By Davion Smith, BVI News Journalist
World-renowned tourism hotspot Bomba Shack, which was levelled by the hurricane, is in danger of not being rebuilt because of an ongoing feud between owner Wellington ‘Bomba’ Smith and proprietors of the land where the shack was located.
The near five-decade-old shack was based in Capoons Bay on land owned by Leroy Smith who is Bomba’s relative.
The landowner has ordered Bomba to ‘refrain from doing any additional construction on the property’.
“It comes as a real surprise to me because I have my bar there over 45, 46 years now,” said Bomba, who was readying to rebuild the prized business.
“I ask him what’s the reason [I mustn’t rebuild] and he tell me he have a solution for that spot. So, I tell him whatever he put there it gotta be Bomba Shack because I’ve been there over 45 years now.”
Bomba Shack is a relatively tiny and unsophisticated wooden bar known for its full moon parties and, perhaps, even more importantly, its awe-inspiring ability to attract tourists.
According to Bomba, the landowner wants the shack relocated.
But Bomba said the shack’s current Surfside location is part of the reason the business has been successful.
“It has been a tourist attraction and it’s a surfers attraction. All the local surfers on Tortola learn to surf right where the shack is and we got the best surfing break right opposite where the bar is. So, it’s very important to me to have the bar there,” the 75-year-old businessman explained.
“If he move the Bomba Shack from where it is it will be a big loss for the BVI because it’s a number-one tourist attraction. If you go on the internet, Facebook, or any one of them electronic stations you’ll see the Bomba Shack… I don’t know where this someplace else is but I ain’t prepared to move,” the noticeably upset Bomba added.
News that Bomba was being forced off the property has not sat well with other residents.
“Everybody say this guy gotta be crazy and he’s my own family. They don’t know why he wanna move me. What’s his reason for putting something there?” a puzzled Bomba questioned; adding that he is prepared to legally fight to keep the spot.
Meanwhile, the landowner, who has opted to steer clear of the media spotlight, said the matter is now in the hands of lawyers.
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