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Baha Mar development picks up pace

Mega-resort operator is in the process of demolishing existing hotels to make way for luxury brand accommodation, while an announcement on its casino brand is imminent, according to a resort official. 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The largest single-phase resort development in the history of the Caribbean, Baha Mar, is getting set to reveal the brand behind its new casino, according to Robert “Sandy” Sands, senior vice president of government and external affairs for Baha Mar Ltd.


“We will announce very shortly our casino partner,” Sands foreshadowed at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism’s Association’s Caribbean Marketplace conference on Tuesday.

Once completed the 100,000 sq ft casino will be the largest in the Caribbean. It will also double as a hotel with 1,000 rooms.

The $3.5-billion Baha Mar project is expected to create close to 12,000 new jobs, with a corresponding economic contribution of more than $305 million in annual wages.

The 1,000-acre resort, gaming and entertainment complex slated to open some time in the last quarter of 2014 will boast some of the world’s most famous hotel brands, including Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Morgans Hotel Group (Mondrian Hotels) and Hyatt Hotel and Resorts.

The four hotels will bring on stream more than 2,200 new rooms. Within the hotels, Baha Mar plans to develop 300 exclusive residential condominiums and villas available for private ownership.

“To make way for this we are in the process of demolishing the Nassau Beach Hotel, which is a 400-room hotel,” said Sands. “We will be demolishing fairly soon the 350 rooms of our existing Wyndham Nassau Resort Hotel. So instead of being an 850-room hotel, we will go down to 550 rooms.”

Baha Mar will, however, continue to operate the Sheraton Beach Hotel as a 700-room hotel, having invested $150 million in capital over the last three years.

The new resort development will also feature 200,000 sq ft of convention space, which can double as an entertainment and sports venue. Other amenities will include a 50,000 sq ft retail village, an eco water park, three spas and a 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course.

“The delay of the start of Baha Mar has been somewhat of a blessing in that we believe by the time we open the world will begin to see an upturn in its economic conditions and things will be totally different,” continued Sands.

tblair@dupuch.com

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has released its communique on the seventh meeting of the Forum on Tax Administration, which concluded last week. Delegates at the summit renewed their commitment to strengthening tax compliance through cooperation.

Despite uncertainty about the future, Atlantis is expecting an increase in business year on year, with advanced bookings up on last year. The Bahamas resort says it will push ahead with development plans.

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