Christie set to take the Bahamas on a road of progress and growth
Nassau, The Bahamas – Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie along with several cabinet ministers, traveled to Bimini on Wednesday, August 14 for Phase II of the Resorts World 350-room luxury marina hotel. The Prime Minister also signed an agreement with EDSA to develop a master plan in the islands and announced plans for the beginning of Phase II of the South Bimini Airport expansion from 5400 ft to 6000 ft, to accommodate regional jets.
“Today is another wonderful day in our country, in that a number of ministers and myself have come to join Chairman Tan Sri KT Lim, his family and executive members of Resorts World in The Bahamas, a subsidiary of Genting, to announce and do the groundbreaking for a 350-room expansion,” said Prime Minister Christie.
“What is so significant about this is that it boggles the imagination when one tries to understand how 350-rooms would be here in three months from today,” he added.
Mr. Christie said that since the fast ferries started coming out of Florida, approximately 20,000 visitors have come to the island. He said that Resorts World has indicated that it anticipates the arrival of 400,000 visitors to Bimini annually. In addition, with the airport being expanded, Mr. Christie said that this would boost tourist’s arrivals even further.
The initiatives coincide with the Prime Minister’s recent announcement for the $150 million development plan spearheaded by Resorts World Bimini. The new hotel will feature contemporary-Bahamian style architecture and will offer luxurious accommodations overlooking the ocean and located adjacent to the newly opened Resorts World Bimini Casino. It is anticipated that the top three floors, consisting of 300 rooms, will be completed by Christmas 2013 with the remaining 50 garden villa suites being completed by the end of January 2014. The project will create over 100 construction jobs, and an additional 300 permanent jobs for Biminites and other Bahamians upon completion of the hotel. The new hotel will also provide new food and beverage facilities and extended hours in the operation of the resort facilities. Presently, over 450 associates are employed by the resort with an additional 350 jobs expected at the completion of the expansion, bringing a total of 800 permanent jobs to the island.
In addition to the groundbreaking ceremony, the Prime Minister also discussed plans for a partnership between the University of Miami and Genting Group to spearhead the government’s plan to bring health care services to the island of Bimini.
“The University of Miami would enter into a joint collaboration and form a partnership with The Bahamas Government in the use and governance of stem cells in The Bahamas and stem cell intervention — stem cell therapy — stem cell research,” said Mr. Christie. “What we are also discussing today because we have with us the Minister of Health, the Chief Medical Officer, a consultant with the Ministry of Health, Director of Public Health – all here in Bimini at this time to hold discussions with the representatives of the University of Miami with respect to — not stem cells — but respect to how the University could provide coverage in addition to our health personnel that would enable Bimini to have first-class health-care coverage beginning now.”
He said that this requires immediate evacuation and that he has been in discussions with the developers at Genting for a partnership to provide health care to the island.
The Genting Group, a global company, founded in l965, operates resorts World Bimini. The company is the world’s leading Destination Resorts operator. Genting has Resorts World-branded properties in Asia, Europe, North America and on all four oceans through 43 percent ownership of Norwegian Cruise Line and Star Cruise brands. The company has a combined market capitalisation of $45 billion and employs more than 50,000 people worldwide.