Hotels After two turbulent years, Baha Mar looks to fulfill potential By Danny King / April 21, 2017 Share 1 Baha Mar's ribbon-cutting was held Friday. Present were Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie (second from left) and Baha Mar president Graeme Davis (third from left). Photo Credit: Danny King -- NASSAU, Bahamas -- Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie said that Baha Mar will propel the Bahamas to the forefront of Caribbean tourism, in remarks Friday during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the highly anticipated mega-resort. The saga of Baha Mar -- originally scheduled to open two years ago but impeded by delays and conflict between the first developer and the Bahamian and Chinese governments -- has been "tumultuous," Christie acknowledged. There has been "endless and tedious negotiations," he said.That's now in the past."Baha Mar's opening is not a mirage," Christie told an audience of VIPs, resort staff and media at the Grand Hyatt's entrance. "It is not some ostentatious effort of misrepresentations. It is real, and it is the most significant economic event ever to occur in a single phase in the Bahamas and in the Caribbean region."Christie thanked Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, which agreed to acquire the resort late last year after original developer Sarkis Izmirlian was ousted. He also thanked the state-owned Export-Import Bank of China, Baha Mar's lender, for paying more than $100 million to compensate workers and creditors after the resort's collapse into receivership.Baha Mar president Graeme Davis acknowledged that the resort's reputation has been tarnished by delays and controversy, but he's optimistic about overcoming that. The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar began taking reservations on Friday for stays starting May 29. Photo Credit: Danny King "Baha Mar has affected vacation plans and spoiled people's future memories," Davis said in a Friday press conference at the resort's convention center. "We look forward to restoring the trust and integrity of Baha Mar with our travel partners and guests."Davis said there is "pent-up demand" for Baha Mar and that the traveling public has a "short-term memory."The $4.2 billion resort started accepting reservations today for stays at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, starting May 29. The hotel's website displayed rates starting at $370 per night for 470-square-foot rooms, $409 a night with breakfast included. Also on Friday, Baha Mar opened the Jack Nicklaus-designed Royal Blue golf course, the Espa spa, the convention center, the casino, and five of the resort's 40 restaurants and bars.Baha Mar's preview period through May 29 will allow for media, travel agents, members of the local population and VIPs to stay at the property.Baha Mar has hired about 1,600 employees so far, and estimates that the total will jump to 6,000 once the Grand Hyatt opens more guestrooms (right now, about 300 of the 1,800 rooms are open) and the resort's other two hotels open. A 300-room SLS Lux hotel is scheduled to open this fall, and a 200-room Rosewood luxury hotel is slated to open next spring.