Baha Mar lays off workers

A rendering of the Baha Mar resort.
A rendering of the Baha Mar resort.

The developer of Bahamas' stalled Baha Mar resort on Thursday laid off about 2,000 workers, as no agreement has yet been reached between the project's developer, lender and contractor on how to finish the $3.5 billion project.

"With Baha Mar still not completed, no concrete solution in place, no confirmed funding source and without the benefit of binding the parties into a proven reorganization process, there is simply no way for Baha Mar to sustain the thousands of jobs that are being cut today," Sarkis Izmirlian, principal of the developer, Baha Mar Ltd., wrote in a letter obtained by Travel Weekly. While Izmirlian wasn't any more specific about how many jobs were lost, it's believed to be nearly 2,000.

The Bahamas' publication the Tribune, which reported on the layoffs earlier today, said the layoffs were spurred by a request from KRyS Global and Aliz Partners, the provisional liquidators who the Bahamas Supreme Court appointed to oversee the project. The appointees said earlier this month that talks between the developer, its China-based primary contractor and its China-based lender were "constructive."

Neither representatives with KRyS Global, Aliz Partners nor the Bahamas government immediately responded to a request for comment from Travel Weekly late Thursday.

Construction delays led developer Baha Mar Ltd. to file for bankruptcy in late June so that it could protect its assets and complete the resort, which the developer says is 97% built. Since then, talks between the developer, lender, contractor and Bahamian government have been contentious, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware threw out the case last month.

Baha Mar was slated to include the 1,000-room Baha Mar Casino & Hotel, the 707-room Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar, the 300-room SLS Lux at Baha Mar and the 200-room Rosewood at Baha Mar. The project's fifth hotel and lone pre-existing property, the 694-room Melia Nassau Beach, remains open as it completes its renovations and conversion to the Melia at Baha Mar early next year.
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