Yesterday it was announced by Prime Minister Perry Christie that the potential buyer of the as yet unopened Baha Mar has met the requirements set by the government. Known only as a huge enterprise, the individuals involved in the deal met with Christie and fellow government officials to share plans on expanding the existing Baha Mar project. However, negotiations are continuing with Export-Import Bank of China, the financier of the project.
During his revelation, Christie also pointed out that it still has to be determined if the developer will be operating the entire resort or if the original plan will be followed and separate brands will be managing different elements of the property. Christie was asked as to when construction would begin and he stated that it would begin now.
The Prime Minister was also asked about his efforts to see the project move forward and stated that for him, all the efforts, difficulties, and obstacles are now behind them and he and his team look forward to seeing the project come to life. Bahamians will be able to drive by and see Baha Mar come to life in a meaningful way.
Christie thanked Sir Baltron Bethel and Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson for running from the area to Beijing even though naysayers thought the trips were a waste of time as their efforts have proven to be right and successful.
A tour was taken of the project after the announcement and Christie stated how optimistic he is that the buyer’s name will be announced in the near future and every effort is being made to meet the expectations of the government for a phased opening before the winter tourism season ends. The future owners will be responsible for the timeline for opening.
The Bahamian government would like to see the venue open before the winter tourism season ends which is March of next year. However, the government does understand that it is up to the owners as to when the venue will be ready for operation.
While Christie has shown excitement over the developments, Official Opposition, and other political groups have taken a stance against the secrecy that exists around the deal. The groups have claimed public distrust in the government and are speculating over the fact that perhaps concessions have been given by the Bahamian government.
Christie has stated that he is not able to provide further details on the matter due to legal reasons. The Prime Minister did reveal that regular updates will be provided to the public on the progress of the agreement as it is implemented. Once a Supreme Court order is unsealed, more detailed information will also be provided. The government and EXIM were able to reach a deal in August but documents related to the deal were sealed by the Supreme Court, which according to Christie was done by China-EXIM’s request.