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Mar-Vellous: Resort Unveils $300m Expansion With Water Park

An artist’s impression showing the resort pools in the proposed new Baha Mar development, Baha Mar Bay.

An artist’s impression showing the resort pools in the proposed new Baha Mar development, Baha Mar Bay.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

BAHA MAR is set to launch a $300m phase of development that will provide jobs for up to 500 people and involve a major water park and entertainment amenity known as Baha Mar Bay.

A Heads of Agreement between resort representatives and the government was signed at Cabinet Office yesterday. The move will bring Baha Mar’s total investment up to $4.8bn. 

The investment will include significant renovations and enhancements to the Melia Nassau Beach Resort, the arrival of new luxury, beachfront adventure experiences for guests and developments to Long Cay, all of which is expected to be completed within the next 12 to 24 months, officials said.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said Baha Mar Bay will be built on the site of the former Wyndham Hotel on approximately 15.3 acres of land between the SLS and Melia hotels.

“It will include a family friendly recreational area with water attractions for guests of all ages,” he said. “There will be a ‘public entry area where the general public can enter Baha Mar Bay to enjoy the attractions and activities. Phase two will also include the widening and lengthening of the existing pier in front of the Baha Mar resort.”

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An artist’s impression of the wave pool.

“The existing pier that extends off the beach at the Baha Mar resort is being expanded to better allow for boats to more safely dock at the Baha Mar resort for day excursions and to provide enhanced amenities for guests.

“The new Pier restaurant will provide a greater variety of beachfront and pool dining options for the guests at the resort and Baha Mar Bay, and will complement the existing food and beverage offerings at the resort. An upgrade and refurbishment programme will be launched for the Melia hotel which will include the upgrade to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure of the hotel and upgrades to specifically identified guest rooms.”

Dr Minnis said there will be upgrades to the kitchen, convention and meeting spaces, gym, restaurants and public areas. Children’s programming to educate and entertain children between three and 12 with “activities ranging from Bahamian history, conservation activities, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, theatre, virtual reality gaming and storytelling” will be featured at two activity centres to be constructed, he said.

Long Cay, a private island owned by the project company, will be developed to include enhancements to the “beach areas, design and construction of an extended pier for the safe landing of guests, design and construction of new food and beverage facilities, design and construction of a beach club and construction of facilities necessary to offer recreational and water sports activities,” Dr Minnis said.

Baha Mar currently employs 5,000 people. Resort President Graeme Davis said the new phase will result in 500 direct and 1,000 indirect jobs. He said officials have hired a local firm to do work, with 80 percent or more of people already engaged being locals. It’s not clear whether the supplemental Heads of Agreement stipulates specific requirements regarding locals in the workforce. 

“As we phase the opening, jobs are starting today,” he said, noting officials are starting to hire lifeguards and food servers, which is expected to continue. 

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 3 weeks ago

True to form, Minnis said nothing about the additional very generous concessions his government has granted to the Red Chinese owners of Bahamas Mar under this supplemental heads of agreement. He's no different than Christie or Ingraham. Like his predecessors Minnis would have us believe that a confidentiality clause in the agreement prevents him from telling us about all the new concessions granted and disclosing the main local firm engaged as the general contractor for this new project. But we all known that such confidentiality is really sought by the government itself to keep the prying eyes of the public in the dark.

Meanwhile, as a result of the aftermath of Dorian, Minnis and Turnquest are plotting to do what they are known to do best - dramatically hike taxes and fees on the Bahamian people, and significantly increase the level of our country's already unsustainable national debt.

It seems the foreigners always get the very generous concessions while we Bahamians get the royal shaft to pay for the privilege of our government granting those very same overly generous concessions. But the real question is: What exactly did key government officials involved in the negotiations get for their great generosity shown to the Red Chinese owners of Bahamas Mar on behalf of the Bahamian people?

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TigerB 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I am happy for Nassau, while we wait here in Grand Bahama for our time. The more people working then they wouldn't have to rely on anyone for handouts.

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JohnBrown1834 1 month, 3 weeks ago

There is nothing wrong with giving concessions. Every country in the world does it. We ought to be happy to be getting these investments at this time. There is no concession available to foreigners that are not available to Bahamians. Some times we have to stop looking for the bad in everything. Since the last election, we have seen more local and foreign investment in the country than in any other comparable period of time.

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proudloudandfnm 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Really? I live in Freeport and so far we've had one new investor, and that started under the PLP. In Freeport we have literally gotten no benefit from this FNM government, not a single one. If anything Freeport has gone further down since they took office....

You sure about that?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 3 weeks ago

There's everything wrong with unnecessary overly generous concessions, especially if they are being 'bought' and only a select few of the citizenry benefit from the purchase price. Besides, what we have can't be had anywhere else in the western hemisphere - the best beaches, most beautiful aquamarine waters and plenty of sunshine all on the door step of the most prosperous countries on our side of the world: Canada and the U.S. No my friend, you have it all wrong. The Bahamas is not for sale; it sells itself and all Bahamians should be handsomely benefitting from that simple fact and not just the select few muck-a-mucks at the negotiating table or granting the giveaways from behind the scenes.

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BahamaPundit 1 month, 3 weeks ago

What I believe is happening in The Bahamas is that concessions in paying stamp tax and vat etc. are given in exchange for bribes. The funds are taken from the public treasury and transferred to the private sector "bag man" lawyer or accountant and distributed amongst the politicians or their offspring in any number of ways.

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birdiestrachan 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The two Judas were right there with grins on their faces. The same two who talked so bad about BAH MAR. To bad the Man from BTC was not there to make comments about them

Doc was suppose to sell the Place when he came to power. A Hypocrite of the highest order. Like when he says he is going West then Go East. He lies. But he lies again as says he changed his mind.

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TigerB 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I think that what all oppositions do, I have been seeing that a lot even now. Everything is opposed by the oppositions. I guess its politics. The PLP didn't reveal any information about concessions for Bah Mar, the FNM wanted to know... now the shoes on the other foot. They will say where is the transparency but they know they can't spell the word,

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John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Imagine now if there were some 30-50,000 Bahamian shareholders in Bah Mar and more in Atlantis. Is the day ever coming when Bahamians are empowered wholesale?.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Not as long as we keep electing corrupt government officials who want all of the goodies to end up in the hands of the select few among them.

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BONEFISH 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Both major political parties operate alike.They cynically oppose things wile in opposition.When they gain the government,they then support these things.It was seen with the PLP with the Atlantis development.

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sealice 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Bahamians on the same island are still shitteing in the ground with no power and they are going to build this on the same island?? What happens when this fails now? WE wait another (20) years and fudge the details to sell the land to someone else?

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