The Baha Mar Resort, the .4 billion project that is the largest gaming-related project in the Bahamas, will open three of the four planned luxury hotels in the complex in late March, according to owners.
The resort, the largest hospitality project in the Caribbean, will open its fourth luxury hotel, the Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar, on May 1 and will stage a grand opening ceremony for the overall project that month. The resort will feature a total of six hotels, including the existing Wyndham Nassau Resort and Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort, which were made part of the sprawling complex along 1,000 acres of Nassau’s Cable Beach.
The Wyndham is closed at present, its building serving as a training center for a workforce that will total more than 4,000 at full build-out.
The resort, funded largely by a Chinese bank and built with the help of more than 4,000 Chinese laborers, is behind schedule—it originally was planned for a December 14 opening—and will miss most of the Bahamas’ busy winter high season.
Robert Sands, a senior vice president for Baha Mar Ltd., told the Miami Herald the timeline was extended because executives want to be sure they can offer “the complete luxury product” when Baha Mar opens. “We want to provide a full luxurious experience,” he said. “Our state-of-the-art casino will match what you would find in Las Vegas, Macau or Singapore.”
The China Construction Engineering Corporation is the main contractor for the project, and has a $150 million equity stake in Baha Mar. The Export-Import Bank of China financed $2.4 billion of the project. In addition to Miami and other Caribbean feeder markets, Chinese tourists will be among the main marketing targets of the resort.
New regulations that went into effect in November will add to Baha Mar’s offerings. The rules now allow internet and mobile gaming, as well as in-play sports and proxy betting, all expected to attract high-rollers to the resort’s 100,000-square-foot casino, the largest in the Caribbean. The gaming license for the casino will be transferred from the existing Crystal Palace Casino inside the Wyndham. The future of that casino, along with that of the Wyndham itself, will be decided after Baha Mar is fully open, according to executives.