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Feb 21, 2019

Stake Bank, an Inch Closer to Become a Reality

It took years to move from the drawing board to its ground breaking, but the Stake Bank project is finally on its way. On Wednesday, the symbolic launch of the multi-million dollar investment got underway at its unique location just outside Belize City. With an injection of eighty-two million dollars, the cruise port facility is one of the biggest projects on the market and is being led by Michael Feinstein through Stake Bank Enterprise Limited. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Just a ten-minute boat ride east of Belize City, Stake Bank today is mostly barren, save for a cluster of trees on the far end of the twenty-five acre island that has not as yet been cleared.  On a regular day, there isn’t much to see, however, the location of this small landmass provides a panoramic view of the city’s skyline in the short distance.  Better yet, this ideal setting places visitors close enough to the many cruise ships anchored nearby, a perfect milieu for taking photographs.  The vision of the developers is to build a world class docking facility here, with jobs for anyone interested in working within the cruise tourism sector.  John Allan is responsible for making this concept a reality.


John Allen

John Allen, Vice President, EDSA Inc.

“We want to create an experience that’s unique and I’ve worked in projects in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and one thing that struck me from day one was that it’s extremely unusual to find a place like Belize that offers everything.  You’ve got centuries of culture, you’ve got history going back to the Mayans, natural beauty, opportunities for all kinds of things and you can find elements of those things all over the place but it’s rare to find a destination that has everything.”


Realizing that multimillion dollar idea will undoubtedly require a serious infusion of capital, in order to transform this lonely island into Stake Bank Cruise Port – Belize, a massive undertaking which will take a few years to take shape.  The project is being led by Michael Feinstein through Stake Bank Enterprise Limited.


Michael Feinstein

Michael Feinstein, Chairman, Feinstein Group

“The bankers for this project is being led by the Atlantic Bank group.  The Atlantic Bank is the lead organizer for the money for this project which is sixty-seven million dollars on the island and a total of about eighty-two million dollars before this project is done.”


The investment in, as well as the construction of the Stake Bank cruise ship docking facility is categorized as one of the largest private sector initiatives for Belize over the next five years.


John Allen

“So I’m very excited about what this can be.  I think this project can actually become a gateway to the world, to the rest of Belize and what Belize has to offer.”


According to Feinstein, once completed the cruise port will see the employment of a majority of Belizeans in different areas of the service industry.


Michael Feinstein

“When we did FSTV it was called BTV at the time, Belize Tourism Village, it was ninety-five percent Belizeans [who] owned all the stores and operated everything inside that village.  Since we sold it, it became ninety-five percent foreign.  This again, will be ninety-five percent Belizean and from here the tendering has been reduced by forty percent going over to North Drown Caye in much calmer waters, in a much more stable scenario.  The terminals will be there, parking for two hundred buses.  Nobody will be left out of that one.  Inside the terminal, we’ll make space for everybody.  So again, all Belizean.”


Of note is that thirty percent of the country’s gross domestic product comes from tourism.  It is also the primary source of foreign exchange. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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