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Baha Mar to open in April as sale is completed

Prime Minister Perry Christie pictured during a recent tour of the Baha Mar property. 

Prime Minister Perry Christie pictured during a recent tour of the Baha Mar property. 

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Perry Christie announced the official sale yesterday of Baha Mar to CTF BM Holdings, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong conglomerate, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd.

Mr Christie said Baha Mar is set for a phased opening beginning in April 2017 and a full completion by the fall of next year.

“In the forthcoming months, imminent economic opportunities will be realised in more and more homes throughout The Bahamas,” he said. “Baha Mar will create an estimated 5,500 to 7,000 jobs for Bahamians.”

Mr Christie did not disclose the sale price of Baha Mar, adding that details of the deal are still sealed by the Supreme Court at the request of the Export-Import Bank of China.

The heads of agreement between the government and CTF Holdings, however, will be tabled in Parliament once negotiations are complete, he said.

Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe later told The Tribune that the agreement will be tabled before the end of the year.

“I can disclose that the construction concessions provided to CCA (China Construction America) by my government are identical to those provided by the former administration,” Mr Christie told the House of Assembly.

“Further, I can state unequivocally that successive governments of the Bahamas are constrained and bound by the heads of agreements provided with respect to the Atlantis resort.”

Mr Christie touted the merits of the Baha Mar deal.

“Baha Mar is anticipated to generate approximately 315,000 additional air passenger guests annually to the Bahamas. This is a 19 per cent increase over the total arrivals in 2015,” he said.

Mr Christie, referring to the EXIM Bank’s ex-gratia payments to former employees and contractors of Baha Mar, said the bank supplied $101.5 million.

Mr Christie added: “CTF and its operating companies will have to meet the normal due diligence requirements of the government, including the rigorous investigation and licensing process of the Gaming Board with respect to its casino operations.

“CTF has begun developing and planning for an extensive marketing plan. CTF has indicated its vision for the resort as a sophisticated blend of luxury choice in lodging, entertainment, gaming, dining and retail – all while remaining uniquely and authentically Bahamian. To further substantiate its commitment, CTF has committed to invest tens of millions of dollars ahead of the phased opening through pre-opening activities, and employment.”

Graeme Davis, president of CTFE’s Bahamas subsidiary, said his company has already signed the ownership agreement with the government.

“CTFE will dedicate significant, ongoing investment and resources towards the pre-opening and opening of Baha Mar resort,” he said in a press release. “We will also ensure that the Bahamian people and the region benefit fully from the project, which will create tremendous job and economic stimulus opportunities. Further, by combining our global hospitality expertise with the vibrant and authentic Bahamian culture, we will create a memorable, unmatched experience for guests of which all Bahamians can be proud.”

Within the first phase of Baha Mar’s reopening, CTFE said it estimates that 1,500 jobs will be generated for Bahamians.

In August, Mr Christie announced that a deal had been reached between the government and the EXIM Bank to have the resort remobilised.

The opening of the resort was scheduled for December 2014, but was delayed to March 2015 and again to May 2015.

Baha Mar’s developer Sarkis Izmirlian filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States on June 29, 2015. However, the Supreme Court rejected the resort’s application for the verdict to be recognised here, claiming that having it adjudicated in a Delaware Bankruptcy court would be in breach of Bahamian “sovereignty.”.

As a result the US judge threw out the bankruptcy application for Baha Mar’s Bahamian companies.

Joint provisional liquidators (JPLs) were appointed in September 2015 to protect and prevent the depletion of the resort’s assets before an expected full winding-up of the resort took place.

However, the resort was placed into receivership last October.

Comments

lkalikl 7 years, 5 months ago

The biggest theft in the country's history.

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goodbyebahamas 7 years, 5 months ago

The biggest thief the business world has ever seen and Vomit Christie thinks Mr. Izmirlian is just going to sit back and allow him to steal his $900 million dollars his family has invested into the project without a court battle; what an arrogant stupid greedy man Christie is, I own golden retrievers that are smarter. When the UBC (United Bahamian Council) Turner, McCartney take office in 2017, they should have the whole Baha Mar ordeal investigated and Vomit and the witch along with her f$%^&#g broom stick should be thrown is jail. Everyone in the Bahamas knows the PLP stopped that bankruptcy from happening at all cost because it would have revealed their full corruption to the world.; the PLP would be in jail right now. My Bahamian friends, on Jan. 9th the Bahamian people will finally and truly be Independent. March like Amazon fire ants in unite...........everything in their path runs like hell for the hills when they march!

