BIMINI, Bahamas — From July 12-15, Bimini Bay Resort and Marina played host to the 21st annual Latin Builders Association of South Florida (LBA) fishing tournament where approximately 150 boats and yachts and nearly 1,100 guests traveled across the Bahamian channel for a weekend of fun and relaxation at Bimini Bay Resort and Marina.
Located only 48 miles off the coast of South Florida, vacationers made the short trip to the small island of Bimini enjoying a weekend of Bahamian-inspired cuisine prepared by the resort’s award-winning Executive Chef Wayde Sweeting, games and nights filled with music and dancing and fun-filled days of fishing, boating and beach volleyball on white sandy beaches. The weekend was topped off with an awards banquet in the bayfront event facility overlooking Bimini’s emerald green waters.
“The tournament was such a riveting success that we will begin a tradition of holding future LBA tournaments at Bimini Bay Resort and Marina,” said LBA Tournament Director, Ernesto Portuondo. “Guests now get to fish in the Big Game fishing capital of the world while enjoying upscale amenities and accommodations offered at a first-class resort and marina that has brought life back to our beloved Bimini.”
According to the Bimini Tourism Office, the tournament and resort brought in record-breaking numbers to the island of Bimini over the three-day period totaling 1,097 tourists who traveled by air and sea to the island. When compared to the same weekend in 2006, numbers dictate a 50 percent increase in tourism. Local vendors benefited from the surplus of visitors including the town’s golf cart rental which completely sold out and the straw market which had its grand opening during the weekend. “The island hasn’t seen numbers like this since July 4th weekend of 2006,” stated Acting Manager of the Bimini Tourism Office, Antoinette Stuart. “We are really starting to see the revitalization of Bimini.”
This was the 15th year that the LBA hosted the tournament in Bimini, making it the largest turnout ever with a total of 73 boats that registered for the fishing competition. After three days of intense fishing, there were five successful billfish releases, plus anglers brought tuna, dolphin and kingfish to the weigh-In station. The largest fish at weigh-in was a 93-pound yellowfin tuna.
Bimini Bay Resort has continued to shine hosting nearly 20 events and tournaments to date which has really benefited the economy of the island. Guests can enjoy staying in beautifully-appointed condominiums and treehouses as well as appreciate upscale amenities such as the resort’s infinity pool and grill and best restaurant on the island, Casa Lyon. Bimini Bay looks forward to breaking more records in the future as it continues to expand with the Conrad Hotel, casino, spa, Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed links golf course and a second private island.