Categorized | Featured, National News

FNM Deputy Leader Says Baha Mar’s Delay is Disappointing

Deputy Leader of the Free National Movement (FNM) Peter Turnquest said yesterday that he is “disappointed, but not surprised” at the delay of Baha Mar’s opening, which was scheduled for this Friday.

Mr. Turnquest said the setback will significantly impact the country as it is depending on the multi-billion dollar resort for income and employment.

“Not only as a country, but as individuals, we’ve really been hoping that Baha Mar would come off as scheduled because the revenue, the government’s revenue, is dependent heavily on Baha Mar coming on,” Mr. Turnquest said.

“We’ve already lost three months of this fiscal year, and with three months to go, it looks like we’re going to lose another month. Hopefully, come May, the project will open as is now being projected because it is important, not only to the tax revenue that we’re losing, but also to the jobs that they’ve promised,” he added.

On Tuesday evening, Senior Vice President of External and Governmental Affairs Robert Sands released a press statement to announce yet another delay in the resort’s opening. This time, blame was casted on the project’s lead contractor for not meeting the company’s deadline.

“In setting our opening date for March 27, we relied in good faith on the representations of the resort’s construction manager and lead contractor,” Mr. Sands said in a statement to the press.

He added, “It has become clear that the contractor has not completed the work with an attention to detail consistent with Baha Mar standards of excellence. Anything less than a world-class facility and best-in-class guest experience is not acceptable to Baha Mar. As a result, Baha Mar will not begin its paced opening on March 27.”

The resort was originally scheduled to open last December; however resort officials announced that the date had been pushed to Spring 2015.

Last month, Baha Mar revealed March 27 as its opening date. It was during that time Mr. Sands issued an “unequivocal yes” when asked if the resort would be ready for its March 27 debut.

Mr. Turnquest noted that since the introduction of Baha Mar, it has been viewed as a “saviour” to the Bahamian economy. He added that the delay is unfortunate since Baha Mar is “important to the economic recovery of the country.”

“The unemployment rate has been growing and Baha Mar has been seen as the saviour to help arrest that situation. With that not coming on now, it is likely that we’re going to see an increased unemployment rate,” Mr. Turnquest said.

Mr. Turnquest said the delay begs the question as to whether a lack of capital had some effect on the project being completed on time.

He urged the government to do all that is necessary to facilitate the resort’s opening.

The disappointment about the delay was also expressed on Baha Mar’s Facebook page where guests booked to visit the resort blasted the organization for making such a late announcement.

“This is so disappointing. I’m booked there for Friday. Two days’ notice is ludicrous and unprofessional,” one Facebook comment stated.

Another comment said, “Very poor of your company. Especially when you were planned to open on Friday. Well done for ruining my family vacation and a bunch of others too.”

Mr. Sands confirmed that the $3.5 billion resort will host its grand opening during the first week in May.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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