Just 14 months before it’s scheduled to open in Nassau, The Bahamas, the development team for the $3.5 billion Baha Mar mega-resort visited New York last month to make sure the brand message was clear: This will not be another Atlantis.
Ever since the project broke ground in 2011, the plans—from casino gaming to golf courses to fine dining—sounded similar to the offerings that have made Atlantis a popular draw for years, with an important exception: Baha Mar’s guests will be a tad more mature. “We are really looking to target that adult segment,” says Denise Godreau, chief marketing officer for Baha Mar.
Two-thirds of the construction work has already been completed, with the project expected to be finished by December of 2014. Agents will be able to book the property about seven months prior to the official opening. The opening date is impressive when you consider the list of obstacles the development team had to overcome. According to Tom Dunlap, president of Baha Mar, these obstacles included replacing three existing banks, moving the police and fire stations, and even relocating the Prime Minister’s office.
The team seems confident it will have the airlift to accommodate the scores of tourists it aims to attract. Since it already has a tight grip on airlift from the East Coast of the U.S., Sarkis Izmirlian, chairman and CEO of Baha Mar, says he wanted to target areas where there wasn’t adequate airlift to The Bahamas.
“We have to fish where there is fish,” he says, noting that The Bahamas is looking to secure new flights from Russia by next year, is in discussion with China, mainly Beijing and Shanghai, and is also talking with several destinations in Latin America. “Overall, the airlift talks have been very positive.”
Four Hotel Brands
Baha Mar will offer 2,200 hotel rooms spread across four major hotel brands, including Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Mondrian, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, as well as the resort’s new, dazzling centerpiece, The Baha Mar Casino & Hotel. Baha Mar’s 100,000-square-foot casino promises to be one of the most exciting gaming experiences in North America.
Other amenities will include 200,000 square feet of retail and entertainment experiences, combining upscale shopping boutiques with authentic Bahamian arts and crafts galleries, chef-branded restaurants and nightclubs. The planned 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course aims to be one of a select few top-tier Nicklaus courses in the world, bringing a new, true championship course to The Bahamas.
Contacts: Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar: Yvette Edwards ([email protected], 242-677-9237), director of sales and marketing. Mondrian at Baha Mar: Julian Cable-Treadwell ([email protected], 242-677-9276), director of sales and marketing. Rosewood at Baha Mar: Virgil Napier ([email protected], 242-677-9750), director of sales and marketing. Baha Mar Casino & Hotel: Marc Edwards ([email protected], 242-677-9142), director of sales and marketing.