Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Blue Lagoon reopens to the public

Published:Friday | June 2, 2023 | 10:58 AM
The initiative was spearheaded by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. - Gareth Davis photo

One of Portland's premiere tourist attractions, the Blue Lagoon, reopened on Thursday following a nine-month closure, which sparked a series of protests.

The site was closed to the public in August 2022 for remedial work to be carried out on the bathroom facilities and for implementation of a proper management system.

The initiative was spearheaded by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT).

Director of Public Education, Public Relations and Communications at the JNHT, Lorna Bailey, said the Trust and other stakeholders have been holding meetings aimed at finding long-term solutions for the operation of the Blue Lagoon attraction.

“We are allowing persons to come on the property. It is not an official opening. The official opening will take place on June 15. So we will encourage people to come on the 15th where we will have the official opening," Bailey said.

“As you can see there is a lot of construction still happening on the grounds and we are still preparing. But there are a number of things that we have in place to date. The area has been cleaned and we are still doing some cleaning up. We have put in place lifeguard stands and we have lifeguards on staff now and so on. And right now we are finalising the work on the bathroom facilities," she added.

She stressed that the reopening would not be possible without the help of private sector partners.

“I must say that the property that we are standing on is the property of Sandals Resorts International. The Jamaica National Heritage Trust could not have realised the reopening of Blue Lagoon without the help and assistance of the private owners, Sandals Resort international, and I want to acknowledge them. I want to thank Sandals for coming on board with the government of Jamaica, with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and other stakeholders in this project," she stated.

Bailey said special thanks must also be given to Devon Wilson of Tropical Lagoon and Resort, who will provide private paid parking, as well as the Portland Municipal Corporation.

“The attraction here we are going to develop it into a world class attraction, so that the entire Jamaica, people in the Diaspora, people across the world, tourists, and so on, can come back into the space and enjoy what is here," she added.

Among the guests spotted at the Blue Lagoon on Thursday was Lillee Mercer from London, who stated that she has been going to the Blue Lagoon for almost five years. 

“Rafting is closed now and it is just swimming. I am hoping that rafting will resume shortly. It was quite sad when it closed and I have been here three times since. This is the first place I go when I come to Portland," she said.

Meanwhile, President of the Blue Lagoon Alliance, Colin Beckford, said he is very excited about the reopening of the facility and is impressed with the work taking place. He said he expects that commercial activities will return in the second phase of the reopening.

“It is a good feeling and we are indeed thankful. It was rough going during the closure, but now that we are back on track everyone is happy," he said.

-Gareth Davis

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