The mystery is over. After Caesars Entertainment bailed on his project in 2008, Baha Mar Chairman and CEO Sarkis D. Izmirlian was left in the lurch. When he improbably arranged financing through China Exim Bank and construction via China State Construction, the manager of the property’s gaming operations was suddenly a hot topic.
Last month, Izmirlian announced that he has chosen Global Gaming Asset Management, which is led by former Las Vegas Sands President Bill Weidner, to manage the resort’s gaming operations. And unlike neighbor Atlantis, he says gaming will be central to the property’s success.
“It’s hard to find the casino in that property,” he said. “Not so with Baha Mar. The casino is in the middle of everything, and that’s not a mistake. We plan to market aggressively to gamblers around the world. And that’s part of the reason we’ve chosen Bill and his team.”
Weidner said he plans to address the Chinese market as part of GGAM’s marketing plan.
“While you might think a 12-hour flight from China would be too far,” he says, “there’s a network of business that attracts Chinese to U.S. and Latin American cities. So Baha Mar can be a stop for relaxation between business opportunities for Chinese VIPs.”
Weidner’s accomplishments in Macau, in partnership with his team, was the reason Baha Mar chose to announce the casino management choice in Macau. Followed by Bahamian press, a Baha Mar spokesman said the company wanted to show them what Baha Mar could be when it comes to gaming, retail, entertainment, and food and beverage.
Baha Mar is a $3.5 billion project on Nassau’s Cable Beach. It will include a 100,000-square-foot casino with 150 table games and 1,500 slot machines. Reformed gaming regulations will allow sports betting, according to Wilchcombe, which will attract sports-crazed U.S. bettors.