Cooper: Sandals deciding on timeline to develop Exuma Beaches resort

Sandals is deciding on a timeline to develop its child-friendly Beaches brand on Great Exuma, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said yesterday, explaining that the resort brand will also expand and renovate its Emerald Bay property in Exuma by 2023.

Cooper, who made the remarks during the Exuma Business Outlook, said in jest that he hopes Sandals will cut the ribbon on the Beaches property by 2026.

The company owns acres next door to its Emerald Bay property and raised the topic of building a Beaches resort several years ago.

Cooper lauded Sandals for being a substantial contributor to tourism on the island and praised the resort’s current impressive occupancy levels.

“I am happy to report that in a recent meeting with Sandals Resort, the Emerald Bay property is preparing itself for renovations and expansion,” said Cooper.

“The Emerald Bay property has been a robust 

contributor to the island. It has returned to its busy levels. I was advised that they are running even during the slow period occupancies as high as 90-95 percent. This is an exceptional record for tourism anywhere in the country.

“The ownership is also deciding on timelines to introduce its family friendly Beaches brand to Exuma, which would be the first for The Bahamas.”

Sandals is already carrying out extensive renovations on its Royal Bahamian property in Nassau, with an expected opening in January. The company is expected to have a job fair to tomorrow to fill positions for the resort’s imminent opening.

“Sandals has major plans for the renovation and expansion of that property with new docks, cabanas and new restaurants,” said Cooper.

“Sandals has partnered with the Department of Labour to identify hundreds of suitably qualified Bahamians to be hired by the end of November 2021, for the resort’s opening in January 2022.”

 The job fair hopes to connect 200 people with positions at Sandals Royal Bahamian and 100 people with positions at Sandals Emerald Bay, according to a statement from the Department of Labour.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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