Bermuda’s Official Travel Resource

Shelly Bay Beach Concessions FAQ's

What is the Bermuda Tourism Authority Beach Economy Vision?

It is a plan with three objectives:

  • Enhance the beach experience for visitors and locals;

  • Provide opportunities to Bermudian entrepreneurs;

  • Create Bermudian jobs

The plan is focused on 12% of Bermuda’s beaches, because those five beaches are already cleared for vendor sales by the Parks Commission.

Since the spring of 2016, when the Beach Economy Vision was first completed, it has been a beacon of collaboration – winning the support of both political parties, of BEST, of civil servants and the overwhelming majority of the visitors and locals who contributed their viewpoints. More recently area MPs, Ministers of Government and the Parks Commission have given it the thumbs up.

Why is commercial activity planned for Shelly Bay?

The BTA’s Beach Economy Vision included exhaustive research with thousands of visitors and hundreds of locals. Overwhelmingly, respondents want better services at public beaches. That is why the beach economy is seen as an incredible opportunity for Bermudian entrepreneurs – they can earn money providing the services beach-goers want.

In the case of Shelly Bay, the model is to provide opportunity to several entrepreneurs simultaneously, different than the strategy where one person runs it all at a public beach.

What kinds of services would be available at Shelly Bay?

Applicants are being advised to tailor their services to families because that is the most popular group that uses the beach – the shallow water and playground make it one of Bermuda’s best beaches for children.

Some of the suggestions made by the BTA thus far include the sale of ice cream and snowballs. Inflatable toys for the shallow water and bicycles for the Railway Trail.

Who is applying to deliver services at Shelly Bay?

Currently there are four concessionaire applications under consideration:

  • Ashley’s Lemonade, a Bermuda brand that is the epitome of mom and pop entrepreneurialism;

  • Simple Café, a beachside deli-café idea from Hamilton Parish residents;

  • Smokin’ Barrel, a chicken and ribs food truck and;

  • Tarzan Boats, an adventurous water experience from a Hamilton Parish youth football and cricket coach that includes beach equipment rentals

How will the applicants be selected and when can the public learn more about their plans?

Our process is very consultative. After the submissions are in, there will be a public meeting at Shelly Bay on August 9th so the community can get a demonstration of what entrepreneurs are planning. Feedback from attendees will be gathered. That community feedback can then be used in decision-making about next steps. Decision-making also includes input from the Department of Parks and the Department of Land & Buildings.

Will I be able to picnic at Shelly Bay if concessions are added?

Yes. In fact, according to our survey of local residents, 75% enjoy picnicking at the beach. Of that amount 67% would like to be able buy deli food on the beach, 66% would like food carts, 44% would like sit-down restaurants, 34% would like food delivery and 3% would like fancy restaurants. Market research indicates picnicking and beach concessions can exist happily in harmony.

When will services be offered at Shelly Bay?

The timetable question is difficult to answer because consultation takes a long time to ensure all voices are heard. Additionally, there are government approvals to acquire. All organisations involved in the process are committed to keep the public informed. As dates clarify, they’ll be communicated publicly.

Will alcohol be served at the Shelly Bay Concessions?

Originally the Bermuda Tourism Authority proposal contemplated a beach bar as an appropriate consideration for Shelly Bay based on consumer research (what beach-goers said they wanted from their beach experience). However, the reaction against this from the immediately surrounding community was strong. In the true spirit of consultation, this sentiment was conveyed to all vendor applicants. Only one applicant put alcohol service into their proposal but has also said their operation can run successfully without alcohol if necessary. Based on these developments, via a consultative process, alcohol will not be served on the premises and vendors will be discouraged from seeking a liquor license as part of their concessions lease with the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

How can I be assured the natural beauty and family culture of Shelly Bay is not destroyed?

Destroying the natural beauty of the beach or its family culture is not an option. It would ruin the opportunity. Therefore, the plan for Shelly Bay is to use modular containers that are 100% non-permanent, temporary, removable. They provide sensible storage and can serve as an aesthetically pleasing storefront. This plan has received no objections from environmental lobby groups. 3

What happens with the containers if a hurricane is expected?

Part of the Planning process includes a detailed hurricane evacuation plan, which in certain circumstances of severe weather, will result in the containers getting evacuated from the Shelly Bay shoreline to a more secure location inland. The hurricane evacuation plan for Shelly Bay will be included

in the Ministry of Public Works hurricane response plan to ensure there is full integration with EMO planning.

Will my access at Shelly Bay be restricted?

No. This chart may help.