Exactly one year after Baha Mar developer Sarkis Izmirlian filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in a U.S. court, Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday said the government continues to produce “empty rhetoric and broken promises and engage in secret deals, yet nothing has gotten Baha Mar open.”
Dr. Minnis said the revitalization of the country’s tourism industry, which the government had promised to stimulate through the beleaguered multi-billion dollar resort, has not yet been seen.
“From the outset they promised us 5,000 jobs yet that has not happened. Weekly, we find out through the newspapers about secret deals that the PLP Government has made with the Chinese that will rob Bahamian contractors of money they are due,” Dr. Minnis said.
Construction stopped on the resort last year June, after the developer filed bankruptcy.
Subsequently, the resort went into receivership and 2,000 workers at the resort were laid off late last year.
“Many Bahamian contractors are also still waiting to be paid the $74 Million for work that was already completed yet the Prime Minister recently admitted that they should not expect to get paid,” said Dr. Minnis.
“Recently, an engineering inspector even questioned the structural integrity of Baha Mar since it has been sitting empty for a year with no upkeep,” he added.
Dr. Minnis questioned whether there is more to this Baha Mar debacle that meets the eye.
“Could there be more road blocks to opening up the resort then is even known now? There are a lot of questions to be answered by the PLP Government that they refuse to divulge any information on,” said Dr. Minnis.
“Instead of being the crown jewel of the Bahamian tourism industry, the vacant hulking structures that sit empty are an example of the continued failed leadership of the PLP Government,” he added.
“The Bahamian people can expect the same type of campaign rhetoric that they heard last time offering up lots of hope yet only delivering despair and never creating the jobs they promised. The FNM stands for open transparency and will work every day for the Bahamian people and the jobs they so desperately need and deserve,” he said.