Rahming: ‘I’m Worried About Baha Mar’

Business

A well-known architect is “worried” about the $2.6 billion Baha Mar project’s prospects for success, arguing that its casino was not an “attraction base”.
Expanding on his argument that the Bahamas has failed to define its tourism product.
Pat Rahming told Tribune Business that “no single casino” had the ability to act as an ‘attraction’.
Baha Mar’s Cable Beach redevelopment has at its core a casino-centric model, with the developers frequently touting it as the largest facility of its kind in the Caribbean region.
Yet Mr Rahming told The Tribune: “I’m worried about Baha Mar. I don’t see the attraction base, but that’s a personal thing.”
“They think the attraction base is a 100,000 square foot casino. My observation is that there is no single casino anywhere that is an attraction today.”
Comparing Baha Mar, and the Bahamas, to major gaming destinations such as Las Vegas and Macau, Mr Rahming said these locations were ‘ place attractions’ due to the critical mass generated by multiple casino operators – not just one.
“It amazed me that when I went to Macau and looked at 21 casinos, where can a single casino turn into an attraction,” he added.
Calling on the Bahamas to stop altering its tourism ‘brand’ every few years, Mr Rahming used an analogy to explain why – in his eyes – so many hotels in this nation ended up failing.
“If you have a creek for the bonefish, you have a place to fish. Put some rooms there, and you have a fishing resort,” he explained.
“If you have some mountains, you have a place to go skiing. Put some rooms there, and you have a ski resort. If you’ve got a beach, a beautiful white sandy beach, you have a place to go swimming. Put some rooms there, and you have a beach resort.
“The reason most resorts in the Bahamas fail is they never find out what the attraction is that their decision to have a resort is based on.”
By Neil Hartnell
Tribune Business Editor
Original News Article

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