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Cannes Officials Are Up in an Uproar Over a ‘Party Island’ Being Built off a Nearby Coast

Canua Island is a floating beach club hoping to open doors this spring.

Coast of Cannes, France Mandoga Media/picture alliance via Getty Images

The French Riviera hot-spot of Cannes has long attracted crowds to its luxurious beaches and swanky hotels—and a new “party island” is hoping to make the most of that high-end clientele with an off-shore destination for vacationers in search of a good time. City officials, however, aren’t so sure it’s a good fit, and they’re doing everything in their power to block it.

Developers are hoping to open Canua Island, a 135-foot by 102-foot floating restaurant, cocktail bar, and beach club destination, in spring of 2023, according to its website. But the Cannes city council just this week voted unanimously against the project going forward. Despite being marketed as a multi-purpose events space and “beach club,” the platform has been described as an alleged source of water, noise, air, and visual pollution, as well as a safety risk to the busy sea lanes in the area, per The Times.

The island plans to offer a freshwater pool surrounded by daybeds, art and music offerings, various water sports, and VIP suites with private terraces, from which “you can watch the sun rise between the reddish rocks of the Esterel, Cap d’Antibes and the Lérins Islands.” The island refers to itself as a “genuine lifestyle oasis” and can hold up to 400 people, who can be privately ferried to and from their destinations. Three onboard motors would allow the island to move locations at will.

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard recently wrote a letter to French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in an attempt to block these plans from going further, requesting that she either stop the development or help introduce regulation for it. Because Canua Island is a unique new type of entity, it’s unclear whether it would be subject to the same fees applicable to Cannes’s other private beaches, restaurants, and clubs. It would be exempt from the intervention of local police forces, since it’s outside their domain.

With the timeline that Canua Island has in mind, Borne will have to respond quickly to stop the party locale’s determined march toward opening.

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