Last updated: 10:40 AM ET, Thu July 30 2015

Baha Mar Officials Refute Cash-Poor Claims, Say They Will Open Mega-Resort

Hotel & Resort | Tim Wood | May 13, 2015

Baha Mar Officials Refute Cash-Poor Claims, Say They Will Open Mega-Resort

PHOTO: A view from the ocean of the Baha Mar mega-resort property. (Courtesy of Baha Mar)

Baha Mar officials went on the offensive Wednesday afternoon, refuting both reports that the project will not open in 2015, and sources who claimed Monday that Baha Mar is out of cash and will not finish the mega-resort

The Bahamas Tribune reported the story Tuesday, quoting a high-placed and well-informed source inside the administration of Bahamian prime minister Perry Christie as saying Baha Mar “does not have the cash to finish the project or pay the contractor" and that the project is "unlikely" to open this year.

"Baha Mar states that reports attributed to unnamed sources asserting that Baha Mar is ‘unlikely to open this year' and stating Baha Mar 'is likely to run out of cash' are grossly inaccurate," representatives said Wednesday. "While Baha Mar will not speculate on the apparent self-serving agenda of such unnamed sources, such statements could not have been made by any person with direct day-to-day knowledge of Baha Mar." 

Christie said Monday that he met with Baha Mar officials and officials from contractor China Construction America, where he “articulated a position” he said he hoped would “result shortly in a shared position” by all parties.

Baha Mar officials confirmed that meeting and seemed to soften their previous statements speaking out against CCA.

"Earlier this week the Prime Minister of The Bahamas advised that he facilitated a meeting between Baha Mar Ltd. and China Construction America, in the presence of the Chinese Ambassador," Baha Mar officials said Wednesday. "Significant progress is being made towards an agreement that will result in the near-term completion of construction of the development."

The statement went on to applaud Christie for his efforts and to affirm that they are working with CCA to complete the project. 

"Baha Mar is gratified by the Prime Minister's efforts and support as we move towards opening. They look forward to working together with the general contractor as they fulfill their commitments to bring Baha Mar to completion," officials said in the statement.

This is definitely a step down in the rhetoric put forth by Baha Mar officials after announcing the delay of the March 27 opening.

“Our general contractor needs to meet its assurances so we are in a position to properly open this world-class destination resort,” Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian said in an address to the National Conclave of Chambers of Commerce in April. “Indeed, this amazing property is supposed to be the symbol of international co-operation. It is now up to our general contractor to decide how this next chapter will be written.”

While refuting the claims put forth in the Tribune article, Baha Mar officials stopped short of committing to a new grand opening date, saying they "plan to announce a grand opening date after gauging the progress of the works completion and as soon as we are fully satisfied that we will be able to deliver the excellence and uniqueness of Baha Mar."

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