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goodbyebahamas 7 years, 5 months ago

Look at the $2,500 dollar suit he's wearing in the photo above, look's like the MF-er shops at the same store's that big mouth John Gotti Hollywood wanta be MF-er use to shop at; now that SOB is buried in one of them.

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goodbyebahamas 7 years, 5 months ago

This sale of this hotel should be stopped right now! This project belongs to Mr. Izmirlian, the f$%^#$g land is 100% Bahamian, but the dream, the goals, and the future of the project is Mr. Izmirlian's, if the nation doesn't see that, than this whole world is completely f#$%#d up! The project should be given back to Mr. Izmirlian on this same day the UBC wins office! He is the only one that will make the project a success, he has his heart into it, these other FM- er only see the dollar sign.

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Honestman 7 years, 5 months ago

GIVE US THE DETAILS OF THE DEAL! Until the Bahamian people understand how much this has cost them there will be no dancing in the streets.

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Publius 7 years, 5 months ago

What I took notice of is the Opposition uttered not a word during this announcement even though it is widely known that this investor is unsuitable and even though nothing was tabled in Parliament with respect to this matter.

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sheeprunner12 7 years, 5 months ago

I want to hear HOW this Chinese owner will put heads in beds, gamblers in casinos, tourists in restaurants & cabs, partiers in our native clubs and value-added for Bahamian businesses .......... not opening for opening sake ........ is this going to be a de facto all-inclusive Chinese colony with a handful of native slaves on our Cable Beach??????????

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MonkeeDoo 7 years, 5 months ago

One planeload straight from Juangdong with work permits in hand.

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="Chinese coming back for Christmas">

http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin...">Chinese coming back for Christmas by MonkeeDoo

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MonkeeDoo 7 years, 5 months ago

No room for Bahamalanders at Baha Mar Tal.

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Bahamaland 7 years, 5 months ago

We'll be back to expats making $150- $250k a year and Bahamians making $345.00 a week or $18k a year and we all should be happy like the case with the previous owner...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 years, 5 months ago

WOW! All it took was a Senate seat to get Bran to turn over the DNA to LBT thereby abandoning and betraying all longtime supporters of that political party. Next will come a most interesting re-shuffling of the DNA's leadership apparatus along with changes to its slate of candidates for the next general election. It seems Bran was always about Bran and Bran alone as many of us suspected, explaining why his party was never able to secure a seat in the HOA. The implosion of the FNM now seems to have led to the implosion of the DNA, leaving only the PLP standing.

Crooked Christie's enrichment of the Dimwitted Doc's pocketbook has bought Christie much more than he (or his "fooking" Red China friends) could have ever expected or dreamed. Yes, it certainly looks like Red China has decided and made it possible (by dishing out the cash) for Crooked Christie to have another five-year term. And to think the Obama-led U.S. government is worried about the Russians having interfered with the recent U.S. elections! What a joke!!

By the way, who in their right mind would now cast their vote for Lloyd or the constantly yapping white-haired little poodle?!

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Greentea 7 years, 5 months ago

According to their disclosures from the last election- isn't Doc wealthier than Christie- by far? In fact if I recall he was one of the richest people elected last time.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 years, 5 months ago

He's now much wealthier than you could ever imagine and he's certainly not going to disclose that fact going forward, as is the case for Crooked Christie, the Wicked Witch Maynard-Gibson and Bag Man Baltron Bethel. Red China is serious geopolitical muscle, willing to throw moocho moola at the political solution they want in another country to protect their own economic and national security interests.

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Greentea 7 years, 5 months ago

April 2017 when election must be called by May? Obvious and shameless. He is banking on the limited memory and endless gullibility of the Bahamian people.

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sealice 7 years, 5 months ago

Perry and his crew of cronies can go FOOK themselves!!!!

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SP 7 years, 5 months ago

......... How China Rescued Then Ruined The Caribbeans Largest Resort Project ...........

International press having a field day with Christie and his Chinese.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/muhammadc...">http://www.forbes.com/sites/muhammadc...

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