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News Article

November 01, 2011
G-LA Resorts Gains Control of Ginn

The controlling title to the former Ginn Sur Mer resort community has officially been acquired by G-LA Resorts Holdings (Bahamas) Ltd., marking what could be the beginning of a major turnaround for the project and the island of Grand Bahama.

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News Article

April 25, 2014
Resorts World Bimini opens casino training school

Resorts World Bimini will open a Casino Training School on the island next month to recruit and train a steady influx of Bahamians in a variety of table games...

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News Article
 Sandals Resorts International To Host Over 1,000 Travel Agents Tour Operators
November 08, 2011
Sandals Resorts International To Host Over 1,000 Travel Agents & Tour Operators

Hundreds of travel agents will descend on Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Emerald Bay in the coming week as the resorts continue their travel agent familiarization season (Mega-Fam).

By the end of December each resort would have hosted approximately 1,200 travel agents.

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News Article

January 31, 2012
Resorts boost marketing amid promising December

Resorts and hoteliers are pumping more cash into marketing, advertising and promotions in 2012 in an effort to keep the forward momentum going.
"There is no letting up on the promotions in terms of investment," said David Johnson, the director general at the Ministry of Tourism. "A number of stakeholders are boosting their marketing resources to stimulate sales as much as possible. With the late booking environment we're in, you can't afford to go dark. You have to remind people constantly of what you have."
In fact, the Ministry of Tourism and its various promotional boards have just approved the popular companion fly free program. Johnson told Guardian Business it continues to play a crucial role in attracting arrivals, and converted into dollars and cents, he said it translates into $250 in savings for those who stay three nights or less, and $400 for tourists traveling for four nights or more.
"So far it has worked. We are assured to have a strong winter. Our business has trended upwards since December," he added.
According to preliminary statistics from The Bahamas Hotel Association (BHA) and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, December 2011 saw an occupancy rate of 58.3 percent compared to 55 percent the previous year.
Room nights sold rose by 5.1 percent and hotel room revenue went up 6.5 percent year-on-year.
Stuart Bowe, the president of the BHA, said it's essential for hotels to increase revenue, as operating costs rise and resorts are forced to make large capital expenditures to remain competitive.
He echoed Johnson's sentiments that more focus on marketing and joint promotional and product improvement efforts have led to improved numbers in December 2011 and so far into this year.
"We are seeing the value of our strong marketing and promotional initiatives which are resonating well in the marketplace," he added. "These have been underway for two years and each year we have seen incremental progress. We are also pleased to see some of the highest customer satisfaction levels reported in years, with visitors citing overall improvements in the experience and appearance of our islands."
Bowe also noted the length of stay continues to rise for arrivals into Nassau, partly attributed to the new packages on offer but also the nature of the tourist.
Arrivals from Latin America, for example, comprise a different breed that tends to splash out for longer holidays.
In terms of 2011 as a whole, occupancy rate came in at 63.9 percent compared to 62.6 percent the previous year. Room nights sold improved 1.3 percent and room revenue spiked 3.1 percent.
Preliminary air arrivals to Nassau to the end of October last year were down 3.3 percent.
Bowe and other tourism leaders are predicting that 2012 could be the year that arrivals and occupancy levels return to pre-recession levels.

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News Article

May 29, 2014
In support of Resorts World Bimini

Dear Editor,
I am a proud Biminite who stands in support of the development at Resorts World Bimini. As a pastor of a local church, I often share with my congregation the big picture that people miss. For a very long time, the opportunities available to Biminites have been sorely lacking, and it has hurt us as a community. When you don't have sustainable economic opportunities, you lose members of your family, which is what has been happening here in Bimini for too many generations. I can use my family as an example. I have three kids who left here at an early age to get an education and never came back home because of a lack of opportunities. Now that is all about to change. The pier and airport expansion will spin off into opportunities that our children will now be able to stay with us longer because their journey for education will be planned for them to come back.
In addition to that, I am very pleased with what I see happening at the airport because it is going to be a big benefit to Biminites. As it is now, if I want to go to New York, I have to get a plane from here, spend a night in a hotel, then get a connecting flight. In the future, I will be able to get a flight directly from here to New York or Germany, or other places that will come on stream. The same thing applies to the cruise port. It's a win-win all around.
Unfortunately there must be some sacrifice, but as I see it the tampering with the sea bed is only a small portion of resources that we have that will be touched. When we look at the whole equation, both terminals outweigh by far the negative impacts that might be experienced.
Whoever these people are who are speaking against the project, we need to know because most of the people that I talk to here in Bimini are in favor of the work. For all the noise we are hearing through the media, we need to be able to put faces to these names. It troubles us that these people are not a part of us, yet they are speaking on our behalf. We don't know who these people are and they need to stay out of our business.
I am praying for the success of Resorts World Bimini because if it succeeds, Bimini succeeds. As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.
- Oral Ellis, pastor, Born Again Church, Bimini

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News Article

May 18, 2012
Sandals Resorts introduces new wedding planning concept

Sandals Resorts has introduced a new wedding planning concept that give couples the
opportunity to add their personality and style to their wedding
celebrations.

