Bermuda gets its mojo back
While the final accounting is not yet complete, the cost for Bermuda to host the 35th America’s Cup was deemed a good investment by this local businessman in his commentary published in The Royal Gazette.
In 2014 Bermuda was arguably in a bad place socially, emotionally and financially. We were still experiencing the worst of our economic depression. Businesses were still closing, and there was no meaningful investments in business or construction projects to create badly needed jobs.
Many Bermudians were out of work or simply underemployed and running out of money. Meanwhile, at the same time, rampant negativity was tearing us apart emotionally and affecting our hopes for a brighter future.
In 2014 we had also lost our collective national mojo.
The politicians on both sides of the house understood that the country badly needed a catalyst to turn the tide and reinvigorate the economy. Then tiny Bermuda, against all odds, somehow secured the hosting of the America’s Cup. Still hard to believe. This was the gift seemingly out of nowhere, possibly even from above.
After the America’s Cup was announced, private investment followed. Pink Beach was initiated, the Princess Group invested $100 million, the Ritz Carlton was announced, St Regis committed to St George’s, Phase 2 of the Courthouse townhouse project was agreed, and real estate sales and rentals began to recover. Jobs began to be created.
During the event, Bermuda never looked better on television screens across the world and the superyacht business was established for future generations.
If we are willing to remove all of the political hyperbole, history should record that the America’s Cup delivered a badly needed reason for all Bermudians to once again stand tall. Imagine we had collectively been selected to host one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. We now had a reason to be proud of ourselves and our island home.
We realised that this was a huge undertaking and we had something to prove to the world. The world was now watching us. Together we collectively marshalled our talents and energy and successfully delivered a truly spectacular event for the world to see. It was a tourism promotion and spectator event opportunity that Bermuda may never experience ever again.
What history should record is that the America’s Cup helped to give us back was our national “mojo”. It gave us back our confidence in ourselves and our collective abilities. It demonstrated what we can do when we work together.
Going forward when people ask where we are from we will always be able to say “Bermuda, the 2017 America’s Cup host nation”. We can always be proud of what we achieved together.
Anything is again possible!