July 12, 2017
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is expected to lead a walk through of Baha Mar next week, only weeks after Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D'Aguilar toured the mega-resort, which is still under development.
Minnis has been hesitant to answer questions on Baha Mar, especially as eyebrows have been raised recently after former Baha Mar developer Sarkis Izmirlian suggested that the government place a moratorium on the sale of the property. The former government assisted in finding a buyer for Baha Mar and announced Chow Tai Fook Enterprises as that buyer late last year.
Guardian Business sought to find out if Baha Mar's contractor of record China Construction America (CCA) has been updating the
government on the progress of the resort's construction. This question arose after it was revealed that CCA's progress could be delayed because it is not in receipt of more than 1,400 lounge chairs.
However, no official statement on Baha Mar's progress or CCA's updates to the government have been offered to date.
Press Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Anthony Newbold told members of the press yesterday that the prime minister wants the resort opened as soon as possible.
"The government wishes to see the resort opened as soon as possible, so that the many jobs promised to the Bahamian people can finally become available," Newbold explained as the government's official line on Baha Mar.
In the meantime, credit rating agencies like Standard and Poor's are looking to the Baha Mar project for a peek into the country's economic future. Part of its opinion for downgrading this country's sovereign credit rating last year was the resort development's stagnancy, which was caused by the bankruptcy filing of the former developer.
While Minnis' new stance on Baha Mar seems to be counter to his stance on the campaign train in the run-up to the May 10 general election, he has been warned by many people, including former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, to not get involved in the Baha Mar sale.
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