Rosewood owner signs agreement to purchase Bahamas' Baha Mar

Maybe it'll work under new ownership.

The beleaguered Baha Mar resort on the Bahamas appears to have a new owner, the newest twist regarding the much-hyped resort gone bad, an ongoing storyline we've covered for the past two years: HERE, HERE and HERE.

Now, Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (CTFE), whose subsidiary is Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, has announced it has signed an agreement to acquire and operate Baha Mar, on New Providence island, in the Bahamas, from Perfect Luck Assets, an affiliate of Export-Import Bank of China, the project's largest lender.

“CTFE will dedicate significant, ongoing investment and resources toward the pre-opening and opening of Baha Mar Resort. We will also ensure that the Bahamian people and the region benefit fully from the project, which will create tremendous job and economic stimulus opportunities. Further, by combining our global hospitality expertise with the vibrant and authentic Bahamian culture, we will create a memorable, unmatched experience for guests of which all Bahamians can be proud," said Graeme Davis, former VP of Operations at Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and current president of CTFE’s Bahamian subsidiary.

Further, CTFE is reportedly talking with several brands to operate high-end properties at Baha Mar, including Grand Hyatt, SLS Hotels, with Rosewood also in discussion. (A Rosewood hotel has previously been slated to be a major component of the Baha Mar development, but that was thrown into question after the resort's initial owner filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with Rosewood subsequently filing a motion in a Delaware bankruptcy court asking to be excluded from a freeze on actions against Baha Mar Ltd. offered by Chapter 11 protections.)

The complex, which got underway back in 2011, at an initial cost of $3.5 billion, was to include a 1,000-room casino hotel with a 100,000-square-foot Las Vegas-style casino, a 700-room Grand Hyatt, a 200-room Rosewood hotel and a 300-room SLS LUX. A fifth hotel from Morgans Hotel Group was also slated, but Morgans pulled the plug on the project in April 2014 citing a management dispute. Appears these brands are back at the table once more.

Phase one of Baha Mar is now expected to open in April 2017, and will include the casino hotel, casino, convention center and golf course.