In the Bahamas, the new owner of the under-construction Baha Mar Casino And Hotel has reportedly begun hiring the 1,500 employees it will need in order to open the first phase of the $3.5 billion integrated casino resort in April.

According to a report from The Tribune newspaper, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited started its recruitment efforts on Monday and intends to conduct the entire process online through its website at Careers.BahaMar.com.

Robert Sands, Government And External Affairs Senior Vice-President for Baha Mar Casino And Hotel, reportedly told the local newspaper that the venue is initially looking to fill positions for its golf course, casino and hotel but encouraged those seeking positions in other areas to “still apply” as it plans to hire “thousands more persons” over “the coming months”.

“Basically, we will be launching the whole recruitment process and everyone will have to apply online,” Sands told The Tribune. “The website will be going live [and] it is a fairly easy process. We will initially be looking at jobs for the golf course, the casino, the convention center and the casino-hotel but if you are not in those fields you should still apply but those will be the jobs that are filled first. So, initially 1,500 persons will be hired for our April 21 proposed opening date but thousands more will be hired after that.”

Initially a project of BMD Holdings with funding from China Export-Import Bank, Baha Mar Casino And Hotel with its 1,800 rooms was initially scheduled to open for business in 2014 but ran into delays and difficulties that ultimately led to it filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in a Delaware court in 2015. The developer, which was headed by real estate billionaire Sarkis Izmirlian, subsequently blamed these problems on China State Construction Engineering Corporation and its China Construction America Bahamas subsidiary before submitting an unsuccessful offer designed to resurrect the development.

In a move that it hoped would protect the economy of the Bahamas, Prime Minister Perry Christie’s government ultimately liquidated the entire project on New Providence Island in October before signing a deal with Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited two months later. This share purchase agreement saw the Hong Kong-based conglomerate, which has a presence in global real estate, hospitality, transportation and casino businesses, assume full ownership of the giant project before announcing that it intended to open the Caribbean facility from late-April.

Sands reportedly told The Tribune that Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited remains dedicated to the success of Baha Mar Casino And Hotel and is “very optimistic” about meeting the April 21 opening date.

For his part, Christie welcomed the news and reportedly proclaimed that Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited is engaged in negotiations with respected firms such as Hyatt Hotels Corporation, SLS Hotels and Rosewood Hotels And Resorts about operating some of the facilities at Baha Mar Casino And Hotel.

“The hirings are to facilitate the phased opening of 1,800 rooms at the conference and casino-hotel, the casino, the convention center and the golf course and employment of up to 3,300 by August of 2017 and 4,300 by December of 2017 when all components have been completed and opened,” Christie told the newspaper.

Christies additionally told The Tribune that Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited has committed to spending up to $200 million on “pre-opening festivities, development of family amenities, entertainment and offshore island facilities and demolition and redevelopment of the former Crystal Palace Hotel”.

“With these additional investments completed, the project will have created 5,700 new direct jobs and an additional 4,160 indirect and inducted jobs,” Christie told the newspaper.

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