Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts announced plans to open its second boutique resort property on Rum Cay in the southern Bahamas. The popular Sumner Point Marina & Villas property is undergoing renovation will reopen this spring as the Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Marina, Rum Cay.
“Rum is the southern gateway in and out of the Bahamas, just like Bimini is to the north, so this is a great complement to our system and certainly will be a welcome Outpost for any of our customers spending time further down the island chain,” notes company President, Mark Ellert.
The Rum Cay project follows the reopening of the Bimini Big Game Club last year as a Guy Harvey Outpost. Rum Cay is an out-island destination known for its rugged and unspoiled beauty, and daily life on Rum is little changed over the past 100 years.
“Every serious angler or diver has the southern Bahamas on his or her bucket list, every mariner knows it’s where you put in for fuel and shore leave and with a lack of crowds or development, Rum Cay enthusiasts consider it their own private island retreat,” adds Ellert, who oversees location selection for the firm. “For all these adventure travelers, we intend the Outpost Club & Marina to be the destination of choice in the southern Bahamas.”
The island has approximately 60 permanent residents and is roughly 50 miles southeast of Georgetown in the Exumas. Conception Island, which is part of the Bahamas National Land and Sea Park sanctuary, figures prominently in the company’s interest.
“Conception is just 10 miles from Rum,” said company chairman, Dr. Guy Harvey, who holds a Ph.D in marine fisheries management. “In addition to the fantastic diving there, we intend to work with government in expanding the coral and shark research work of the Guy Harvey Research Institute which is a cornerstone of our Outpost program in the Bahamas.”
Named Santa Maria de La Concepcion by Columbus who visited the island on his first voyage to the New World, Rum Cay is believed to have acquired its modern name from a shipwrecked cargo of rum. The island’s most famous shipwreck is that of the 101-gun HMS Conqueror which sank off Sumner Point in 1861, and is now preserved and protected as the Bahamas Underwater Museum.
Widely recognized for its outstanding diving and fishing, Rum Cay is also popular with surfing and kite-boarding enthusiasts.
The Sumner Point Marina is situated on the southeast tip of Rum Cay. The marina and adjoining club facilities have been owned and operated by the Little family since 1960. Known for its protected marina, picturesque beachside cottages and gourmet dining, the property exudes the bohemian flair of its owner and artist-in-residence, Bobby Little.
“It’s time for our family to take this incredible property to the next level”, remarked Bobby Little in announcing the conversion of his boutique resort. “I was raised on Rum, as has my son. With our renovations and the support of the Guy Harvey Outpost brand and management, I expect our property to become a beacon for sustainable tourism in the southern Bahamas. I can’t think of a better legacy for our family, for the Bahamas or for anyone who has come to call us their island home.”
First settled by the Lucayan and Arawak Indians, Rum Cay was the second island Columbus visited on his famous 1492 voyage. The island remained deserted until the late 1700’s when American loyalists set up plantations on the island to farm cotton and salt. Of the island’s original settlements, only Port Nelson remains, situated approximately 2 miles west of Sumner Point.
In 1965 Robert Little, Sr. sailed into Rum Cay in search of a world-class beach diving destination, and quickly decided to purchase approximately 100 acres comprising the oceanfront lands of Sumner Point. In the ensuing years, heir to the Thom McCann shoe fortune, David Melville, organized the Rum Cay Dive Club, putting the island on the map of international dive destinations. With operations limited by a grass runway, no island electricity and no marina, Melville abandoned the club in 1989. In 1990, Robert Little Jr. and his brother Billy, began construction of a marina and shortly thereafter the Out of the Blue restaurant opened, forming the core of Sumner Point Marina and Villas, today the island’s only resort.
With a newly completed 5,000-foot runway and upgraded electric and telephone service, the Bahamas has invested heavily in Rum Cay’s hospitality infrastructure. In converting to the Guy Harvey Outpost Club and Marina, immediate plans include rebuilding the marina and fuel dock, adding a dive shop, refurnishing existing beachfront cottages and redeveloping the club’s popular Out of The Blue restaurant. These improvements are scheduled for completion by the start of the summer boating season. In the fall, work will begin on adding new marina and beachfront suites, a small spa and a freshwater pool complete with terraced patios and pool/beach bar.
Marina Facilities: 28 Slips
Cottages: Four Beachfront units, capable of accommodating six
Kalik House: Two Bedroom Beachfront Home, capable of accommodating six Restaurants, Out of the Blue Restaurant & Bar
Activities: Scuba diving, Fly-fishing, Offshore fishing, Surfing, Kiteboarding, Paddleboarding, Sky Diving, Cave Exploration, Salt Pond Tours
For more info call 800-737-1007 or visit www.GuyHarveyOutpostRumCay.com.