Not wanting to over-saturate the delicate tourism market Kerzner International has announced that they will not proceed with Phase IV expansion plans for the Paradise Island resort until the multi-billion dollar Baha Mar project in Cable Beach is concluded.
If the issues and controversy surrounding the $2.6 billion Baha Mar development are resolved and the project proceeds an additional 3,500 rooms will be added to the inventory. If Kerzner were to also proceed and add an flux of rooms within the same time period it could stand to saturate a limited and struggling market.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham temporarily shelved a House of Assembly debate over Baha Mar’s request for 8,000 Chinese work permits until the matter of their outstanding $200 million loan with Scotiabank was resolved. Those negotiations have now come to a broad agreement with further details of settlement still being worked out.
Meanwhile on the issue of the work permits, the Bahamas had signed an agreement with Kerzner in 2003 promising that no other entity would receive a better deal. This puts the Bahamas in a position where if the unprecedented number of work permits for Baha Mar are approved, Kerzner would then have the right to request the same deal allowing for a vast number of foreign workers to flow into country. An issue over which the prime minister is taking serious concern.