“Business is better than ever”

According to Graeme Davis, president of Bahamal, five years after Bahamal officially opened in the dispute, after a long period of uncertainty, “business has never been better.” ..

“We are breaking records,” Davis said in an interview. Nassau Guardian At his Bahamar office on Cable Beach late yesterday.

“March is the best month we have ever recorded. April is certainly the best move-in since it opened, from a move-in perspective.

“We are in a very strong summer booking pace, so the future booking pace is very strong and the group market is very healthy in the future. This is the group business that was expected to break out of the pandemic. It squeezed demand. This will be seen in future bookings in the fall and in future group bookings in 2023 and 2024. “

The resort’s president reported positive news ahead of today’s accommodation celebration, just five years after Bahamar opened.

The opening began at the Grand Hyatt, followed by SLS a few months later, followed by Rosewood.

Davis wasn’t particular about the “negativeness” that swirls around the opening ceremony on April 21, 2017, less than three weeks before the general election.

The opening of the accommodation was highly politicized, with the then leader of the Free National Movement, Dr. Hubert Minis, warning the Bahamans that it was a “fake” opening.

Five years later, a large investment by Hong Kong-based conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises has been successful, Davis said.

“We are very happy with where we are when we see our business continue to grow,” Davis said.

“Now we are enjoying the rewards of our investment.”

Looking back on the business over the last five years, Davis said: Almost 12% of the country’s GDP and the reconstruction of Bahamas tourism products … “

Bahamar was the vision of former developer Sarki Ismilian. He announced in 2015 that Mega Resort had voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States to complete construction and open the property.

Davis said yesterday:

“I’m sorry what happened, but I believe that a lucky opportunity as a company that bought a project from a trustee could take the project to the next level and make an additional hundreds of millions of dollars in investment. … ”

Bahamar’s initial investment was $ 3.5 billion.

The new owner paid an additional $ 600 million to complete the project and repay the creditors.

Davis further said that more than $ 300 million was invested in additional equipment, including a $ 200 million water park that opened last year, a new restaurant such as Bahamar’s $ 20 million Marcus that opened last year, and an upgraded pool. rice field. Facility.

“When we opened in April, we said we weren’t going to open everything at once. We were thinking about opening it in stages, opening Hyatt first. Then opening SLS. Then open Rosewood and be careful to get it right with excellent service, “he said.

“And it worked very well for us, but it had an economic impact on us as an ownership group by opening it in that step-by-step way, but it’s the Bahamas that we open it. I promised people and the government.

“And since we opened, we have suffered financial losses that we had to cover until we reached a profitable position. It took us years.”

The COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the resort’s one-month closure in 2020 during the first five years of operation, was a much more difficult time to develop.

“We are constantly reinvesting in this asset, whether or not it has just gone through a pandemic financial struggle, and paid more than $ 80 million to all employees to stay at home and be safe. Yes, with proper sizing during the pandemic, we were able to get out of the pandemic in an economically sound position, but we still continued to pay our employees throughout the pandemic, “said Bahamar. Said.

“I think it shows that we are a good corporate citizen of the Bahamas. Compared to the way we were very negative about participating in this project, we are very I think the structure of the Bahamas economy, which I think is fulfilling for us as an ownership group integrated into [into] Relocation here as a Bahamian culture and world-class destination. “

Davis said it had to be creative when Bahamar faced a serious reopening challenge for COVID-19.

The property has introduced a “breakthrough” TravelWithConfidence program that promises to accommodate guests in need of quarantine if they test positive for COVID-19 while in the Bahamas.

Guests were also given the option to return home on a private jet.

“It started to build our reputation and build confidence in regaining our business. Of course, we struggled to increase the number of cases and encouraged our employees to vaccinate,” Davis said. He said 70% of employees are vaccinated.

He added that the resort has so far conducted 510,000 free COVID-19 tests on guests and employees.

According to Davis, the property continues to strive to provide Bahamans with quality opportunities.

“We are 98 percent Bahamas,” he added.

“We are less than 5% of the expatriates working here, and the expatriates we bring here are highly skilled and trained executives from around the world who are training the Bahamans to continue to grow. ..

“These are world-class brands that bring expertise to the Bahamas, along with these great powers that are creating these incredible employment opportunities.

“I think it’s a big win-win opportunity for the country, for the Bahamian citizens, to realize what I believe to be the next generation and a noble career in the accommodation industry.” “Business is better than ever”

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