Tracy Barry: Landing owner sees tourism change
When your mom is the first ever Miss Bahamas (1961), your success bar may seem to be set high. But Tracy Barry is also living a dream. She speaks five languages, has lived on four continents, and is raising four delightful children–all while running Briland’s most historic hotel.
Twenty years ago, Tracy bought a 200-year-old estate at the foot of Government dock. Originally the home of a plantation owner, the colonial-style building served as Customs House and then a private club. It was built when Harbour Island was a ship building center, and it shows off some of their construction techniques; architects today marvel at its long expanses of beams in its ceilings and broad verandahs. With the help of supermodel India Hicks, Tracy transformed it into The Landing, the charming 12-room boutique hotel beloved for its classic plantation style rooms and understated Caribbean decor.
Tracy also helped found the Dunmore School, a private school that provides scholarships for local kids and sometimes attracts vacationers who want to volunteer.
Tracy has seen shifts in tourism since her childhood years when she and her sisters vacationed on Harbour Island from their home in Nassau. Back then, she says, coming to Briland was a life style choice: winter residents stayed the whole season in houses selected to suit the needs of multiple generations. Dining out was colonial style, with dinner at a set time; and the menu was lobster or steak.
Nowadays, she notes, vacationers may come alone, enjoy shorter stays, and if they buy a house, it’s an investment. Likewise with dining. Successful people come here from all over the world, and they want fine dining at any time. Tracy helped usher in changes like these to Harbour Island’s hotels. She has transformed The Landing into a gracious, historic inn with modern comforts and amenities….. and a world-class wine list.
Tracy has lived all over the world and still travels to New York a few times a year, but as she says, “Now the world comes here. I love this place. It’s beautiful and safe. You can walk the beach in the middle of the night. I can be open in my heart, in my soul.”