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Sarkis: Government Has Chosen Perilous Path

Sarkis Izmirlian

Sarkis Izmirlian

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

BAHA Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian said the Christie administration has chosen a “perilous path” with its petition to appoint liquidators to oversee the $3.5b property, stressing that his company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is the best option.

In a letter sent to Baha Mar employees on Friday, Mr Izmirlian stressed that the government’s proposed plan of liquidation would be costly and waste the resort’s assets. He stressed that he has been working for more than a decade to see Baha Mar come to fruition and will not quit.

He added that Baha Mar will “vigorously oppose” the legal attempt by one of its major hotel brands to terminate its contract with the stalled development.

Mr Izmirlian revealed that out-of-court negotiations with its Chinese counterparts have stalled as the major parties await a Supreme Court ruling on the government’s winding up petition, adding that it was this petition that drove Rosewood Hotels and Resorts International to seek to end the contract last week.

In his letter, Mr Izmirlian appealed for staff to “continue as usual” as the resort worked “tirelessly” to ensure a swift opening.

“Despite our efforts to reach a consensual resolution with the other private parties to date, discussions between us have now stalled due to the court hearings taking place over the last several days concerning the Bahamian government’s attempt to force upon Baha Mar a government-designated provisional liquidator to oversee Baha Mar’s assets,” the letter read.

“The dangers of what the government has unleashed on Baha Mar is reflected in the motion filed this past Thursday by Rosewood Hotels and Resorts in the US bankruptcy court seeking to terminate its contract with Baha Mar. In this filing, Rosewood clearly states that its decision is principally driven by what it perceives to be its vulnerabilities as a result of the Bahamian court’s actions. We will vigorously oppose this motion in the US court at the appropriate time,” Mr Izmirlian continued.

During a court hearing on Friday, Supreme Court Justice Ian Winder said he needed two weeks to come to a decision on whether to grant – or strike out – the government’s winding up petition for the appointment of provisional liquidators, which the government has said will speed up completion of the stalled Baha Mar development.

The adjournment of the matter to September 4 followed three full days of legal arguments from counsel for the government and the Cable Beach resort on the former’s attempt to wind up Baha Mar Ltd, Baha Mar Land Holdings Ltd, Baha Mar Properties Ltd, BMP3 (Wyndham Hotel) Ltd, BMP Golf Ltd, Cable Beach Resorts Ltd and Baha Mar Enterprises Ltd on the basis that is owed upwards of $59m by the various companies.

Amid this ongoing court action, Mr Izmirlian again stressed that the Chapter 11 path, which the government has opposed, is the best route for his development.

“As we have made clear,” the letter read, “we are highly confident that the Chapter 11 process now underway provides the most assured path for Baha Mar to be completed properly and opened successfully as soon as possible. In contrast, the liquidation of Baha Mar proposed by the government is a perilous path – one that could be highly costly, wasting the assets of Baha Mar to the significant disadvantage of its creditors, citizens and the longer term economic potential of the Bahamas. A liquidator is a liquidator, not a party that knows Baha Mar, knows how to manage the resort, or has an economic and personal stake in its successful opening.

“I want to reiterate that we, who are Baha Mar, are committed to doing all we can realistically do within the Chapter 11 process to resolve the issues that have impacted Baha Mar and prevented it from opening. We have been working for over a decade to create Baha Mar. We are almost there. We are not quitters.”

Baha Mar filed for bankruptcy protection in the US on June 29, however the Supreme Court has rejected the resort’s application for the matter to be recognised here.

Baha Mar is at odds with its general contractor, China Construction America (CCA) Bahamas, which it has blamed for numerous opening delays. However, CCA has placed the blame for the resort’s woes on Baha Mar executives, citing mismanagement as the reason the property is behind schedule.

Baha Mar was initially expected to open in December 2014.

Comments

realfreethinker 1 year, 8 months ago

Justice Winder has painted himself into a corner. he has no choice but to rule in the government's favor. He has already ruled that the US bankruptcy court ruling cannot stand in the Bahamas,so what other option is there for moving forward.

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jackbnimble 1 year, 8 months ago

They can appeal. Just Winder is a Supreme Court justice. The Court of Appeal is higher and Bahamar was given the right to appeal. If they don't win there, then there is the Privy Council (provided they are given the right by the Court of Appeal to appeal if the Court of Appeal does not go in their favor). The saga is not over.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 8 months ago

Painted himself into a corner?:) he ruled that the assets are here so a Bahamian court should decide. That seems like a very sensible judgement, whether you (general) agree with the outcome or not...

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TalRussell 1 year, 8 months ago

Comrades, is there any evidence prior to the public disclosures of financial problems, of correspondence addressing employees as, "Dear Baha Mar Citizens?"

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banker 1 year, 8 months ago

Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon addresses his employees as Amazonians. You should get out of the PLP headquarters more often.

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TalRussell 1 year, 8 months ago

Comrade Banker, I will take it you don't know the answer to my question. Thinking you still haven't seen that "dock?"

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banker 1 year, 8 months ago

What is your preoccupation with a dock? This is the nth time that I saw you talk about a dock. Nobody else is talking about a dock. The only dock that makes a difference to Baha Mar is the government docking the pay of the expats, driving all of the experts out of the project.

