Bahamas megaresort opening delayed

Nassau, Bahamas — The Baha Mar multibillion dollar megaresort in The Bahamas will not open on Friday as planned, resort officials revealed on Tuesday night.

The property will open in May, according to a statement.

Baha Mar said, despite repeated assurances from the contractor that the resort would be able to open on Friday, “it has become clear that the contractor has not completed the work with an attention to detail consistent with Baha Mar standards of excellence”.

“From its inception, Baha Mar has committed to creating a gaming resort destination that will be unparalleled in the world,” the statement read.

“In setting our opening date for March 27, we relied in good faith on the representations of the resort’s construction manager and lead contractor.

“Last Friday (March 20), based on this party’s repeated assurances, Baha Mar announced that it would begin a paced opening beginning March 27 and culminating in its grand opening scheduled for early May.

“Subsequently, it has become clear that the contractor has not completed the work with an attention to detail consistent with Baha Mar standards of excellence.

“Anything less than a world-class facility and best-in-class guest experience is not acceptable to Baha Mar. As a result, Baha Mar will not begin its paced opening on March 27.

“Baha Mar expects to celebrate its grand opening the first week of May 2015, as planned.”

This is the second time that Baha Mar has delayed its opening.

It was originally scheduled to open last December.

Last week, Baha Mar vice president Alyssa Bushey told “Travel Weekly” that only one of the four new Baha Mar hotels would open on Friday.

According to Bushey, the Baha Mar Resort and Casino – a nearly 1,000-room property with a 100,000 square foot casino – was the only hotel that would have opened on Friday.

The Grand Hyatt is set to open on May 1, and the former 694-room Sheraton Nassau Beach Hotel, now the Melia Nassau Beach, is supposed to be renamed the Melia at Baha Mar once that property completes its $19 million renovation.

There have been no details on when the SLS Lux and the Rosewood Baha Mar will open.

Officials broke ground at Baha Mar in February 2011.

The resort is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs, a fact Prime Minister Perry Christie has touted on numerous occasions.

Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian has pointed to the benefits the resort will have on the economy and in reducing the rising crime rate in the country.

The Export-Import Bank of China is financing the resort.

The main contractor is China State Construction Engineering Corporation.

The resort’s amenities will include the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, the ESPA at Baha Mar spa and more than a dozen pools.

Other attractions will include 50,000 square feet of high-end retail and shopping and over 30 restaurants, bars and lounges.

The resort will also include 200,000 square feet of combined state-of-the-art convention facilities, including a 2,000-seat performing arts center and an art gallery with the largest curated collection of Bahamian art, a beachfront sanctuary with native Bahamian flora and fauna and a private island.

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