Business

South Andros resort faces challenges amid COVID-19

Caerula Mar Club, the former Emerald Palms resort in Driggs Hill, South Andros, has resorted to renting out the entire property for $40,000 per night, so that groups do not have to concern themselves with too-stringent COVID-19 protocols, after the pandemic disrupted a much anticipated opening year, according to a Forbes article on the property.

The property, which opened in February, was soon shut down, due to emergency protocols put in place by the government to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The article notes that Hurricane Dorian had an effect on final renovations on the property, as several of the workers were affected by the storm.

According to the Forbes article, the resort’s Canadian owners – Sarah and Bryan Baeumler – also ran into budget woes, after overshooting their original estimate of $4 million by $6 million.

“The couple spent about $2 million on the oceanfront property, which has 18 rooms and six villas, a restaurant, spa, pool and bar,” the article states.

“But they had no idea how much the investment would ultimately end up costing them. Despite owning a successful construction business in Canada, enabling them to build the property economically, the couple faced unexpected challenges; most supplies had to be shipped in and the property was in bad shape. The budget for the remodel was supposed to be around $4 million, but they have spent well over $10 million.

“Finances were one of many devastating challenges, as the project was struck by disaster along the way. In the fall of 2019, Category 5 Hurricane Dorian hit The Bahamas and while South Andros Island was spared the worst of the storm, their employees and friends were affected.”

When Guardian Business visited the property last year, finishing work was being done on the property and Sarah was eager to begin a phased opening of the property.

The Forbes article explains that the entire resort can be rented for an “ultimate social distance experience” at an all-inclusive rate of  $40,000 per night for a minimum of three nights through 2021.

The article also reveals that interested resort-goers can access Andros through direct flights on small private carriers, out of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

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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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