The Sands, Sandy Lane
The huge Greco-Roman/Georgian/whatever palace straddling the fomer mangrove swamp between Sandy Lane and Paynes Bay - "The Sands" - which everybody and his uncle loves to hate is about to get some competition on the West Coast. Construction has recently started in Road View on the site of the former Sandridge Hotel on what is rumored to be another "Sandsesque" ultra-luxury condo complex for the uber-rich and the uber-cool. Like The Sands there will be only five (5) apartments (The Sands actually has six), but they will be twice as large as The Sands apartments - 20K sq. ft. instead of 10K sq. ft. The complex is being built by the same developer of the controversial St. Peter's Bay Villas next door and the new marina starting near Six Mens later this year. All three project are rumored to be in partnership with a big player in the United States in the retirement village business concept. They will also be connected with the Port St. Charles (also partly developed by the same developer) by water-taxi to share amenities, etc.
So, yet again on the west coast we are going from a hotel catering to scores of ordinary people at a time year-round - to one which will be shuttered most of the time like Port St. Charles which could not even keep the Le Mer restaurant busy nor in business. But, no-worries - by that time the developers would have made their fortune on the condos sales and the government is happy too collecting the huge property taxes on the sales and coming re-sales. So, who are being left out of the pictures? Think of all the ordinary Bajans who staff the hand-full of full-service hotels like the neighboring Cobblers Cove Hotel still left on the west coast, and the thousands of ordinary of visitors who made the west coast the tourist destination it is today who can no longer return for a vacation that is now out of their reach. The net result probably will be that an area that was once a buzz of activity and interaction with the local community when Sandridge and Kings Beach were around will now be gated and probably dead.
Oh, and by the way, did I also mention that thanks to its location north of and immediately adjacent to the infamous groynes of St. Peter's Bay Villas, The Sands II (my name for the new resort) already has (as pictured below) one of the widest, deepest sandy beaches anywhere on the west coast. People who knew Sandridge will fall over or out of their chairs when they see the beach now as they all know that never in its 30-something years of existence did Sandridge ever have so much sand. Of course, all that sand has come at the expense of the beach to the south (I may have also mentioned that somewhere on this blog) but who cares - the band plays on for The Sands II.