In preparation for Baha Mar Resort’s planned April 21 soft opening, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises has invested $20 million in new slot machines and plans for 200-800 hotel rooms to be available upon opening. The new machines are on their way to the resort to replace gaming equipment that was removed when the beleaguered property went into receivership.

Speaking with Guardian 96.9 FM radio and reported in the media’s affiliate, The Nassau Guardian, CTFE President Graeme Davis revealed several details of the companies planned soft opening and ensuing ramp-up for the first phase of operations including hiring and loose timelines for opening some of the luxury hotels at the more than $4 billion resort.

As reported earlier, about 11,000 people have turned in applications so far to work at Baha Mar and the Guardian is reporting that number to be denizens of the Bahamas. Davis told the radio host that he expects much of the casino’s upper management to come from that pool of potential employees. About 2,000 people should be employed in late April and employment numbers will increase as summer approaches. Later in 2017 as the SLS Hotel prepares to open those numbers will increase again. Hiring will continue into next year as CTFE’s Rosewood Hotel begins to offer luxury accommodations at the resort.

Davis spoke highly of the pool of potential employees, calling the first 2,000 the most important part of the resort’s success, according to the report. “You can have beautiful bricks and mortar anywhere in the world, but what sets us apart is the passion and experience that every associate and every employee will provide to our guests or to each other,” said Davis.

Although Davis is currently unsure of exactly how many rooms will be available for the soft opening in April, he said the number would be based on fully outfitted rooms and supporting amenities. “We could open anywhere from 200 to 800,” he said.

Davis noted that the entire resort will continue to carry the Baha Mar name while Grand Hyatt will manage the rooms available during the soft opening ramp up period. “Millions were spent across the U.S. and beyond, that’s why we want to continue with Baha Mar as a brand,” he said.

He also noted that the resort’s new website will be operational soon and that Baha Mar’s former director of sales is being brought back on board, noting that the director had previously booked some $300 million in group business for the resort before the previous developer was forced into foreclosure.

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