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CEO: Booming business for Bimini Bay
By Clarence Rolle, MOT
Jul 17, 2012 - 12:43:32 PM

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BIMINI, Bahamas-- As Bimini Bay Resort gets into its second phase of development, the resort is reporting a booming business that is poised to add a world-class casino, aggressively market its property and take advantage of coming infrastructural improvements on Bimini.

Alejandro Capo, CEO of RAV Bahamas, reported that 13 of Phase Two's 131 residential homes have already been sold - six months after the start of the expanded development. Construction has already started on six of them and it is expected that construction will begin on another six before the end of August.  Meanwhile, demand for properties like the upscale and environmentally sustainable Bimini Bay homes continues to grow in "secondary markets" as Bimini Bay has not yet launched its comprehensive marketing effort in primary markets, Mr. Capo said.

"We're really going to go with the great marketing effort for the second part of this year to see if we can get the up northerners because right now our primary markets are South America and South Florida," he said. "We really haven't hit any of those northern markets like New York, New Jersey, the Metro area."

With a new casino on schedule to open in December, Bimini Bay executives expect even greater focus to be on the property.  With Malaysia-based Genting Group as a partner, Mr. Capo believed that Bimini Bay will become a world-renowned destination instead of a property that is extremely popular mainly in South America and South Florida. In the process, he said, employment on the island will increase. He estimates that the casino will need to hire another 100 people in Bimini. Indirectly, he said, the need for more casino regulators and other spin off jobs will result in a total of 250 to 300 new jobs.

Meanwhile, even without the casino, Bimini Bay's marina is doing brisk business. While most boating destinations have seen reduced business over the past five years due to recession, Bimini Bay has seen increased business, Mr. Capo reported.

"People stopped using their boats to go further distances, and since we're so close to South Florida, all the boats that have never come here before started coming because it was cheaper than spending the amount of gas it was to get to the Eleutheras and the Exumas," he said. "Our boating business is up 40, 50% from last year which is huge. Our prices are up another 20% from what we use to book at and all of our major holidays have been sold out months in advance. So we're really not seeing that downturn in our marina business."

Mr. Capo was pleased that plans for a new airport terminal have been announced for Bimini.  He said air transportation to Bimini had been the biggest obstacle to the hotel portion of Bimini Bay for the past 7 years. A new terminal with an extended runway will allow the resort to attract guests from further points of origin than South Florida in large numbers, Mr. Capo said.

Overall, he said, the future looks very bright for Bimini Bay.

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