Bahamian, Philip Simon, Tapped To Spearhead Royal Caribbean’s Growth In The Bahamas

Royal Caribbean International’s first Royal Beach Club destination experience is moving forward with approval from The Bahamas (Image at - June 2023)Royal Caribbean International has announced that longtime Bahamian business and land development executive Philip Simon will lead its next chapter of growth and partnership with The Bahamas.

Philip Simon begins his new role as president of the Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island and general manager of Royal Caribbean International Bahamas on July 1, in which he will oversee every aspect of the proposed beach club and be the local chief executive collaborating with the government of The Bahamas, regulatory agencies, businesses and fellow residents to ensure Bahamian expertise and influence are cornerstones of the beach club.

“Welcoming a leader who is as well-respected and accomplished in The Bahamas as Philip Simon is the start of an exciting chapter,” said Jay Schneider, Chief Product Innovation Officer, Royal Caribbean International.

“With a project as significant as the Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island that will introduce a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, we are committed to maximizing Bahamian participation and building a development that will set new standards in environmental design and operation in The Bahamas. Philip, a resident and native of The Bahamas, has the experience and reputation to ensure that.”

With Simon as president and general manager, Bahamian influence in Royal Caribbean’s operations within The Bahamas begins at the top of the organization. He will lead executive staff and a team based in Nassau and oversee everything from the responsible development of the beach club to the recruitment of local Bahamians and businesses for its construction and eventual operation.

A key part of this role will be collaborating with Royal Caribbean’s equity partner to bring a new public-private partnership to life, which invites Bahamians to own up to 49% equity in the beach club. Simon will also drive the cruise line’s efforts in supporting the development of partners, businesses and entrepreneurs to maximize the local sector’s opportunities to operate the beach experience.

“I am excited to represent both Royal Caribbean International and the country in what will be a very unique opportunity for all sides, with the new beach club and the tremendous potential for extended growth and partnership for years to come,” Simon said.

A leader with extensive experience in managing projects of varying scales in The Bahamas, Simon has a 20-year track record of responsible development and management. He was most recently managing partner at PMR Bahamas Realty Ltd. (Torch Cay), overseeing the company’s business in The Bahamas, and president of The New Providence Development Company Ltd. before that. Simon’s background also includes serving as a voice and key supporter of local businesses during his time as CEO of The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce from 2002-2010, where he managed its daily affairs with a special emphasis on trade and business development.

The new Royal Caribbean executive holds a degree in physics and mathematics from The College of The Bahamas and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas Tech University, cum laude. He also has a master’s degree in business administration with concentrations in entrepreneurship and finance from the University of Maryland.

Simon has served on the boards of Bahamas Ferries, the Bahamas Venture Capital Fund, The Regional Management Consultancy Task Force, Civil Society Advisory Group, The Bahamas National Pride Association and The Bahamas Trade Commission. He is also the former chairman of the Self-Starter Youth Entrepreneurial Grant Program, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Old Fort Bay and a former membership officer of YPO Bahamas. He is the current chairman of Junior Achievement Bahamas and deputy chair of The Bahamas Primary School Student of The Year Foundation.

The Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island is a proposed 17-acre beach experience coming to the western end of Paradise Island in Nassau, The Bahamas.

It will combine the island’s striking beaches with Royal Caribbean International’s signature experiences to create the ultimate beach day. Crafted in close collaboration with the Bahamian government, The Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island will feature a unique public-private partnership in which Bahamians will be invited to own up to 49% equity. Local businesses and entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to manage the vast majority of the experience. Overall, the new venture will generate hundreds of jobs across its construction and long-term operation.

The beach club will be made up of 13 acres of land owned by the cruise line and 4 acres of Crown Land. The Crown Land will be contributed as equity in the new venture to ensure a share of the profits return to the government and the Bahamian people in a first-of-its-kind agreement in The Bahamas. This, in addition to a new tourism levy, will go into reinvesting in the local community. The collaboration between the government, the community and Royal Caribbean will continue as the development moves through the stages of planning and completion.

More details about Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island, set to open in 2025, will be revealed in the coming months.