July 05, 2017
Minister of Tourism Dionisio D'Aguilar said yesterday that he doubts a delay in getting lounge chairs will delay the full opening of Baha Mar.
He also said he found it "odd" that China Construction America (CCA) claims it will miss the October 15, 2017 deadline for finishing 'substantial completion' of Baha Mar's construction if a Florida-based supplier continues to hold onto 50 percent of the resort's lounge chairs.
During an interview with The Nassau Guardian outside the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday, D'Aguilar said, "The Bahamas government is very, very anxious for that project to be finished.
"We've heard about endless delays, obviously, in the past, and we are just anxious for it to be open for Bahamians to be employed.
"I found it a little odd that the reason for the delay, as reported in the press yesterday, is deck chairs.
"I don't think that is going to delay the opening, but, you know, I don't know.
"We just have to get it opened as soon as possible and Bahamians employed.
"There's a pressing need to find jobs; there is high unemployment, and obviously we want to get that project opened as quickly as possible."
He added, "I don't think that if you're investing significant amounts of money in getting that project ready, really, the deck chairs are the issue that will cause a delay in opening and Bahamians getting employed.
"I didn't believe that as something significant, but I haven't spoken to them as yet to get the other side of the story to find out why it was so pressing. But my initial reaction is I don't think deck chairs are going to really delay the opening of a hotel of that size with that magnitude of an investment."
On Monday, Tribune Business reported that CCA warned that itself and Baha Mar will "suffer incalculable and irreparable damage" unless Source Outdoor is compelled to deliver the 1,420 chairs it is holding.
CCA alleges that failure to hit that date will expose it to penalty fees of $150,000 per day under the terms of its construction contract with the Export-Import Bank of China.
It also claims that the Florida supplier is using the chairs as "leverage" to force payment of pre-Chapter 11 debts owed by Baha Mar.
Baha Mar executives told Guardian Business that they could not comment on an "ongoing litigation matter between CCA and one of its vendors".
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News date : 07/05/2017 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories