An $18,000 floating dock has been installed this week at the Bimini Big Game Club with plans to provide guests arriving by seaplane the convenience of a satellite customs and immigration check-in at the resort as well as at-the-dock luggage pick-up service.
Earlier this year, Tropic Ocean Airways, www flytropic.com, re-instituted regular scheduled service to Bimini on Thursday through Monday, using the old Seaplane Base on North Bimini (formerly operated by the now defunct Chalk’s International Airline.) Arthur “Pappy” Chalk, a former Army Air Service pilot in WWI, established the first seaplane service to Bimini in 1919.
“With the addition of the floating seaplane dock, the Big Game Club will officially become the home base for Tropic in Bimini,” noted resort General Manager Michael Weber. “Eventually we want to create a one-stop shop type experience with free parking at the departure airport (Sheltair in Fort Lauderdale) and fly-in customs and immigration and room check-in all within 20 yards of each other at the Big Game Club. Also, departing guests using the seaplane service can show-up just 10 minutes before the flight with beverage in hand.”
Weber said the main benefit of seaplane departure is convenience—no need for early arrival for customs and/or security checks, and passengers avoid the need to travel to and from the South Bimini airport, which requires both a taxi and ferry ride, saving almost an hour of travel time.
Overall, according to Weber, sixty percent of guests at the Big Game Club currently arrive by air, with a growing number of regular service and charter carriers, including the new seaplane service.
Offering charter service to other Bahamas destinations as well as the Florida Keys, Tropic Ocean Airways’ scheduled service to Bimini originates from Sheltair at Fort Lauderdale International Airport (a 30 minute flight to Bimini) and has more recently added additional flights to Bimini from the Miami Seaplane Base, located on Watson Island between downtown Miami and South Beach. The single aircraft airline currently flies a five-passenger Cessna 206 Amphibian.
The Big Game Club, which is located on the main navigation channel in Bimini Bay, currently features a 51-room resort and a 75-slip marina capable of accommodating boats up to 145 feet in length.
Guestrooms and suites have been fully renovated, as with the new Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, and completion of the Hemingway Lounge and Gulfstream conference center.
Location: Alice Town (North Bimini’s Southern Tip)
Marina Facilities: 75 Slips
Regular Rooms: 35
Penthouse Suites: 4
Cottage Rooms: 12
Restaurants: Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, Hemingway Lounge
Meeting Space: Gulfstream Conference Center
Other Activities: Outfitter Shop, Deep Sea Fishing, Flats Fishing, Diving, Snorkeling, Shopping, Sightseeing, Watersports, Sunset Cruises, Picnics
Image courtesy of John Bell