“It doesn’t seem to be a concern of anybody but my feeling is if tourism is very important for Guam then we need to really consider making them welcome.” – Jonathan Watson
Guam – Businesses say that the poor condition of a road called the Marina Drive is bad for tourism. Marina Drive leads to about a dozen businesses along the Apra harbor.
“Well a lot of us use this road down here and a lot of tourist businesses bring their customers down this road and the road is in pretty bad condition and progressively getting worse as time goes on,” said Jonathan Watson. Watson is one of about a dozen private citizens who owns a boat along Marine Drive which runs along the Apra harbor. There are also nearly a dozen or so boat related tourism businesses that operate along this road.
“It doesn’t seem to be a concern of anybody but my feeling is if tourism is very important for Guam then we need to really consider making them welcome,” said Watson.
Businesses here offer things like dolphin watching, SCUBA diving, and fishing charters. The Atlantis submarine is also launched from here.
Devin Dydasco is a boat captain for one of the businesses down here. He says the condition of the road keeps some tourists and even some tour agencies away.
“Some actually don’t even wanna come down because they already know it will be a risk to their vehicles. And you know like not just tires but also repair to everything else because the ditches are so deep that even some of the engines will hit down so hard that you will see streaks of oil. You know, like the oil pan is all banged up and everything and leaking oil. So, like some people don’t even want to risk that,” said Dydasco adding, “A lot of times a lot of the tourists ask if there is any other place they can park but you know since we are a scuba diving company that comes with their gear and their gear is actually very heavy. So, it would take like maybe a good ten-minute walk from like out there to come in here. But then when they bring in their own car they always complain, like man you know if you guys told us ahead of time that the road was this bad we probably wouldn’t have come in here and that’s what really hurts us like man, that’s something we have no control of.”
According to Port Authority of Guam GM Joanne Brown the road itself actually belongs to the Guam Power Authority.
“Well, I’ve been coming down here for over 30 years the road has now reached the point where it’s severe you know and it really needs attention. Definitely,” said Watson.
“If they can fix the road like pave the road, aww man that would be great. You know, I’m willing to help out too myself. You know, because I bring my car in here and you know my car is only two years old and I’ve bought about five tires and it’s really affecting me as well. Tires aren’t cheap man,” said Dydasco.
PNC reached out to GPA and they issued the following response from G.M. John Benavente:
“The authority is the sole property owner of lot no. 26 and the access road. The access road is utilized for the maintenance of the fuel oil storage tanks and pipeline. The access road was not intended for public use. Over the years, it has become the main route to reach property managed by the Port Authority. Businesses present at these locations are Port Authority tenants. Traffic over the years from these businesses have contributed to the present condition of the access road. As the location of these businesses contribute a public benefit, the Authority will meet with Port Authority management to discuss what solutions can be agreed to ensure accessibility to the Port’s tenants and public safety.