On May 25, NATPE reps organized a visit to a potential NATPE 2023 venue (as exclusively reported by VideoAge in December 2021) in Nassau, The Bahamas, for 11 people from nine potential exhibitors, who flew there from New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and London. Others will be making individual trips in July and August. The May group included NATPE president JP Bommel, senior VP Charlie Weiss, and event director Stephanie Beringhele. The complete group of visitors was welcomed in Nassau by Graeme Davis, president of the 2,300-room Baha Mar complex that will likely house the 2023 incarnation of NATPE, which has been renamed NATPE Global for the occasion.
Some of the visitors believe that the new venue is already a “done deal.” Indeed, it was pointed out that all the rooms have already been blocked out for the NATPE 2023 market period, which will retain the same dates of the (now former) NATPE Miami, January 17-19.
According to the report offered to VideoAge‘s Water Cooler by two of the visitors, the Baha Mar has three hotels in the large compound: Rosewood, SLS, and the Grand Hyatt, with the most economical being the Hyatt. The total average cost for each “inspector” flying from the U.S. was $1,350 for a two-night stay (during the low season). However, a VideoAge call to Baha Mar reveled that before and after NATPE, the cheapest room at the Grand Hyatt is $419 per night plus a $59 resort fee per day, plus $114 between taxes and service charges, for a total of $592 per night.
The questions raised by some in the visiting contingent, however, mostly had to do with the high costs of the food, beverages, and services offered by complex, which are all on the pricey side.
Another question raised was whether the market will take place in one hotel or in suites and stands scattered all around the complex. One more concern was the availability of a place for breakfast meetings. Baha Mar supposedly has 45 restaurants, but the “inspectors” only saw a single buffet table with a long line during their visit.
The “inspectors” reported that the price issue, however, is not as big a concern for the sellers as is it is for to the buyers, especially those from LATAM. Considering NATPE’s low financial reserves (after two years without an in-person market), buyers will likely not be offered complimentary hotel rooms, which will affect Central American buyers the most. This, they say, will undoubtedly end up benefitting MIP Cancun.
Another issue is whether or not Miami-based distributors will benefit from this new arrangement. Since all LATAM buyers (including those from Mexico) will have to fly through Miami in order to easily hop on over to Nassau, will local Miami distributors try to get ahead of the game and ask buyers to pay them a visit before heading to NATPE, in effect replicating the L.A. Screenings model?
Two other questions raised regarded the number of years NATPE has signed (or will sign) with Baha Mar, and whether the distributors who paid for the cancelled Miami 2022 market but haven’t yet been reimbursed, will attend NATPE Global because they foresee a good market, or whether it’s just to use up their credit.
These and other questions were posed to NATPE organizers who asked to postpone the interview, possibly because they were too busy with NATPE Budapest preparations.