Revenue Up Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort

Tuesday, 12 January 2010 00:00 News Editor
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Starwood yesterday said its Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort at Cable Beach had seen a 10 per cent revenue increase in 2009, and confirmed to Tribune Business its brands were still committed to the delayed $2.6 billion Baha Mar project.

Andrew Neubauer, director of sales and marketing for the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort, said that despite the delay in the project, four Starwood brands will be present when the Baha Mar vision is realised.

According to Mr Neubauer, Starwood was committing its prestigious collection of St Regis, W and Westin resort brands to the project, which will be constructed alongside the newly-renovated Sheraton. The Sheraton will remain untouched throughout the proposed three to four-year building period.

Negotiations

Starwood representatives attending Caribbean Marketplace 2010 said they could not say much about the status of Baha Mar's negotiations with its new prospective partners, the China Export-Import Bank and China State Construction, but said the partnership might be finalised within a few weeks.

Baha Mar's chairman and chief executive , Sarkis Izmirlian, told Tribune Business in an exclusive interview on Monday that the project could create more than 2,500 Bahamian construction jobs when the project begins.

Mr Neubauer also confirmed that Baha Mar has not locked down a casino operator for the resort, but that the developer's executives would announce their choice prior to its opening. Starwood has casinos within a number of their properties but does not independently operate any of them.

Baha Mar executives recently revealed that the Sheraton property has become their highest revenue earner.

Renovations

The Wyndham Resort and Crystal Palace Casino, which also underwent renovations recently, has not performed as expected, having run sub-market revenue per available room rates and being closed for almost three months in the summer in an attempt to minimise operating costs.

Mr Izmirlian's comment that neither the Sheraton nor the Wyndham was "not doing very well" appear to conflict with Starwood's position on the former property.

However, Starwood and its Sheraton brand earn their money as a percentage of the resort's gross profit or revenues, whereas Baha Mar - which earns it on the net income - has to deal with property depreciation and a whole set of other factors.

Mr Izmirlian said Baha Mar's two existing Cable Beach resorts are only still open because his family has used their own money to cover "significant multi-million dollar losses", particularly over the last two years, something that has made the Izmirlians the "largest private investor in the history of the Bahamas".

Source: The Tribune