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A view of Paradise Island from above. This image shows the new development of Atlantis which is in the center of the island.
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Paradise Island is an island in the Bahamas formerly known as Hog Island. The island, with an area of 277 hectares (685 acres) (2.8 km2/1.1 sq mi), is located just off the shore of the city of Nassau, which is itself located on the northern edge of the island of New Providence. It is best known for the sprawling resort Atlantis with its extensive water park rides, pools, beach, restaurants, walk-in aquarium and casinos.
Paradise Island is connected to the island of New Providence by two bridges that cross Nassau Harbour. The first was built in 1966 by Resorts International, and the second in the late 1990s.
A small airstrip existed on the island before 1999 to serve the resort. Prior to 1989 the airport was a seaplane base with a ramp for aircraft to leave the water. In 1989 a 910-metre (3,000 ft) runway was added to the airport. Both Paradise Island Airlines and Chalk's International Airlines were the main tenants of the airport.
The STOL capable de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprop operated by Paradise Island Airlines as well the Grumman G-73 Mallard amphibian aircraft flown by Chalk's International Airlines both served the airstrip which closed in 1999. The airfield and runway have since been removed and replaced with an 18-hole luxury golf course surrounded by one of the wealthiest neighborhoods on the island. The area goes by the name "Ocean Club" with property prices as high as 40+ million dollars.
Huntington Hartford, the A&P supermarket heir, arrived on Hog Island in 1959. Hartford bought Hog Island from Axel Wenner-Gren and changed the name to Paradise Island. He hired the Palm Beach architect John Volk and built the Ocean Club, Cafe Martinique, Hurricane Hole, the Golf Course, among other island landmarks. He also acquired and installed the Cloisters, a 14th-century French Augustinian monastery originally purchased in Montréjeauand dismantled by William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s. He hired Gary Player to be the golf pro and Pancho Gonzales to be the tennis pro. His opening of Paradise Island in 1962 was covered in Newsweek and Time magazines. He hired the staff from Eden Roc at Hotel Du Cap to work off season at the Ocean Club. He had the fireworks for the opening party flown in from the South of France. He had a flag and Paradise Beach was featured on a Bahamian three-dollar notes in 1966 (introduced as a close equivalent to the Bahamian Pound, which was replaced at the rate of $1 = £7, so $3 = £21).
Huntington Hartford met James M. Crosby (1927–1986) through Huntington's bodyguard Sy Alter. Sy Alter met Jim Crosby at the Colony Club in Palm Beach. Huntington Hartford obtained the gambling license for Paradise Island and included Jim Crosby as an extra investor. Jim Crosby and Jack Davis then formed a company, Resorts International, to continue developing Paradise Island. [ citation needed ] The two continued to develop Paradise Island. They built the bridge to Nassau and the first large-scale resorts.Recognizing the business potential of the Bahamas, they were the first to establish major resort development, and often offered above-average salaries to Bahamanian employees.
Paradise Island was purchased in the 1980s for $79 million, then sold to Merv Griffin for $400 million. It was last sold for $125 million to the current owner, Sol Kerzner. The current estimated value of the island is about US$2 billion.[ citation needed ]
|Climate data for Paradise Island|
|Average high °C (°F)||25|
|Average low °C (°F)||17|
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||39|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||217||232||248||270||279||248||278||279||210||217||210||217||2,905|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Paradise Island .|