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Roberts: Baha Mar Resort Will Still Open Before End Of Year

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts yesterday forecast that the stalled $3.5bn Baha Mar resort will still open before the end of the year despite the possibility of provisional liquidators being appointed at the property.

For this reason, Mr Roberts said he was confident that the controversy about the resort would not be a factor in the 2017 general election.

He underscored that Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian had just hours left to accept the financing deal brokered in talks between the Export Import Bank of China and China Construction America (CCA), or face the consequences. The bank is the project’s main financier and CCA is the resort’s general contractor.

“I think the hotel is going to open by the end of this year,” Mr Roberts said. “Izmirlian has between now (Tuesday) and (today) to accept the deal that was put on the table. Failing that, then the liquidators will come in.”

When asked whether liquidation would further stall the resort’s twice-delayed opening, Mr Roberts said: “Who says so? That ain’t got nothing to with that, that is what the liquidators are for.”

The government’s winding up petition against the resort to have provisional liquidators appointed is expected to be heard in the Supreme Court today. The petition was filed by Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson after talks to negotiate a way forward between stakeholders in China failed.

Baha Mar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a US court on June 29, blaming CCA Bahamas for its multiple opening delays.

Edison Sumner, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s (BCCEC) chief executive, has warned that the project will not open in time to catch the peak winter 2015 tourism season if it is placed under the control of provisional liquidators.

Mr Sumner told Tribune Business that three to four months was simply not enough time for the provisional liquidators – if appointed – to “go through the rubble” and organise the property’s construction completion.

However, the government has insisted that the decision to enter a winding-up petition was in the best interests of the country.

Officials have said Baha Mar is 97 per cent complete.

Comments

Wideawake 5 years, 1 month ago

How does Chairman Roberts know how today's Supreme Court hearing will play out? What about the appeal process? How can the court appointed liquidators, with no knowledge of the construction industry, or of resort development, possibly complete this enormous and complex project in only 3 months???

Why does Roberts think that the hotel operators and other participants would continue their involvement in the project if Mr. Izmirlian is " pushed out"???

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Baha10 5 years, 1 month ago

The only way "Baha Mar" opens-up any time soon, let alone this Year is if a Hurricane blows a hole in it!

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Honestman 5 years, 1 month ago

Why does the Tribune quote the delusional utterings of this man?

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Wideawake 5 years, 1 month ago

To sell newspapers! But also because he is a power broker in the PLP and when he speaks his nonsense many PLP supporters believe every word he says and wholeheartedly agree with him!!

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CommonSense 5 years, 1 month ago

Bradley Roberts is an idiot. Every time he speaks he proves it over and over again. Liquidators CAN NOT open the resort no matter what he thinks and the liquidation process itself won't be finished by the end of the year much less anything else.

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Sickened 5 years, 1 month ago

Why does this guy exist? He is such a waste of space.

Didn't the PM just say the other day that the PLP would not speak of Baha Mar anymore?

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TruePeople 5 years, 1 month ago

Lol bey. You ein see yet dat all they do is lie aye? Bey sey dey ein guh talk bout it, then dey gone an talk bout it. Sey it guh open, umteen times, it ein open, sey it ein conflict of interest, time it is conflict of interest.

Bey i ein even believe them when they is sey dey is Bahamian. Bey all a dem is juss liard.

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proudloudandfnm 5 years, 1 month ago

Brad's talking out of his butt again.....

Brad is a moron.....

Perry is a moron....

Allyson is a moron......

Shane is a moron....

Obie is a moron......

Davies is a moron.....

We are being governed by morons....

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Wideawake 5 years, 1 month ago

You mean a Moronocracy is running this country! That explains so much...........

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Abaconian 5 years, 1 month ago

Does Roberts really think that completing the project is as simple as he is making it out to be ? Or is he just talking pure nonsense to calm the spirits of concerned Bahamians? I truly believe Roberts leaves his brain at home when he goes to work in the morning.

