Atlantis resort to get $600M facelift

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PARADISE ISLAND, The Bahamas -- Kerzner International said it entered into an agreement with the government of the Bahamas for a $600 million expansion here of its flagship resort, Atlantis.

The expansion will include a new 1,200-room hotel situated at Pirate's Cove; an 18-hole golf course; new water-themed attractions; an additional 50,000 square feet of convention and meetings space; an expansion of the One & Only Ocean Club; 120 additional two-bedroom timeshare units at the Harborside development; and new restaurants and shops.

The expansion of the Ocean Club and construction of the new restaurants and shops is scheduled to start in late 2004 and be completed one year later at a cost of $100 million.

Work on the largest portion of the expansion -- the new 1,200-room hotel, golf course, water-themed attractions and convention space -- will start late next year and be completed by Christmas 2006 at a cost of $500 million, the company said.

As part of the agreement, the government has agreed to improve Nassau International Airport and the roadway system, extend the moratorium on new casino licenses on Paradise Island and New Providence by 20 years, extend casino tax concessions and exempt Kerzner International from certain import duties on construction materials.

"This is an ambitious project and we are convinced that to remain successful we must continue to add new and exciting attractions," said Sol Kerzner, chairman of Kerzner International. "Last year, while most others in our industry were suffering, we were able to maintain our room rates and occupancies."

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