By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAHA MAR officials yesterday stressed that the billion dollar mega-resort will open on March 27 as previously announced, despite speculation that construction will not be completed in time.
In a joint press statement from the Office of the Prime Minister and Baha Mar, officials refuted statements in The Nassau Guardian, attributed to Prime Minister Perry Christie, that the resort will not open until June 1.
Mr Christie reportedly told the newspaper that construction is not expected to be completed until “March 27, 28 or 29”.
“As previously reported, Baha Mar will open on March 27, 2015,” the joint statement said. “In (yesterday’s) Nassau Guardian, Prime Minister Perry Christie made reference to China Construction completing their construction work by March 27 and with respect to employment ultimately ‘having people ready by June 1’.
“The June date refers to the grand opening celebrations which will take place this spring and not to the opening date of March 27, 2015. An exact date of those celebrations will be announced within the coming weeks,” the release said.
“Prime Minister Christie and the Chairman of Baha Mar, Sarkis Izmirlian, jointly met with officials from China Construction of America (CCA) and the Export-Import Bank in Beijing in January. In that meeting, they received the necessary assurances that the resort will be ready for guests on March 27.”
Last month, it was announced that the Baha Mar Casino & Hotel, the Rosewood at Baha Mar, and SLS Lux at Baha Mar will start hosting “paid guests” on March 27. A statement from the property said the Grand Hyatt would open “shortly thereafter”.
This came more than six months after Baha Mar officials announced that its grand opening would be delayed to “late Spring 2015” instead of the original December 2014 timeline.
Last August, officials at the $3.5 billion mega resort in Cable Beach said the property would open in stages from December onwards.
Speaking about Baha Mar’s new opening date, Baha Mar’s President Tom Dunlap said: “A dream starts great endeavours, but it is only a beginning. Baha Mar’s vision will truly come to life once the first guests sleep in our hotels, dine at our restaurants, snorkel at our reef, lounge at our Cabana Club, play at our casino, dance in our clubs until dawn—and experience the true soul of the Bahamas with impeccable service and joyful hospitality. This dream has been years in the making, and on March 27, 2015, it will finally become a reality.”
Baha Mar officials had originally maintained that the resort would be opened fully last December, rather than in stages.