FREEPORT, Bahamas -- Our Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort here on
Grand Bahama Island is awaiting the final component to make it a
complete Bahamian resort -- a 30,000-square-foot casino.
The casino structure was erected, according to Lisa Bauer, vice
president of sales and marketing, but a formal announcement of a
casino operator and a government gaming license are both
The facility, which could open by mid-summer, Bauer said, will
have entertainment as well as games of chance such as slot
machines, blackjack, poker and roulette.
At a recent New York press conference, Eric Waldburger, general
manager of Our Lucaya, said the casino component would make the
property a formidable competitor for meetings business that now
goes to Paradise Island's Atlantis complex.
Based on this past winter and a current bookings influx, the
property expects "a good summer," Bauer said -- and having a casino
will be a plus. The Memorial Day period was close to a sell-out,
while occupancy for the July 4 holiday appears to be around 85% or
higher, according to Bauer.
She added that agent support for Our Lucaya's yearlong, Monday
Madness incentive has been very strong. Under the program, double
commissions are paid on select Mondays; travel can occur on any
day. "The phones rang off the hook" when the incentive was
announced in late April, Bauer said.
The $450 million, 372-acre Our Lucaya complex -- which opened in
December 2000 -- is already in the big leagues even without an
operating casino, due to its 1,350 rooms, 40,000-square-foot
conference center, 14 restaurants and extensive beach-front
It also has another 90,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor
meeting space available.
In other news, summer packages for the resort include
value-added features, such as free meals for children under the
Family Fun package.
Through Sept. 2, children ages 12 and younger stay and eat free;
their supervised activities at Camp Lucaya, the resort's club for
kids, also are free.
Rates start at $125 per night for a room in Reef Village and
$155 per night when staying in a Breakers Cay unit. This new
package also includes a daily children's tennis clinic; golf for
kids (when accompanied by a playing adult); a weekly golf clinic,
and activities at Camp Lucaya.
The camp is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; there are extra
evening sessions from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.
Supervised activities include water sports, arts, crafts and games.
Another option for parents is after-hours baby-sitting services,
which can be arranged by Camp Lucaya.
The one-night Summer Fun package, starting from $155 for a
Breakers Cay islandview room, is available through Sept. 2. It also
includes a $50 credit toward food and beverage, 20% savings on a
couples massage at the Senses Spa and free greens fees when renting
a golf cart for $35 per person.
There is another package with value-added discounts for
children, marketed in conjunction with Discovery Cruise Line. The
line's Discovery sails to Freeport from Port Everglades, Fla.
For more information, call (877) 687-5822 or visit www.ourlucaya.com.