Sunday, August 8, 2010

Customs & Immigration coming to Stuart?

MIATC's John Hennessey and Galaxy Aviation's David Smith
with Talkin' Tourism's Robin Hicks-Connors.
Could it really happen?  

Something that the boating industry in the Stuart area has been talking about for years? A concept that is so straight-forward and simple, it just plain makes sense and the bonus it could be a boost to marine tourism in our Martin County area?

Yes, listeners, this week’s show guests, David Smith, general manager of Galaxy Aviation-Stuart, and Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast Board of Directors member John Hennessey, discussed the plans to propose to the Martin County Board of County Commissioners the development of a fee-based U.S. Customs and Immigration Office to be located at Witham Field in Stuart.  

This is not a new idea. Boaters in this area (as well as the many Stuart, Florida based private aircraft who frequent the Islands of the Bahamas) have lamented for decades over the requirement to clear back into the U.S.A. at either Ft. Pierce or Palm Beach, not Stuart.  While to those who aren't boaters or aviators who travel back and forth to the Bahamas, this might not appear as a major inconvenience, but this “missing link” could just result in increased tourism for our area.  One important aspect is the fact that Stuart lies at the eastern end of the Cross Florida Canal/Okeechobee Waterway, a main thoroughfare between Florida’s West Coast and East Coast.  With the St. Lucie Inlet being the inlet of choice for thousands of vessels each year heading for and returning from the Bahamas, the ability to clear back into the U.S. here in Stuart just makes sense.  To get all the info on this proposal, click and listen to this week’s audio file.

With Radio Man having spent a couple of days on Grand Bahama last week, you'll also find out what famous, award-winning Bahamian “personality” grew up in Ft. Pierce, and much more on this week’s show.  

See you next week from Cape Eleuthera Resort and Yacht Club with another live remote from the Islands of the Bahamas.
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