The British Colonial hotel remains under renovation, though parts of it could be open by the summer, with a full opening possible by November, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said yesterday.
Cooper, who spoke to the media outside of Cabinet, said the developers of the former Hilton-branded hotel have advised him that they are making steady progress in the lead-up to reopening the hotel.
“We can see work on the way from the windows of the Ministry of Tourism, so we know that it’s happening,” said Cooper.
“We expect that certain portions of the property will open this summer, with a full opening during November this year.
“It’s important to get all of the inventory we have back into circulation. We have a room shortage, and therefore every room we can provide to tourists is a positive for tourism, and continues to grow our stopover visitors.
“We look forward to this coming on stream, this will be a short-term boost.”
The Hilton removed its brand in the first quarter of 2022, in what the global hospitality brand called an amicable separation from the British Colonial’s owners.
Downtown is set to get a boost on the cruise side with the grand opening of the revitalized Nassau Cruise Port only about two weeks away.
Cooper said yesterday that his ministry is working closely with the cruise port on the opening celebrations, and is looking forward to the boost in cruise and leisure travel the new port will provide.
“This will attract significant levels of visitors by cruise,” he said.
“I’m excited about it not just because of the celebration, but this is going to cause an increase in the number of visitors a day that we are able to accommodate.
“It’s going to work wonders for the downtown area. There will be authentically Bahamian products, additional restaurants, all of these will be accessible also by Bahamians.
“This is going to be good for tourists, but also good for for locals as well.”