The
all-inclusive resorts for couples which operates 14 luxury resort
properties across the Caribbean including Sandals Emerald Bay, Exuma and
Sandals Royal Bahamian, Cable Beach in the Bahamas.

Launched its all
new

'Your Wedding Your Style' wedding planning concept
which now allows couples to customize their dream wedding at the resort...

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News Article

September 15, 2014
Resorts World Bimini to seek 200-300 more staff

A Resorts World Bimini (RWB) official has welcomed the completion of the first phase of its port facility, stating that the new services offered will have a significant impact on business and the island's economy.
RWB Director of Public Affairs Michelle Malcolm stated that visitor numbers are expected to rise sharply following the completion of a controversial ferry terminal in North Bimini.
"During the first three months of operation, we brought more than 40,000 visitors to the island, which represented some 80 percent of the annual 50,000 visitors that the island attracted prior to our arrival. Our hope is to return to those numbers, which will positively impact the economy on Bimini both directly and indirectly," said Malcolm.
She outlined a host of developments as RWB moves into its next phase, including a South Bimini airport and watersports facilities, aimed at further increasing the island's profile.
"Construction on our luxury marina hotel is progressing well. Our hotel will blend the intimacy and exclusivity of Bimini with top-of-the-line accommodations, and we are on target for an early opening date. Meanwhile, work also continues on the upgrade and expansion of the South Bimini airport.
"We will also continue to deliver the second and third phase of the port at Resorts World Bimini, which will include a permanent customs and immigration facility, as well as the development of a beach experience with a beach bar, watersports activities and a craft market at the end of the pier.
The North Bimini Ferry Terminal has been steeped in controversy since construction began in May this year. Environmentalists and concerned citizens have repeatedly challenged the development over fear that it would irreparably damage the surrounding marine environment and the island's fishing and diving industries.
Despite these concerns, Malcolm noted that RWB continued to see a steady increase in visitors through both ferry and private yacht traffic as it wound down the first phase of the resort.
"Business has been very positive. We have seen a steady increase in visitor demand... The casino continues to bring in robust business and, as the home to the largest marina in The Bahamas with more than 200 slips, we are attracting boaters at a consistently high level."
Malcolm claimed that RWB, the largest employer in Bimini, is still hiring Bahamians "on a daily basis" and would soon launch further recruitment initiatives before the end of the year to accommodate the increased visitor demand at the resort.
"We continue to hire Bahamians to fill current positions for the resort on a daily basis. The recruitment initiatives for the new hotel are in progress and several job fairs are being scheduled for the remainder of the year," she said, noting that the resort is seeking between 200-300 additional employees to supplement RWB's current staff of approximately 450.
RWB earlier revealed a series of new day-trip routes to the resort. Cruises from the Broward and Palm Beach counties in Florida will begin on September 18, 2014, while trips from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale will be available from October 14, 2014.

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News Article

December 18, 2013
Santa and Resorts World Bimini bring smiles to Bimini's children at the island's annual Christmas festival

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Hundreds of Bimini's children were whipped into a frenzy of excitement as Santa Claus and his Resorts World Bimini (RWB) helpers arrived at the Alice Town Craft Center aboard a tram loaded with toys and gifts. The arrival of the big guy and his goodies was the highlight of the island's annual Christmas festival - at least from the standpoint of the children in attendance.
RWB partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to play Santa Claus for the island's children during the event which brought together the entire community to kick off the Christmas season. The festival began with singing, dancing and other acts by local performers. It ended with the pulsating beat of the Junkanoo drums, inciting fancy footwork and cowbell shaking from RWB managers and staffers who joined in the rush out, much to the delight of the community. However for the children attending the event, the real excitement began with the announcement "Here comes Santa Claus!" as the RWB tram slowly approached the Craft Center.
As expected, Santa received a 'rock star' reception from the children, several of whom got to take a photo with him. It took much effort to bring the eager bunch to order as they were presented with toys according to age group and gender courtesy of RWB, which invested tens of thousands of dollars in the goodwill gesture.
"It was such a joy to see the faces of the children light up as they received their gifts," says RWB General Manager Ray Valentino. "I don't think anyone could have expected such an incredible response. We at Resorts World Bimini are thankful for the opportunity to bring some cheer this holiday season, and we look forward to even more on the horizon as we partner with the people of Bimini to improve the quality of life on the island."