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TalRussell 1 year, 8 months ago

Comrade you are so 'dock' right - nor has anyone else once mentioned Carnival 2015's plans for designer outside toilets. Carnival 2015 was but 14 million dollars with Baha Mar's 2.5 billion dollars done spent so far, plus umpteen millions still owing to local suppliers. You're so right - tis only money.

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Sickened 1 year, 8 months ago

I pass that dock every weekend on my boat and it's no longer than Sandal's dock. It is a speck in the ocean. Move on with your life man/woman.

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Sickened 1 year, 8 months ago

Tal's huge dock... if you can see it.

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newcitizen 1 year, 8 months ago

Don't bother with her anymore. She's gone off the deepend and trying to make every comment she has, about the 'dock' or some other tangent. Her first comment here has nothing to do with the actual article. Just spouting off on one of her go to agendas.

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TalRussell 1 year, 8 months ago

Comrade "Citizen," maybe you did not take note The Tribune article is about a letter sent to Baha Mar "employees" on Friday.
Izmarlin's letter did not read, "Dear Baha Mar Employees" - now did it? Did I mention 'dock' anywhere in my original post?
Why not ask The Tribune reporter, why they intentionally took out context the "citizens" part.

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Required 1 year, 8 months ago

Yes, there is. November 2014: "Three-hundred and fifty students graduated from Baha Mar’s Leadership Development Institute (LDI) on Wednesday, with guaranteed job offers to become the newest citizens of the Baha Mar Nation." https://www.bahamar.com/media/press/350-graduate-baha-mars-leadership-development-institute-0

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Corey 1 year, 8 months ago

This case say to the Bahamian public wether the judiciary is truly independent of the political will of government. Which many citizens have been questioning for many years because of apparent rulings in other cases over recent history

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Sickened 1 year, 8 months ago

Get your computer guys to find out. Shouldn't be too hard for them.

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banker 1 year, 8 months ago

Why bother? Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? The sad fact is, that that the PLPissilites ran a retarded jackass as their leader, and both Tal & Birdie marked their X's for him. Same for the PLP cabinet, you shall know them by their fruits. And the PLP cabinet has plenty of fru... oh never mind. You get it if you're not PLP.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 1 year, 8 months ago

Over on this side of the Bahama Bank, trolls are paid by StinkSoros, SoreStinkos, StinkProgMess, and other 'progressive', i.e. Marxist criminal front groups to post disruptive, inane, vapid drivel to deflect from stated facts.

They get about five pennies a post, and if they're especially fatuous, soros throws in a few peanut shells - without the peanuts - for them to crunch on.

Given what's occurring in American markets, thanks to the chicoms lying about their not-so-booming Potemkin economy and the NYSLIMES going right along with the gag, scolding that we should all have a chicom-style controlled crony economy, this situation with Baha Mar has dire implications.

Sir Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has a detailed analysis today which basically points to the collective stupidity of so many in authority around the globe who bought the chicom lie that Controlled Market Leninism was the way to go, far preferable to straightforward Free Enterprise.

Now comes due the piper's bill, and it seems to be a stiff one.

I do hope I'm wrong about that because I hate it when I'm right.

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lkalikl 1 year, 8 months ago

TalRussell is a paid for PLP idiot, like birdiestrachan. They are probably paid with taxpayer money from the StrongerBahamas campaign too. Disgusting!

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Dumbfounded 1 year, 8 months ago

TalRussell, perhaps your time would be better spent creating a coffee table picture book.... "Docks of the Bahamas: A Photo Exposition"?

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christee 1 year, 8 months ago

"Dock"? Is this person trying to to abbreviate document?

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TalRussell 1 year, 8 months ago

In fairness to my dear friend Comrade Banker, who stepped forward as a regular Tribune blogger to claim that he drives by the Baha Mar 'dock,' in his boat every day and is willing to vouch for the extravagance of that Baha Mar 'dock,' being NO longer in length than the Sandals Resort 'dock' - here's the stunning photographic true evidence that proves Banker's evidence is tainted.
Now, Tribune readers can decide for they selves, how misleading of a witness is that Banker?

Photo Evidence Exhibit Sandal's Tiny Dock.

Video Evidence Exhibit Baha Mar 'dock' length. You has see the video proof for yourself.

.............//https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XalNMhfKe10

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banker 1 year, 8 months ago

You my dear, confuse me with someone else. I do not drive by with my boat. I did not make the comparison to Sandals. That was someone else. I know not who, but it is searchable with just a few minutes of looking through the comments.

I have no idea why you are fixated on this dock, but if I were the owner of a mega resort, with fancy restaurants, I would put in a very large dock, so that the high rollers could take the tenders from their luxury yachts and pull up for lunch at a fancy restaurant.

A couple of years ago, while visiting a rich client in Ocean Club Estates, he invited me aboard his tender, and we went to the Green Parrot at Hurricane Hole for a cheeseburger in Paradise with a beer.

It felt rather posh to come down the harbour in a boat, land at the marina and eat a meal.

Edit: The person who drives by the dock on their boat, is a user by the name of "Sickened". You will find that post a few up from here in the replies. I wish that I had a boat, but Auntie needs a wheelchair, cousin needs an education, and I am the only one in the family with a good job. Mama needs new glasses after getting swing from a local eye doctor an tings, and I can't afford a boat.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 8 months ago

More concerned with the shiny glass 41st century monstrosity CCA is building in HISTORIC Nassau. Who approved those plans?

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paul_vincent_zecchino 1 year, 5 months ago

It looks like many of the buildings you see in photos of communist china.

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