Good Evening. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to welcome dignitarirs, friends and all other guests here with us tonight.
Tonight is a very special night for us, as we celebrate an important mile-stone in the development of Gold Coast; the completion and opening of our Club House. So I thank all of you for joining us in this happy occasion.
We started out with a few architectural plans and a very strong vision of what Gold Coast would become. What you see in front of you today, used to be 26 acres of nothing but dirt and brush. I stood in front of the bare piece of land, in the North-East corner, with our first client sharing some basic plans and our vision for Gold Coast. He had a pretty good poker face, so it was very hard for me to read his reaction. Half-way into driving him back to his hotel, he suddenly asked me to pull over and stop the car. For the first time I noticed a smile, when he told me that he liked Aruba very much, and felt good about the project. Right then and there, he wrote me a check for the deposit of what was the first home sold. I had the biggest smile ever, and I knew then, that Gold Coast would become a success.
Today, I can proudly say that we are in the last phase of the project, with more than 80% homes sold and more than 250 homes delivered. Currently, with the acquisition of White Modern Cuisine, we provide full fledge resort services.
Nowadays you can say that Gold Coast is a micro-economy on itself. We directly or indirectly employ more than 150 people. Each year, we directly or indirectly contribute more than 20 million dollars to the economy. This 20-million-dollar contribution, does not include the money that homeowners and vacationers spend while in Aruba. Our homeowners and vacation guests spend on average double the amount that a stay-over tourist spends. This truly shows the importance and relevance, in the economy, of vacation, second home and condominium projects such as ours.
While economic impact is important, more important, however, are all the people involved with Gold Coast. It is all about people. We feel incredibly honored, to be a part of the team that has made all of this possible. Our team is not only the employees; our team is what I call the greater community of Gold Coast. From the first client that blindly signed a check, to our first investors (Elizabeth, Leo and Max) who believed in our vision, to AIB Bank (By the way….glad to say that we are debt free now), to all the employees, vendors and Utility Companies, Government entities, who all whole-heartedly contributed time and effort, and lastly to all the home-owners; you all have truly made this community… one of a kind. On behalf of the board of directors, I sincerely thank you all. You can truly say that this project has been a labor of love.
Our company has always strived to put a lot of emphasis on local content; 90% of all materials that you see here have been acquired from or through local vendors. Therefore, it is our great pleasure to host one of Aruba’s most talented chefs, Urvin Croes and his restaurant; White Modern Cuisine. We are proud to say that Urvin is part of the family and an amazing chef on his own merit, achieving great culinary success both on Aruba and internationally.
Lastly, on behalf of my sister and brothers, our spouses, and children, we would especially like to thank the homeowners, who made Gold Coast their home away from home. Thank you for believing in this project. Masha Danki.
Raise your glasses and join me in toasting for the special occasion! Enjoy everyone.