By Danny King
Baha Mar’s chances of opening in time for
Caribbean peak season dropped substantially after the stalled Bahamas resort laid
off thousands of workers and Bahamas
court officials prepared to start a potential
liquidation process this month.
About 2,000 of Baha Mar’s workers
were laid off Oct. 23 after the Bahamas
Supreme Court granted the project’s provisional liquidators’ request to fire management and service staff because the
project has been stalled since late June.
The decision “further highlights the urgency for everyone to remain at the negotiating table and maintain the dialogue
that may lead to a resolution, a restart of
construction and the completion of the
Baha Mar project,” Edmund Rahming,
managing director at KRyS Global, one of
the provisional liquidators, said in an Oct.
Bahamas government and court officials appeared to try to buy time by pushing back the hearing date for a so-called
“winding up” petition that would move
liquidation proceedings to Nov. 25 from
Nov. 2, effectively giving developer Baha
Mar Ltd., lender Export-Import Bank of
China and China-based contractor CCA
Bahamas another three-plus weeks to
reach a financial agreement that would
allow the $3.5 billion project to be completed. Baha Mar Ltd. has said the project
is 97% built.
CCA Bahamas declined to comment
when reached by Travel Weekly last week,
while representatives for both Baha Mar
Ltd. and the office of Bahamas Prime
Minister Perry Christie didn’t respond to
a request for comment.
With no imminent resolution likely,
Baha Mar, which was first slated to open
on Nassau’s Cable Beach late last year,
risks missing the Caribbean peak season,
which generally starts in late November,
and the millions of dollars of revenue that
come with it.
“It’s a disaster,” said Scott Smith, At-
lanta-based senior vice president at PKF
Consulting. “They’re missing out on an
opportunity to realize some pretty good
Without Baha Mar’s inventory online in
time for peak season, resorts such as the
Bahamas’ 3,414-room Atlantis Paradise
Island stand to benefit. That property re-
cently launched a propertywide upgrade
that includes four renovation and rede-
sign projects to be completed by next year.
Resorts in the Dominican Republic and
Puerto Rico may also benefit, Smith said.
Construction delays led Baha Mar Ltd.
to file for bankruptcy in late June so that
it could protect its assets and complete the
resort. Since then, talks among the devel-
oper, lender, contractor and Bahamian
government have been contentious, and
the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware
threw out the case in September.
Baha Mar was slated to include the
1,000-room Baha Mar Casino & Hotel, the
707-room Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar, the
300-room SLS Lux at Baha Mar and the
200-room Rosewood at Baha Mar; Rose-
wood has since indicated that it wants out
of its contract with Baha Mar Ltd. The
project’s fifth hotel and lone pre-existing
property, the 694-room Melia Nassau
Beach, remains open.
Baha Mar Ltd. principal Sarkis Izmir-lian, in a letter obtained by Travel Weekly
late last month, said there was “simply no
way for Baha Mar to sustain the thousands
of jobs” on the project.
ATLANTIS, PUERTO RICO AND DOMINICAN RESORTS STAND TO BENEFIT
Baha Mar will likely miss peak season amid layoffs, potential liquidation
Pick-up subject to geographic and other restrictions.
©2015 Enterprise Rent-A-Car. F02992 10/15 JH
When you choose Enterprise for your clients’ rental needs, we ensure they are completely satisfied
during their rental experience. For nearly 60 years, Enterprise has been known for great rates,
convenient locations and award-winning customer service. And with more than 7,000 neighborhood
and airport locations throughout North America and Europe, we’re always nearby.
For more information, visit enterprise.com/ta.
WWW.TRAVELWEEKLY.COM NOVEMBER 2, 2015 7
About 2,000 of Baha Mar’s
workers were laid off Oct. 23
because the project has been
stalled since late June.