NASSAU — Exactly two years after its planned launch date and a months-long dispute between investors, Baha Mar Resort has finally been sold.
According to industry reports, Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (CTFE) has signed an agreement to own and operate the stalled US$3.5 billion development project in the Bahamas, with a “phased opening” scheduled for April 2017. CTFE, which plans to invest an additional $200 million in the reopening, has confirmed the first phase will include the casino hotel, casino, convention centre and golf course.
Perry G. Christie, the Right Honourable Prime Minister of The Bahamas, said that the country is “delighted to have CTFE join Baha Mar Resort as the owner and developer,” and that it hopes the deal will “open new markets and opportunities for The Bahamas.”
CTFE, which owns the global Rosewood Hotel Group, is currently in talks with several hospitality brands, including Grand Hyatt, SLS Hotels and Rosewood, to be the resort’s hotel operators. The company said it will begin recruiting casino employees in the New Year.
Chow Tai Fook’s announcement comes on the heels of remarks made earlier this month by Fred Lounsberry, CEO of the Paradise Island Tourism Development Association, who told industry partners and media at a Toronto luncheon that there’s been “a lot of movement” with regards to Baha Mar, and to expect more news to come within the next 30-60 days.
Baha Mar had initially been scheduled to open in December 2014 before declaring bankruptcy in June 2015 following construction delays. The resort, already 97% finished, boasts over 2,300 rooms and a Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole golf course. Located on Nassau’s famed Cable Beach, it is considered the largest – and most expensive – resort in the Caribbean.