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22 Oct 2019

Major new waterpark in the works for the Bahamas, as Baha Mar announces US$300m expansion
BY Andy Knaggs

The Baha Mar resort is receiving government backing for its next phase of development

The Baha Mar resort is receiving government backing for its next phase of development
photo: Baha Mar

Bahamian mega-resort Baha Mar is to be expanded with a new waterpark as part of a US$300m (€269m, £231.7m) project announced by the country's government.

Located near Nassau on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas, the resort currently includes three hotels, a casino, spa and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. It's owned by Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.

A new phase of expansion of the site will see the Baha Mar Bay waterpark built on the 14-acre site formerly occupied by the now-demolished Wyndham resort and Crystal Palace casino. It is scheduled to be completed in the next 1-2 years.

Alongside the waterpark, the new phase of development will include beach enhancements and new food and beverage facilities at Long Cay, Baha Mar's private 15-acre island, and upgrades to the existing Melia Hotel and Baha Mar's pier.

Altogether, the project is likely to create 500 permanent and direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs, and is being seen by the Bahamian government as an important factor in rebuilding the archipelago's economy following its battering by Hurricane Dorian this year.

Reported in the local paper, The Tribune, Baha Mar's president Graeme Davis told a press conference at the government's Cabinet Office that the hurricane had caused a US$10m (€9m, £7.7m) fall in bookings, but he characterised the impact as temporary rather than permanent.

"We are confident and optimistic that as we get to the end of the hurricane season, this will be a past memory in the traveller's mind, and they will understand that the Bahamas is open for business and so is Baha Mar and other lodging establishments here in New Providence," he said.

Davis also said that a Bahamian company has already been hired to carry out pool construction for the waterpark, with 80 per cent of the workers on the site being from the Bahamas.



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