Why do the words Sweet Potato, Dasheen and Guava Jelly hold special meaning for EXIM Bank? These are three themed restaurants at the new Kool Runnings Water Park in Negril, partially financed by the Bank. Billed as the “Greatest Chill under the Sun”, Kool Runnings water Park features 10 water slides over five acres in one of Jamaica’s most popular resort towns.
Dr Garfield Munroe, the attraction’s Creative Director, says that since its soft launch in February 2007, the Park has been doing well. “Visitors are happy; it meets their expectations and provides good entertainment value.” Of course, good entertainment invariably means good food and, thanks to EXIM Bank financing, guests may indulge at any of the three restaurants, as well as at the Blendz juice bar.
Of the decision to approve financing, Charles Lewis, Chief Credit Officer at EXIM Bank says, ‘We had a natural interest in this project as we strongly believe that Jamaica needs more attractions to diversify its tourism product.”
When Dr Munroe (who is also the Development Consultant for the project) and his team approached the EXIM Bank, they were armed with a comprehensive business plan and had already made significant headway with the water park project. EXIM considered the team’s expertise during their assessment of the project and within four weeks of investigation and verification,disbursement was approved. The medium-term loan was granted under the Modernisation Fund Programme with a 12% interest rate.
EXIM’S strategic focus on being a customer-centric organization resulted in the timely release of funds. When the developers were faced with project delays, EXIM Bank put an accommodating hand forward, granting an extension to the moratorium period.
With a brand new attraction, happy guests and an affordable loan, Kool Runnings can be classified as a satisfied client. Of their dealings with the EXIM Bank, Garfield Munroe affirms, “We certainly had a smooth experience. They were responsive and came through within a short timeframe. They are better than big organisations. We really appreciate that.