Atlantis exec shrugs off restaurant threat

Atlantis exec shrugs off restaurant threat

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- A senior Atlantis executive yesterday shot down suggestions that the resort’s $200 million annual food and beverage business would be threatened by a fast-food restaurant, adding that it’s objections were rooted in concerns over traffic and congestion.

Vaughn Roberts, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Special Projects at Atlantis yesterday explained, “The old Scott Bank building was for sale. A Bahamian family bought it with the intention of converting it for use as a fast food restaurant. We got word of it through the Department of Physical Planning. We expressed our objections then. The modern Paradise Island, as we know it, is really the vision of Sol Keener. It was designed with the intent of being this idyllic kind of environment. We oppose it on the basis of the potential to create traffic and congestion. We don’t think it fits with the ethos and aesthetics of what we strive for on Paradise Island.”

Atlantis has joined other resorts and developers on Paradise Island in an effort to stop the Wendy’s and Marco’s Pizza franchise owner from converting Paradise Island’s former Scotiabank branch into a fast-food restaurant. Chris Tsavoussis and his brother Terry are the principals of Aetos Holdings, the Bahamain Wendy’s, Marcos Pizza and Popeyes franchise holder.

Roberts noted, “We don’t really see it as a competition. Our food and beverage business is about $200 million a year, so a single fast food outlet is not a threat to us. Collectively, we feel that whether it’s today or tomorrow or our aspirations for Paradise Island, we really don’t see how a Wendy’s and a Marco’s Pizza fit at that location.”

Atlantis has already announced plans to bring Shake Shack, an American fast casual restaurant chain based in New York City to the resort destination this year. The restaurant is expected to offer the brand’s classics, Angus beef burgers, crispy chicken, hand-spun milkshakes and house-made lemonades.