By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Bimini Bay Resort’s developers yesterday said close to $10 million has been invested to date in the high-end Rockwell Island real estate development, with significant process made on the first phase thus far.
Speaking on progress with the $250 million project, Leslie Bethel, chief, operating officer for RAV Bahamas, developers and owners of Bimini Bay Resort and Marina, told Tribune Business: “To date close to $10 million has been invested, including the infrastructure work that we had to do before we could even break ground.
“We broke ground in April on Rockwell Island, which is our beachfront estate homes. We have five homes under construction and we are almost to our second storey level on some of those homes. The first phase of construction on that project is going along fairly nicely. It’s a $250 million development through build out.”
Mr Bethel told Tribune Business that gross revenues upwards of $35 million were expected from the Bimini Bay resort offering and luxury boutique casino
“Upon stabilisation we envision our gross revenues would be upwards of about $35 million. Today we employ between 230 and 250 Bahamians, sometimes higher than that. We are envisioning that our total employment on the island will grow with the addition of the resort and casino to in excess of 350. Probably upon stabilisation in two or three years we may have upwards of 500 Bahamians employed between the resort, casino, the marina and some of our other business,” said Mr Bethel.
Last month, premier gaming company, Genting Malaysia Berhad, and RAV Bahamas unveiled a joint venture agreement to develop a 10,000 square foot luxury boutique casino at Bimini Bay, to be known as Resort Works Bimini Casino.
The $24 million casino will feature full-scale table games, slots and sports betting. “There’s a lot going on right now at Bimini Bay. We’re in the middle now of starting our construction so that we can open the casino, hopefully in the next five to six months. With just the casino alone we are looking to employ 130-150 persons upon full operation,” said Mr Bethel.