Baha Mar's receiver yesterday dismissed claims by firebrand FNM MP, Dr Andre Rollins, that the $3.5 billion development is both "uninsurable" and will cost a further $1.8 billion to complete.
The denials by Raymond Winder, Deloitte & Touche (Bahamas) managing partner, came amid efforts by the Government - facing the prospect of a potential Moody's downgrade to 'junk' status - to intensify pressure on the receivers and their Chinese clients to reach a solution to the Baha Mar impasse.
Tribune Business sources said the Christie administration wants the group led by Dr Stanley Ho, the billionaire Macau gaming magnate, to be selected as the preferred bidder to acquire Baha Mar.
The Government was said to have been applying increased pressure towards the end of June, and going into this month, on the receivers to come to a decision that could then be advanced to Baha Mar's secured creditor, the China Export-Import Bank.
However, this newspaper understands that while Deloitte & Touche may be "leaning" towards one of the two groups identified as having the most potential, no recommendation has been made yet.
Mr Winder yesterday declined to comment on the status of the receivers' negotiations with the two lead Baha Mar bidders, other than to say: "We're still working on it."
He was more forthcoming, though, with emphatic rebuttals of the claims made by Dr Rollins, the Fort Charlotte MP, in a statement issued to the media.
"I am reliably informed that a recent site inspection of Baha Mar by an insurer, as a pre-condition to insuring the property, revealed some alarming findings," Dr Rollins alleged.
"These findings caused the insurer to conclude that the $3.5 billion asset is presently uninsurable. In effect, due to construction deficiencies, in its present state the property has been assessed to be a $3.5 billion liability.
"I am further advised that the repair costs to remediate the construction deficiencies may be as high as $1.8 billion and not the previously estimated figure of $600 million."
Mr Winder told Tribune Business that both claims were "not true". On the insurance, he said: "I'm in the process of making a payment on my insurance premium as we speak."
As for Dr Rollins's construction completion cost claim, he said simply: "That's way off." Mr Winder, though, declined to supply the true estimate.
Tribune Business, though, had heard claims similar to Dr Rollins regarding Baha Mar's insurance.
It was suggested that a building inspector, sent out to Nassau by the Lloyd's of London insurance market, had deemed the resort properties uninsurable because of defects with the sprinkler system and other issues.
These claims, though, could not be substantiated.
However, informed sources close to developments at Baha Mar said the receivers were starting to lean towards one of the two remaining groups as 'preferred bidder'.
"One is closer than the other, but they're keeping all things in play," one source said of the receivers, speaking on condition of anonymity.
However, they expressed doubt as to whether the Government was pushing for a particular bid to be declared the 'winner' over the other.
"I think the Government wants something to happen, but they're not telling the receivers to favour one over the other," the source added.
As previously revealed by Tribune Business, Lyford Cay-based billionaire Joe Lewis and his Tavistock Group, the principal developers of the $1.4 billion Albany project, are part of one of the remaining Baha Mar bid groups.
Observers, though, believe it is highly likely that the China Export-Import Bank and the Beijing government will favour a Baha Mar buyer with Chinese connections, given that they can likely work out a deal to make the bank 'whole'.
The selection of a 'preferred bidder', though, is merely just the first step towards resolving the Baha Mar impasse.
The bidder, and the sale, will both have to be approved by the Supreme Court. And negotiations between the chosen group and receivers, acting for the China Export-Import Bank, are likely to be complex and take several months to conclude.
Then there is the small matter of negotiating a Heads of Agreement with the Christie administration, and fulfilling its demands that all Bahamian creditors - especially the contractors with their $74 million liabilities - be 'made whole'.