The government yesterday signed an amended heads of agreement (HOA) with Cotton Bay Holdings for the development of a $200 million resort in South Eleuthera.
The project will create 500 jobs — 300 during construction and 200 during operation — on the island, according to Cotton Bay Holdings Manager Daniel Zuleta.
He said the resort, which will be a part of the Ritz-Carlton brand, will have 90 rooms and 60 villas.
Zuleta said it is expected to open in 48 months.
“We hope this will make a huge impact on the island, especially in the south,” he said.
“It will create opportunities for young people especially to grow and develop on the island without the need to leave their hometowns. That’s the major thing.
“We’ve been working with the community for several years and we will try to continue that way.”
The original HOA was signed in 2015.
However, according to Lynn Holowesko, the attorney for Cotton Bay Holdings, the hotel partner that was a part of that 2015 signing decided to go “in another direction”.
“They used the time to buy additional property and find an even better hotel partner,” she said.
“The Ritz-Carlton, as you heard this
morning, there are only four in the world right now and there are four in process, and I think this is one of the four that are in process.
“We are really fortunate to have a high-end premier hotel group coming to The Bahamas.”
Ritz-Carlton Vice President for the Caribbean and Latin America Alejandro Acevedo expressed confidence that this will be “one of our best hotels in our system”.
The signing of the HOA took place at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday morning.
Both Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation Chester Cooper were present.
The deputy prime minister said the signing was “an important occasion for the people of South Eleuthera”.
“We anticipate that this project will do wonders for the economy, the landscape of South Eleuthera and, of course, the people of Eleuthera in terms of not just jobs but potential entrepreneurial opportunities,” Cooper said.
“We have seen a significant level of interest in investments in The Bahamas since coming to office and therefore this is an important occasion for us to demonstrate our commitment to the tourism product first of all and to the investment sector generally.
“The Ritz-Carlton brand will be an important development for tourism in our country. We are delighted that Cotton Bay Holdings has taken this important step in moving this development along.”