Executive view: Graeme Davis, Baha Mar

Graeme Davis
Graeme Davis

Graeme Davis is the president of Baha Mar.

There is certainly Covid fatigue -- and tremendous pent-up demand for travel. Those with the financial stability to weather the next two to three quarters will find there will be a very quick and strong recovery. Once vaccines are well-distributed, if everyone does their part to control the pandemic, it's quite possible that the recovery could come in Q3 or into Q4 of 2021.

We're probably going to start off 2021 with occupancy in the teens and then build up momentum as we get later into Q1 and into Q2. But we're not going see revenue per available room back to 2019 levels until the end of 2022. Full recovery is probably in 2023.

All of us are reimagining our businesses going forward. Travelers are thinking about their health and safety, and we'll focus on the well-being of guests in everything we do. Those who think about how to create more open spaces and more thoughtful experiences will have a better, quicker recovery.

We think summertime is probably the right opportunity for the Caribbean, and certainly here in the Bahamas. We have over 3,000 rooms, and we're looking at occupancies in the 50s by Q3, so there'll be a significant amount of space for social-distancing.

The leisure segment's going to come back first, no question. The challenges are going to be on the business and corporate side. We can create a safe experience for groups  we have enough space in our conference center, we have enough outdoor space and enough space for indoor dining with physical distancing available for groups. We can have daily testing for attendees. But we don't see group business really picking up until Q4, or even into 2022. There are discussions about 2022 availability; people are already looking at holding space for large groups.

We're excited to have reopened the Grand Hyatt, in a phased fashion, after nine months of being closed. How soon we open Rosewood, SLS and Melia properties will depend upon demand through the festive season and into January. It's not something that you can flick a switch and turn on in two weeks, but within 30 to 45 days, we can make a decision and be ready to open. We're accepting reservations for February for both SLS and Rosewood, with the hope that we won't have to postpone into later Q1 or Q2.

We continue investing in experiences and created Baha Bay, a $200 million luxury waterpark, which will open Q3 of 2021. It will have luxury cabanas, state-of-the-art rides and food and beverage unlike any other waterpark. Not the chicken tenders and pizza you have at typical waterparks, but great restaurant concepts. Every part has been looked at in a new light of a luxury.

Marcus Samuelsson will be joining with a brand-new, $20 million beachfront restaurant, Marcus' Fish and Chop House. It's two stories, with the second floor strictly for group meetings, overlooking the beach and the ocean. We're in final discussions with another celebrity chef coming into Rosewood, as well.

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