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News Article

April 24, 2013
Hotel union questions 'inability' of resorts to fill positions

A Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) official suggested yesterday that Atlantis and Baha Mar representatives reported challenges in finding Bahamians to fill job vacancies at their resorts in a bid to get the government to sign off on additional work permits.
"I believe they are trying to make a case early, because the first thing an investor will say is, 'We can't find suitable or qualified persons, therefore we need 'x' amount of work permits,'" BCHAWU General Secretary Darren Woods said.
"To say there is a shortage in terms of skilled people - cooks, painters and stewarding personnel - is a concern for us, and I definitely doubt that is accurate because we would have heard that cry from Atlantis as mandated by the industrial agreement."
George Markantonis, president and managing director of Atlantis, said last week that on any given day the mega resort has 300 to 400 vacancies.
Markantonis insisted, "we cannot get people for" many positions the company has advertised online. Those positions include cooks, painters, a kids facility manager, an IT service support manager, a concierge and an assistant director of marine mammals.
According to Kristen Wells, the director of the Baha Mar Academy, the up-and-coming mega resort is "hard pressed" to fill thousands of positions needed by the end of the next year when the resort is slated to open.
She said Baha Mar is faced with traditional shortages in professions like food and beverage, wait staff, restaurant managers, assistant restaurant managers, front and back of house and room supervision.
Woods said Wells' and Markantonis' comments came as a complete surprise. He said many of the 800 or so people Atlantis made redundant in 2008 are still unemployed.
Woods noted the union's industrial agreement dictates that the resort inform the union of job vacancies. The union in turn provides recommendations for suitable candidates.
Last month, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell told Parliament that in the interest of protecting Bahamian jobs, the government plans to cease issuing work permits for maids, housekeepers and laborers with a year.
Yesterday, he called the disclosures by the two resorts "incredible", particularly as the work permit debate between the private sector and the government escalates.
"That's an incredible thing for an employer to say and so both the government and the private sector have to determine why that is, and see whether those vacancies can be filled," Mitchell responded yesterday.
"I sent a note to the vice president of human resources at...Atlantis, saying this here is a young man sitting before me.
"His qualifications are master's degree in business administration [and a] bachelor's degree in computer technology and you say you have perhaps 600 vacancies.
"Why is this young man not able to get a job at Atlantis? What's the reason?"
Mitchell insisted if there is a Bahamian available for a job, a Bahamian should get that job. He said a work permit is not going to be issued.
Woods said the union is still trying to assist the 140 former Baha Mar workers, who were laid off in February. He said Baha Mar should recognize those Bahamians are "very skilled" long-term workers.
However, in the deeds of release agreement Baha Mar stipulated that those workers are "barred from seeking or obtaining employment with [Baha Mar] during the 18 months following the effective date".
Woods said the union is still negotiating with Baha Mar to have that clause removed. He said the union does not oppose foreigners occupying jobs provided that no Bahamian can fill those jobs.
He added that the union intends to write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Immigration requesting an investigation into Baha Mar's and Atlantis' claims.

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News Article

March 18, 2014
EARTHCARE speaks on impacts of the Resorts World Bimini cruise ship terminal

Full text of presentation by Gail Woon, Founder of EARTHCARE to Information Session at Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina, Alicetown, Bimini on March 15th, 2014.
Good evening,
The cruise ship terminal for Resorts World Bimini has been described as "necessary" to the business plan. I will outline here several reasons why that is a ludicrous statement.
First, let me outline what the cruise ship terminal plan entails:
The plan is to build a 1,000 foot pier terminal that will be wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other comfortably. At the end of this 1000 foot long structure will be the manmade "island". The island will be made from 220,000 cubic yards of your Crown Land prime ocean bottom that just happens to be right next to 14 of your "prime dive sites". The reason for the idea is to let their too large for the island, cruise ship to be able to come right up to the so-called island, which will house the Customs and Immigration and a "beach club" house.
The MAIN reason this delicate site was chosen, and the only reason that this incredibly valuable biologically diverse site was chosen for destruction is simply because it is closest to the casino and to the main road of Resorts World Bimini.

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