In a major development for the Bahamas and the region, the stalled $3.5 billion Baha Mar Resort project has finally been sold.
Hong Kong-based conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited, or CTFE, has signed an agreement to own and operate the resort, which had initially been scheduled to open in late 2014 before declaring bankruptcy due to construction delays.
CTFE, which owns the global Rosewood Hotel Group, said it was committed to a “phased opening” of the Baha Mar in April 2017. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The first phase will include the casino hotel, casino, convention center and golf course, according to the company.
CTFE plans to invest an additional $200 million in the project to support reopening and redevelopment of the adjacent Crystal Palace Casino Hotel site.
“CTFE will dedicate significant, ongoing investment and resources towards the pre-opening and opening of Baha Mar Resort,” said Graeme Davis, the president of CTFE’s Bahamas subsidiary. “We will also ensure that the Bahamian people and the region benefit fully from the project, which will create tremendous job and economic stimulus opportunities. Further, by combining our global hospitality expertise with the vibrant and authentic Bahamian culture, we will create a memorable, unmatched experience for guests of which all Bahamians can be proud.”
“We are delighted to have CTFE join Baha Mar Resort as the owner and developer, leveraging its expansive network and resources to open new markets and opportunities for The Bahamas that will deliver great benefits to the island and our people,” said the Right Honourable Prime Minister, Perry G. Christie. “The Government is confident that CTFE has the precise capabilities and track record to successfully complete and operate Baha Mar Resort from both a lodging and casino perspective. We look forward to having such a renowned and experienced company turn the vision for Baha Mar Resort into reality.”
CTFE said it was currently in talks with “several globally recognized hospitality brands” to be hotel operators at the resort, including Grand Hyatt, SLS Hotels and Rosewood.
The company said it was already onboarding a leadership team of executives from international brands, and will begin recruiting casino employees in the New Year.
Rosewood Hotel Group owns and/or operates 55 hotels in 18 countries, including three in the Caribbean: Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort in Antigua, Rosewood Tucker’s Point in Bermuda and the soon-to-reopen Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands.