Baha Mar opens!
The big news in April in The Bahamas was the soft opening of the Baha Mar mega resort on cable Beach. The billion-dollar resort has been several years in the making and government officials, business leaders and members of the local and international press were on hand to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony on 21 April.
Speaking at the official opening, Prime Minister Perry Christie said: “For many, many, many Bahamians, it is more than a dream come true. It is the unfolding of a bold vision.”
The first-phase opening included the 1,800-room Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar hotel and the 200,000 sq ft convention centre, as well as a 95,000 sq ft casino and a 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Golf Course.
Over the ensuing months other facilities will join this initial offering, including the Rosewood and SLS hotel brands, a spa, racquet club, restaurants and retail outlets.
The knock-on effect for The Bahamas economy is predicted to be substantial, employing in the region of 5,000 and accounting for as much as 12 per cent of GDP by the time all the resort’s facilities are up and running.
“At full opening, Baha Mar is projected to generate an additional 315,000 air passenger seats annually, an increase of 19 per cent over our 2015 record of arrivals and signalling in the marketplace the revitalization of The Bahamas tourism brand,” Prime Minister Christie said.
“Baha Mar, therefore, is critical to the economic viability of our national economy,” he added. “It is expected to generate over $700 million in direct annual economic output and $1.1 billion in indirect and induced output and to contribute over $45 million in taxes annually, just from resort operations and national insurance contributions.”
Christie said that Baha Mar’s first-phase opening also ushers in a new era in the tourism industry as it will consolidate over 40 per cent of Nassau and Paradise Island’s total room inventory in the upscale and luxury product category, shifting the destination’s international lodging profile toward a more high-end, upscale market.
For more stories about the Baha Mar opening and other business and economic news visit thebahamasinvestor.com.
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