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Baha Mar Occupancy At 50 Percent And Growing

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

A senior Baha Mar executive said yesterday the mega resort is running at 50 per cent occupancy with more than 2,000 Bahamians being currently employed.

Robert Sands, Baha Mar’s senior vice president of government and external affairs said the SLS Lux remains on track for its opening during the first week of November, with the Rosewood to follow in the first quarter of 2018.

“Group bookings continue to get interest and expand as we look forward and our occupancy continues to grow. We are encouraged by business levels today. Employment is over now at 2,000 Bahamians. Hopefully we’ll get to the 5,500 figure by full opening next year. Our occupancy is still round 40-50 per cent remains steady,” said Mr Sands.

“We just recently opened the current art exhibit which is an area we are showcasing artists and exhibits. We’re quite happy about John Cox the curator. We have a space where we will showcase on an ongoing basis over 8,500 pieces of art so we’re very happy about that,” Mr Sands added.

Baha Mar is expected to generate more than $65 million in direct taxation to the Bahamas annually and over $100 million in combined direct, indirect and induced tax revenues

Under its original developer Sarkis Izmirlian, the $4.2 billion project was scheduled to open in December 2014. After construction completion deadlines were missed, Mr Izmirlian filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US in June 2015. The former government vigorously opposed this process, saying it threatened the Bahamas’ sovereignty, and instead petitioned the Supreme Court to place Baha Mar into liquidation. Mr Izmirlian ultimately lost control of the mega resort after being defeated in the US and Bahamian courts, and Chow Tai Took Enterprises (CTFE), the conglomerate formed by the late billionaire, Cheng Yu Tung, was revealed as the new owner last year. CTFE is pushing for a full opening by April 2018.

Baha Mar also includes a 300-room SLS resort, a 200-room Rosewood Baha Mar property, and the 694-room Melia Nassau Beach, which has been open for three years and operates as an adults-only, all-inclusive.

Comments

Sickened 4 months ago

Have they ever said how many rooms are actually opened at this point? The last I heard was 200 rooms but that was a while ago. I recently heard that all of the rooms (both sides) of the main hotel were open, but I don't know for sure. This 50% figure is not great, but it may be worse if there is only a few hundred rooms available.

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alfalfa 4 months ago

Visited Bahamar over the weekend and I doubt their story of 50% occupancy, period. You can count the number of tourists easily, and the large majority of people about were Bahamians, like me, looking around. I wonder how long before they start charging for valet, and prohibiting locals from using their pool facilities.

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BahamasForBahamians 4 months ago

The hotel is closed remember...

This government is going to find a buy.. remember?

LOL

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turtle777 3 months, 4 weeks ago

It is damaging to underestimate the understanding of the Bahamian people, and of even greater importance, the understanding of international lendors and financial rating agencies watching Baha Mar so closely, to state "..50% occupancy..". What was meant was '..50% of available rooms..'. If Baha Mar's operator actually meant "50%", then roughly 1,200 of the planned rooms are occupied. If so, great! Well on the way to that magic 65% of all available rooms occupancy all hotels must reach to break even.

And please: Baha Mar's management should not exclude separately branded sections of the hotel so that "50%" seems more believable. It is not. We all know there were between 2,200 to 2,400 rooms originally planned. (Depends what news release one refers to.)

Baha Mar can ill afford for further red flags to be waved by the world's financial observers.

Please, for honesty's sake, how many rooms in Baha Mar, regardless of brand, are actually available and how many occupied?

A simple question gentlemen.

Tom Rickards Windemere

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turtle777 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I would like to clarify my post on August 15th.

I wrote: "What was meant was '..50% of available rooms..'."

I should have written:. "What the management meant was 'We hope to eventually have 50% of all available rooms occupied, including all our hotel brands at Baha Mar.', or similar.

As I previously wrote, Baha Mar must reach occupancy rates of about 65%, including all brands, to reach sustained profitability.

RICKARDS.

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