BY HG HELPS Editor-at-Large email@example.com Sunday, November 01, 2015
DIGICEL'S owner Denis O'Brien wants to see the popular Coronation Market in West Kingston develop as a tourist attraction and a facility which people can feel free to visit at night for merrymaking.
|Denis O'Brien and coronation market scene|
O'Brien, 57, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Friday, said that it is now time for the Jamaican Government and the private sector to work closely so that his dream may become a reality before long.
"We are interested in the Coronation Market in Tivoli (Gardens). We are looking to see the Coronation Market go to the next level, and I think it could be an even great tourist attraction," Irishman O'Brien said while on his latest visit to the island.
Digicel has led the way in spending over $100 million to turn the market into a modern facility, and O'Brien said that the telecoms company would be willing to be part of a collaborative effort to give the nationally famous location a more modern status.
"The vibrancy there, the commerce, the buying, the selling ... it's just such a high-energy place -- it should be a place where people could go down and have dinner at nights, where people could go and have drinks in a bar, where people go and meet friends, people drive down there for the weekend and feel safe," he said.
"It could be a mix of urban and rural coming together because the people are bustling into town to sell their products, and for me it's the next palace," O'Brien suggested.
Coronation Market has served as the centre of commerce for several generations of Jamaicans stretching well over 60 years when it was first used as a small space in which higglers would trade their produce. Although it has developed in size and commercial activity, the market has kept the stigma of being unsafe, as it is plagued by thieves who prey on shoppers and sellers. more