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City and finance


28 Jan 2016

Bahamas pushes ahead with Baha Mar rescue

Up to six potential deals are on the table to rescue the gigantic Baha Mar hotel development which ran into financial trouble shortly before its planned opening last summer.

Money, cash

Six potential deals proposed to save hotel development

The Bahamas’ prime minister, Perry Christie, has pledged that a conference scheduled for March at the 3,200-room development will go ahead while talks on a rescue deal continue. Christie told the Caribbean Hotel Tourism Association that the $3.5 billion development was “front and centre of my government’s list of priorities”.


Baha Mar, which includes four hotels, is the Caribbean’s single largest resort project, but receivers were appointed in June at the request of the original Chinese developers. Christie said “five or six” potential purchasers included Hyatt and Club Med’s Chinese owner Fosun.


“I’m optimistic there will be a resolution soon, it is too important to this country,” he said. Joy Jibrilu, director general of Bahamas Tourism, added the properties were “97%” complete. “It’s ready to go,” she said, but added she could not give a timeframe.


Meanwhile, The Bahamas is awaiting a capacity increase from British Airways, which switches the current Boeing 767 Nassau service to a Boeing 777 on July 1, boosting the number of seats by 30%. Other new flights include Delta’s from Atlanta to North Eleuthera and American Airlines’ Miami flight to San Salvador, where Club Med has a property.


Key new developments in The Bahamas include a redevelopment of Nassau’s British Colonial Hilton Hotel by Chinese investors. This will include a boardwalk linking it to the town and cruise terminal plus 11 restaurants and a 2,000-seat amphitheatre.


“It is going to transform downtown,” said Jibrilu. Another key future development is expected on Exuma, where Sandals has purchased 450 acres next to its existing hotel.

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