By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
Baha Mar’s $300m water-based theme park remains in schedule to be completed next year despite the COVID-19 enforced construction suspension, its president revealed yesterday.
Graeme Davis, in an e-mailed response to Tribune Business questions, said Baha Mar Bay had also been impacted by the resort’s closure and national lockdown under the government’s emergency orders.
“We have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all operations, including construction on property,” he added. “As health, safety and well-being of our associates and Baha Mar guests is of utmost importance, the construction work will resume once it is determined safe by the Ministry of Health to continue. The Baha Mar Bay development is scheduled to be completed in 2021.”
The $300m Baha Mar Bay investment, launched last October, includes significant renovations and enhancements to the Melia Nassau Beach Resort; the arrival of new luxury, beachfront adventure experiences for guests; and developments at Long Cay in addition to the added attraction of a water park. This was scheduled to be completed within 12 to 24 months.
Mr Davis promised “unwavering support” for Baha Mar’s estimated 5,500 staff during the property’s enforced closure, and said: “We are working hard to support our associates and their families during these challenging and uncertain times.
“Our incredible associates are the very heart of Baha Mar, and we are dedicated to their health, safety and wellbeing, first and foremost. Our unwavering support to all associates is at the core of every decision at Baha Mar.
“We stand by the commitment we’ve made to our Baha Mar family to ensure all full-time associates receive the equivalent of 40 percent of their base pay, as of March 26, for up to 90 days,” Mr Davis continued.
“Baha Mar will continue to pay the insurance premiums necessary to maintain health insurance, life and accidental death and dismemberment (ADD) insurance coverage. I thank our associates from the bottom of my heart for their incredible perseverance, dedication and patience as we look ahead.”
Mr Davis declined to give a firm date on when Baha Mar will be reopening, although its mega destination resort rival, Atlantis, has tentatively set May 15 as the date when it will consider its next move.
He added: “We are closely monitoring the situation around the world, and look forward with hope and anticipation to a time when we will welcome our guests and associates back to our property for the spectacular experiences that Baha Mar is known for around the world. Baha Mar is working with the Bahamian government, airlines and local partners to determine the re-opening date.”