The Freeport Container Port, lying on the southwest shore of Grand Bahama Island, is a free trade zone about 160 kilometers northeast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Populated by 156 people in 1956, the town of Freeport grew rapidly after the colonial government authorized the Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited to build and operate a port there. In 2002, over 42 thousand people lived in Freeport, and the city hosted hundreds of thousands of tourists to its casinos, golf courses, beaches, and duty-free shops.
In 1955, the Bahamian government granted Virginia businessman Wallace Groves about 200 square kilometers of swamp and scrubland for development of the Freeport Container Port. As an incentive, the government agreed that businesses there will pay no taxes until 2054. The City of Freeport was established there, and it grew quickly to become the second most populous city in the Bahamas.
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