Land and sea excursions, using all-terrain vehicles (four-wheel bikes) and individual motorboat tours, are now a new means to explore the scenic delights of Anguilla – thanks to local businessman, James Richardson of Blowing Point. His new venture is called Freedom Rentals.
Mr. Richardson, whose name is synonymous with LA Café, a place of partying and entertainment on the south coast of Anguilla (east of Blowing Point) introduced Freedom Rentals at a launching ceremony on Monday evening, February 18.
Based at Blowing Point, in full view of passing tourists and the general public, Freedom Rentals will be offering both ATV rentals and guided ATV tours of the island; and two-seater powerboats with guests travelling on what is called Tiger Safari Tours along the island’s coastline.
“The ATV Tours promise a new and exciting way to view the island,” the company’s brochure stated. “Participants will take to the road on their own bikes to enjoy popular sites, such as Back Street and Sandy Ground Village, in company of a Local Guide. They will also ride on more deserted paths as the route will encompass a visit to Savannah Bay area in the East End of the island. It is anticipated that the tours will last approximately two-and-a-half hours including refreshment stops. Daily rentals of the ATVs can also be arranged at the office in Blowing Point. Guests wishing to rent a bike for the day must have a valid driver’s licence and insurance.
“Tiger Safari Tours is an exciting activity for all the family. Participants (minimum age 18) drive their own 10-foot inflatable 2-seater motor boats. The boats are safe, sturdy, reliable, and loads of fun. They will be part of a group of boats (the safari) that motor along the coast of Anguilla – stopping for snorkelling, refreshments and sightseeing along the way. The tour can include up to 16 boats and will be escorted by two guides. All participants will wear hi-flotation life jackets and will be given instructions on how to operate the boats and the opportunity to practice before setting off.
“It is anticipated that the tours will last approximately one-and-a-half hours including refreshment stops. Itineraries and routes are still being finalised but it is likely that the tours will operate from two departure points – Cove Bay and Sandy Ground – depending on the route and sea conditions.”
Speaking to The Anguillian, James Richardson, the proprietor of the services, said: “Anguilla needed these tourist activities for a long time. Visitors to the island get bored after a few days. They have nothing to do so I bring something to keep them busy and happy. They come here to release stress and to relax. This will help them to relax a little bit with fun. I regard myself as a normal businessman who sees opportunities and takes advantage of them.”
The launching ceremony, chaired by Curtis Richardson, was attended by a number of Government officials who spoke highly of Mr. Richardson’s tourism investment.
Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism, Haydn Hughes, said the services offered by Mr. Richardson provided opportunities for visitors to see Anguilla from a different perspective. He noted that the operation of the powerboats was different from that of the much-criticised jet skis in that it was a guided tour. He said that while taxis provided tours of the island along the main roads, the all-terrain vehicles would enable visitors to travel on the so-called bush roads and other pathways to see a different side of Anguilla.
Minister of Social Development, Edison Baird, said Anguilla was about boat-building and seafaring and that the powerboats would give tourists an opportunity to visit the island’s coastline and national parks. “This is the new trend,” he stated. “People want to be open and free; and this is a sizeable investment that Mr. Richardson has put in the economy of Anguilla. Every injection in the economy will translate into jobs for our people.”
Mr. Baird was pleased that the boats will begin operating in Sandy Ground – a main tourism area in Anguilla. He appealed to other Anguillians to follow Mr. Richardson’s example by investing in small businesses which would be of considerable assistance to the island’s economy.
Minister of Infrastructure, Evan Gumbs, commended Mr. Richardson for his investment and his foresight in contributing to the growth of tourism in Anguilla.
Minister of Home Affairs, Walcott Richardson, also joined in congratulating Mr.Richardson for his investment. “He has demonstrated quite ably that that we need to invest in our island and to develop a healthy economy. I want to congratulate him for that,” the Minister added.
Following the launching ceremony, many of those who attended the event travelled on the four-wheel vehicles to LA Café where refreshments were served.