall by reducing pressure on Horseshoe Bay and set certifiable service and control standards for the beach economy to raise the bar in Bermuda.

“Through collaboration and creativity with area businesses, we can work on addressing seasonality through bundled packages.

“This venture gives us the opportunity to focus on residential and community programming, products and pricing that more strikes a needed balance.”

Mr Thomas will take over operations at Snorkel Park with the rest of his team at Beach Boys Ltd, the operator of Tobacco Bay in St George’s, alongside several partners.

He said that, as well as roles for kitchen, bar and beach staff, there would also be several “back of house” positions available.

The unfilled posts include some for people who have completed Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Bermuda Hospitality Institute and Chamber of Commerce tourism industry programmes.

The team said it had a three-year plan to overhaul Snorkel Park Beach with an emphasis on safety, accessibility and “a welcoming sense of place”.

Dennie O’Connor, of Beach Boys Ltd, will be operations director for the new venture and Raymond Walker will be managing director.

Mr O’Connor, the winner of this year’s International Certified Tourism Ambassador award, said the nightlife would have a “broad appeal”.

He added: “We’ll introduce our versions of sunset Hawkins Island-esque experiences, evening transport and fresh, outside the box events,” he said.

A process of consultation with the planning department, Dockyard operators Wedco and others will take place before proposals for the water park are made.

Mr O’Connor said: “Fortunately, we do have architectural project management and contracting expertise in-house who will begin this period of discovery, allowing for sensitivities to any preservation areas, weather considerations, cost and benefit analysis and the like.”

The Beach Boys team are also joined by Joyce Hayward, a former accountant-general, as financial controller, architectural project manager Vanessa Daniel and programming manager Jennifer Turini Ysseldyke.

Paul Franco, the president of Vasco Da Gama, is the contractor, and Podiatry Board chairwoman Natasha Thomas is in charge of productivity and business intelligence.

Chris Garland, the managing director at Harbourside Holdings Ltd, which owns Flanagan’s Irish Pub in Hamilton and other hospitality businesses and Sidley Carswell Sanna, the liaison member of the operating group, rounded of the new ownership of Snorkel Park. The group was one of six that submitted bids after Wedco issued a request for proposal in June.

Glenn Jones, the chief development officer at the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said the plans were “an awesome opportunity” for tourism. “We know the leadership team at Beach Boys understands this premise and we’re glad to hear they’ve earned the chance to advance Bermuda’s beach economy in the West End.”

“The BTA has always believed improving infrastructure and amenities on beaches where they already exist is the pathway to a better beach experience for visitors and locals alike.