Hurrah for the State of Emergency! —Michele Rollins

Future plans include expansion into greater solar power to provide energy to the various properties. “Solar would make sense to me, as we have the land for it,’ Rollins said. “Electricity is a big cost for us.

“Hurrah for the state of emergency in Montego Bay,” Rollins said in a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer at the United States Embassy in Liguanea, Kingston.

For those tourists who may be cautious about visiting the island due to the increased security presence, Rollins said “don’t be put off by it”.

She applauded Prime Minister Andrew Holness for the action, attributing his decision to take the action down to his youth.

“I applaud the prime minister for that and I attribute it to his youth,” she said.

Rollins, a former beauty pagent contestant who represented the US for the Miss World competiton, plans to continue developing Jamaica, following in the footsteps of her husband who made his first investment in Jamaica some 60 years ago.

John Rollins was a self-made millionaire from Delaware, having grown up on a farm in Georgia. He worked three jobs to raise the money for his first business, a Ford car dealership, then bought a radio station. In 1964 he and his brother, Wayne, organised the world’s first leveraged buyout, the takeover of the Orkin Exterminating Company. In all, he brought nine companies to the New York Stock Exchange.

“John Rollins fell in love with Jamaica when he came on vacation. He wanted to create 10,000 jobs — and he hs surpassed that,” Rollins told the Business Observer.

She said the Jamaican people were one of Jamaica’s greatest assets, “the people are the core”, and encouraged tourists to meet the people. It was important, she said, “to get people out of the hotels.”

One of the attractions where they can do just that is the world-famous Rose Hall Great House, a restored, 18th-century architectural masterpiece, where the haunted house tour at night “is as scary as hell’ Rollins said. Tour ideas are being further developed, with a rum-tasting tour coming up.

But the Rollins land in the Rose Hall area is also home to some 2500 hotel rooms at various luxury resorts, including the Hyatt, Jewels, Half Moon, Iberostar and Hilton, and the Montego Bay Convention Centre. upmarket shopping malls and three golf courses designed by Rick Baril, Robert von Hagge and Robert Trent Jones Sr also exist.

Future plans include expansion into greater solar power to provide energy to the various properties.

“Solar would make sense to me, as we have the land for it,’ Rollins said. “Electricity is a big cost for us.

“The two things that are vital are education and employment”, Rollins said. Her company is also involved in education, as it has provided land for a new private school which is being developed in the area.

Another area of development is affordable housing for people working in the tourist sector, Rollins said.

Rose Hall Developments Ltd has a team of more than two hundred Jamaicans, according to its website, who help to operate the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, White Witch Golf Course, Rose Hall Great House, Cinnamon Hill Great House — home of country music legend Jonny Cash”, Rose Hall Weddings & Events, and the Rose Hall Plant Nursery. The company also provides water utility services to hotels and homes alike and continuously promotes the area for further development to fulfil the original John Rollins dream.

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