Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hogging The Beach

Royal Westmoreland came under national scrutiny today when the Nation newspaper rapped it for "hogging the beach" at Mullins where it recently bought the beach bar and spa. The issue seems to be RW spreading their 'for residents and guests only' beach chairs all over the small public beach before anyone else can even get a chance to spread out a towel. The complaints seem to be coming not so much from locals yet, but from villa and condo owners in the area and their guests who are being crowed out by the residents and guests of inland resort which is several miles from the beach. Something like this was inevitably going to happen when a large resort like RW sets up a "Beach Club" on a small beach like Mullins, and undoubtedly the same will happen at Goddings Bay when the Apes Hill Beach Club really gets going there as well.

Contributing to the space crunch is the ongoing beach erosion in the area and the rest of the west coast generally coupled with the cyclical narrowing of the beach. There is enough space in the area to accommodate the current demand but it's going to take a comprehensive approach to restoring and widening the beaches in the area to make everyone happy. This is a job for government, Royal Westmoreland and Apes Hill and the other big tourism players in the area.

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