**FILE** A security guard lowers the Bahamian flag at Fort Charlotte on December 19, 2013 in Nassau, Bahamas. The fort is one of several that remain from the British colonial era. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
**FILE** A security guard lowers the Bahamian flag at Fort Charlotte on December 19, 2013 in Nassau, Bahamas. The fort is one of several that remain from the British colonial era. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

A $250 million investment that will bring one of the world’s top luxury resort brands to Freeport, Grand Bahama, was hailed as “the catalyst” that will drive the island’s “phoenix from the ashes” rebirth, The Tribune, one of The Bahamas’ leading newspapers reported on Friday, November 4.

Rupert Hayward, the grandson of former Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) co-chair Sir Jack Hayward, told The Tribune that the multi-party deal to develop a Six Senses resort at the 30-acre Barbary Beach site previously owned by Marriott will “raise many, many eyebrows around the world and put Grand Bahama on the map” for high-end tourism.

Rupert Hayward voiced confidence that the agreement featuring Weller Development, which is spearheading the largest U.S. urban regeneration in Baltimore, and Pegasus Capital Advisors, the private equity group focused on investing in sustainable projects, will “change the narrative on Grand Bahama,” and restore its reputation as a location that attracts high-quality investments by both foreigners and Bahamians.

Mr. Hayward, whose Blue Action Lab is functioning as the project’s local partner and adviser, said that while “I don’t have the figures in front of me” the Six Senses development will create “hundreds of direct and indirect jobs” — as well as construction posts — with completion and opening targeted for 2026.

Hinting that the Six Senses resort is just the first step in Weller’s plans for Grand Bahama, Mr. Hayward added: “This is the start of bigger plans.” 

Confirming that the Six Senses project has received the government’s blessing, via National Economic Council (NEC) and Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) approvals, Mr. Hayward said the resort brand’s arrival will also place Bahamians “at the forefront” of sustainable development via education and training.

He said the resort’s development should also be a “catalyst” for the revival of airlift to Grand Bahama, given that Six Senses will stimulate visitor demand while creating a further impetus to swiftly redevelop the island’s main airport which still remains in poor condition more than three years after Hurricane Dorian.

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