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Government signs agreement with Baha Mar operator

The government has released a statement regarding a Heads of Agreement between the government and the operator of the Baha Mar megaresort CTFE. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Here follows a statement by the government of The Bahamas on the signing of a Heads of Agreement between the government and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (CTFE):

The Government of The Bahamas announces the signing of a Heads of Agreement (attached hereto) between the Government of The Bahamas and CTFE, an 88 year old, family-owned, international business enterprise with significant assets inclusive of the Rosewood Hotel Group, which it owns, and other landmark hotels that it operates in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world. It operates over 60 hotels worldwide and gaming investments and operations in Australia and other developments around the world.

Phase one of Baha Mar, now open and operating, comprises the first Grand Hyatt hotel and Convention Centre in the Region – being 1800-room hotels and a 200,000 square feet Convention Centre.

The 95,000 square foot, world class casino, is the largest in the region, outside of Las Vegas. The 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Golf Course is a joint venture between the Government and CTFE, which provides for collaboration with the Golf Federation and access for Bahamians. Other magnificent amenities, are also a part of Phase 1.

Over the ensuing months other elegant brands and facilities, will be opened and completed, including the renowned brands of Rosewood and SLS, a luxurious spa, racquet club, restaurants, entertainment and attractive shops set in 60,000 square feet of retail space.

Presently there are 1,600 Bahamians employed at Baha Mar. Many have been engaged through the National Training Agency. These employment numbers will increase incrementally to 5500 direct jobs when all the hotels are open in the coming months. The multiplier effect will see the creation of an even greater number of indirect jobs within the Bahamian economy. Bahamian entrepreneurs are already providing goods and services to the resort and its guests and this category will grow over the ensuing days and months.

The Ministry of Tourism is excited about a new era in our tourism industry as with Baha Mar’s international brands like Grand Hyatt, 40% of the Nassau and Paradise Island’s total room inventory, is now in the upscale and luxury product category, moving The Bahamas toward a more high-end, upscale market.

The Ministry continues to negotiate increasing airlift and direct flights from many U.S. and other destinations. At Phase 2 opening Baha Mar is projected to generate an additional 315,000 air passenger seats annually, an increase of 19% over our 2015 record of arrivals and signalling in the marketplace the revitalization of the Bahamas tourism brand.

Baha Mar 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.

The usual concessions in ventures of this nature have been granted to CTFE. These include exemptions under the HEA, joint marketing contributions, exemption from VAT on intergroup transfers and refinancing arrangements.

The three steps assiduously pursued by the Government since the closing of Baha Mar by the previous developer are now complete. The 3 steps were:

  1. ensuring immediate remobilization and resumption of construction, based on committed funding sufficient to complete construction and to open all parts of the Project (over $700 Million);
  2. the opening of the Casino, Casino Hotel, Convention Centre, Convention Hotel and Golf Course prior to the end of the 2016-2017 winter season; and,
  3. settlement and/or payment of all valid claims of contractors and subcontractors, suppliers and employees and other Baha Mar and CCA creditors (an ex gratia payment of $101.5 Million).

Bahamas is hosting major sporting events this month including the IAAF Relays and the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup boosting tourism and showcasing the country to a worldwide audience. Watch a video about the events here.

A private golf course estate and a one-acre developable lot located within The Abaco Club on Winding Bay will sell separately at auction next month through Concierge Auctions.

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