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TalRussell 5 years, 1 month ago

Comrade Bloggers, from sounds it you're all united against PM Christie moving ahead to launch the opening of Bah Mar, although I think the whole Bah Mar deal should be stopped dead in its Izmarlin tracks, not permanently but to reset its tourism focus as individually owned hotels. Most of us know this was a bad Mega Resorts & Casino projects, were a bad idea to begin with - even Papa Hubert warned it was - yet approved it, so why not slow the decision process down take advantage to make it right? Open it as Izmarlin sees it and it will be forever plagued by financial problems - always running back taxpayers bail them out. The nation cannot afford foot the bills, for Izmarlin's fantasy dream, his 'dock' and all.

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Abaconian 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes Russell, Bahamar was a bad idea from the get go. The reality now is that there is no other option except to try and open the project in good faith and in a timely fashion. I think most people can agree with that. However, the deplorable manner in which the PLP has dealt with this whole controversy, including the revelations that certain members of the party have conflicting interests with the resort, has cast a dark shadow on the whole thing. Of course Perry Christie doesn't want the PLP to talk about Bahamar anymore. The more the PLP talk about Bahamar, the more Bahamians find out just how much him and his party are screwing up. They are all over the place. When you've got members of the same party speaking with different voices, the best thing the PLP can do, in Perry's opinion, is to say nothing at all. You call that good governance?

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TalRussell 5 years, 1 month ago

Comrade Abacoian, I think we both bring worthy of discussion points to Baha Mar. The reality is Baha Mar is a total mess and it has be stopped and reshaped. Even pumping-in more hundreds millions dollars will not make this doomed for financial failure project a success. There are serious "construction and saftey quality deficiencies" of which are NOT being addressed. The government seems too unwilling to address their seriousness. Doubtful there are still tourism brokers anywhere in the big markets who are willing to trust much promised by about Baha Mar. The trade name Baha Mar, wouldn't fetch $10 on the resale market.

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My2cents 5 years, 1 month ago

Whether BahaMar was a bad idea or not, is irrelevant. Many bad ideas (per box thinkers), became extremely successful ventures because a visionary saw it from concept to completion.

Quality concerns have to be addressed and rectified, and the forced CCA partnership severed, in light of recent revelations regardless of owner. So what would reshaping and rebranding accomplish that BahaMar cannot?

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Bahamian_in_London 5 years, 1 month ago

These people are so unbelievably naive.

When you liquidate a business and sell the assets, you render all existing contracts void. All of the currently signed up hotel operators will need to renegotiate terms from scratch with Baha Mar's new owners. So even if the property is completed, there will be no one operating it - unless the Chinese decide to operate all of the hotels and casino themselves.

And which US companies are going to make major commitments to the Bahamas after the way Sarkis has been treated by the Government.

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MonkeeDoo 5 years, 1 month ago

Roberts is a relic of the worst of the PLP. Time to join Bismark and them others in Miami. Baltron could go too. These were the original PLP bag men and they are still with us. The Brewery overpaid Tiger just to get rid of his sorry arse. Now he has bankrupted City Market. These guys made money over and under and around the table but they ain't got nothin left. Easy come, easy go I guess.

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Tarzan 5 years, 1 month ago

This kind of totally nonsensical announcement suggests just how clueless the government operatives are in this circumstance. The "liquidator" has no competence to run a multi-billion dollar casino/resort enterprise. The experts that were hired to run it have been sent off island, something that would not have happened in a Chapter 11 workout.

This project has been set back so far at this juncture, that absent a deal being struck imminently, this complex will not open for more than a year, even if someone competent can be found to come in and run it. The Chinese construction company and/or bank surely do not possess that capability. It will have to be one of the three or four worldwide, recognized, casino resort expert developers. Why would any one of them want to step into this mess.

U.S. Chapter 11 was the only hope for the workers and the Bahamian economy, and it has been impetuously tossed aside.

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Wideawake 5 years, 1 month ago

Total mess up by Bahamas government!! Amateur Hour while The World watches!!

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MonkeeDoo 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes Tarzan. Tossed aside because there is so much dirt and filth that will be revealed, beyond what we already know about. Perhaps some jail time for some too. Certainly blacklisting a number of persons.

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