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Jun 3, 2016

Memorial Park Achieving White Elephant Status

The Memorial Park – remixed with a very expensive upgrade, was officially opened in September, 2013 – with what we were told was a modern bandstand and stylishly designed wooden booths. Nothing happened, and those booths were never opened. In October 2014 there were signs of life as Mayor Darrell Bradley spoke about eight of the booths being occupied and all sorts of vendors and good stuff. That never happened either. In February 2015 signs of life again, as the Memorial Park Diner opened, and closed just a few months after – but still no vendors, no open booths. Today not much has changed. There is one small restaurant operating in the park but other than that it is fast becoming a white elephant, six million dollar 2013 upgrade and all.

 

Darrell Bradley, Mayor, Belize City

Darrell Bradley

“The difficulty with Memorial Park I think is one of the difficulties that we’ve had with the entire Fort Street tourism zone. It’s just the aspect of coordination. The vision for Memorial Park was that the vendors would be housed in the park. That’s one of the reasons why the booths were designed and constructed in the manner that they were designed. The problems with that is there’s not an appropriate queuing system so that if I’m a businessman I want to be as close to the tourists as possible so that I want to be right outside the gate. That’s essentially the problem. The vendors do not want to move into that nicely constructed park because they would be further away from the tourists. I recently had a meeting with Dr. Carla Barnett, Ms. Bevans and the senior leadership team at the BTB. One of the things we spoke about was activities that could be done in the park to attract tourists to go in the park and then that would encourage the vendors to locate themselves in the park. The problem why that has not really been given focus is really a practical problem. The vendors do not want to go in there because they do not want to be further from the tourists. They want to be right outside the door because that’s where the business is.”

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1 Response for “Memorial Park Achieving White Elephant Status”

  1. Steve says:

    This was bad, starting from the design. Terrible design. Political cronies’ pockets got filled, and the people got the bucut.

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