Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook Enterprises buys bankrupt Baha Mar Resort; phased opening planned for April 2017

lr-cgi_img-1-birdseye-revisedAfter nearly two years of being stalled by bankruptcy proceedings, the $3.5 billion Baha Mar Resort project in the Bahamas has finally been sold and can proceed with its development.

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. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“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.”

CTFE, which owns the global Rosewood Hotel Group, said it was committed to a “phased opening” of the Baha Mar in April 2017.

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 beachfront Crystal Palace Casino Hotel site.

Davis continued, “The Bahamas is one of the most iconic and popular destinations in the Caribbean. As we build on the foundation that has been established thus far, a critical part of our vision for Baha Mar Resort is to showcase the extraordinary beauty of the island in addition to its culture.  In partnership with the Bahamian people, we look forward to delivering future guests a resort that is distinctive not only for the Bahamas but for the entire Caribbean.”

CTFE said that it is in discussions with several globally recognized hospitality brands to be luxury hotel operators at Baha Mar including Grand Hyatt, SLS Hotels, and CTFE subsidiary, Rosewood Hotel Group.

CTFE’s Rosewood Hotel Group owns and/or operates 55 hotels in 18 countries including three Caribbean resorts: Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort in Antigua, Rosewood Tucker’s Point in Bermuda, and Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands (re-opening 2017).

To prepare for the opening of the casino hotel and casino, CTFE also said that it is onboarding a leadership team of executives from international brands and will begin recruiting casino employees in the New Year. It is also in discussions to form marketing alliances with leading global gaming companies.

 “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.”

Travel Markets Insider © 2017