Baha Mar Breaks Ground


The lesson when it comes to planning a mega resort complex should be simple: Before you break ground, get the financing in place. But as many developers have found out — Lake Las Vegas comes to mind — it's not always easy.

One success story, though, appears to be Baha Mar.

After some false starts, the 1,000-acre, $3.4 billion resort, gaming and entertainment complex finds itself as a fully funded, single-phase project set to open in late 2014, in time for the winter season. The groundbreaking took place last week.

Baha Mar will include 2,250 hotel rooms, including a 700-room Grand Hyatt with 200,000 square feet of convention space; a 300-room luxury hotel by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts; a 200-room lifestyle hotel by Morgans Hotel Group; and a 1,000-room casino hotel. The casino partner has not yet been selected. In addition, Hyatt, Morgans and Rosewood each will offer 100 luxury residences.

The development will feature a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, 24 restaurants, three spas including a 30,000-square-foot destination spa, and a 20-acre Eco Water Park and pool experience. A nearby 16-acre private island will provide a premium retreat from the resort, offering private beaches and cabanas and other recreational opportunities. Guests will have charging rights throughout the property.

"If you can imagine the whole thing coming up out of the ground at the same time, that's the wow factor," said  Richard English, senior vice president of sales and marketing. "Rather than building phase one and having a construction site for a year and a half before phase two [it all happens at once]. It's the sheer magnitude of the project that sets us apart from a single hotel on the beach kind of deal."


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