Baha Mar Aiming To Be One Of A Kind

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Costing $3.4 billion to develop, the Baha Mar resort at Cable Beach five miles west of Nassau on New Providence in The Bahamas bills itself as the largest single-phase resort development anywhere on the planet.


Born in 2004, the massive project – ground for which was broken on February 21 – will be a decade in gestation before it is completed, with the aid of $2.6 billion of Chinese-bank debt financing, in 2014. Even more remarkable than the resort's planned 1,000-acre size and its cost is the huge ambition of Baha Mar's developers – the Izmirlian family and Bank of Nova Scotia – in trying to building the resort in one single, enormous push.

While some 6,000 Chinese workers are being imported to build Baha Mar – as usual with Chinese-financed projects, the banks insist on using Chinese labor – at least 4,500 Bahamians will also be employed in the resort's construction. So says Robert ‘Sandy' Sands, senior vice president of administration and external affairs for Baha Mar Resorts Ltd., the company which is directly handling development, adding that when Baha Mar is complete, 9,000 Bahamians will work in its hotels and facilities.

"The idea is to create a new resort … [which will be] a one-of-a-kind destination in the world," says Sands. Baha Mar is intended to complement the Atlantis resort just five miles or so away on Paradise Island. Atlantis is equally big – but it is being developed in multiple phases, with four of nine phases completed to date since development began in 1998.

 

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