It is urgent that a deal be made for Baha Mar, according to CEO Sarkis Izmirlian, because without a deal the cost of the resort’s completion will continue to rise.
The cost of completing Baha Mar has already increased from $300 million to $400 million and it will continue to rise if a solution is not found for the completion and opening of the $3.5 billion resort, Izmirlian said during a recent interview with radio talk show host Jeff Lloyd.
Izmirlian expressed that there is “great urgency” to make a deal but unfortunately, the parties involved in the negotiations have not felt the sense of urgency.
“I‘ve been trying to make a deal for four months now,” he said. “There was an urgency to make a deal on March 27 when we missed our opening.”
The parties involved in the Baha Mar debacle negotiated in Beijing, China on several occasions over a deal for the completion of the resort but talks failed, as Izmirlian made a proposal for the Bahamian government to provide the Export-Import Bank of China with a “sovereign guarantee” of up to $175 million.
However, Izmirlian said when a deal is made he will need three months to open the resort.
Therefore, it is possible for Baha Mar to be open by Christmas.
“But, that window is closing very rapidly and legal maneuvers that the government have undertaken can only delay that,” Izmirlian said.
Recently, the government filed a winding up petition against Baha Mar’s 14 Bahamian entities and this move seeks to remove the control of the development from Izmirlian and place it under the supervision of the Bahamian court system with provisional liquidators.
Izmirlian said while he has the utmost respect for Prime Minister Perry Christie, he believes the prime minister is receiving “bad advice” concerning the government’s actions in the matter over Baha Mar.
Izmirlian added that he believes the prime minister is not doing what is best for Bahamians.
However, he agreed to continue to partner with the prime minister for the successful opening of the resort.
“I will do everything that is within my power to make sure that our relationship with the government of the Bahamas is a good one and that it allows us to open Baha Mar as soon as possible,” Izmirlian said.
He explained that his relationship with relationship with the prime minister is like a marriage.
“Some days you have good days, some days you have bad days. Right now, I’m sleeping on the couch,” Izmirlian added.