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Atlantis Paradise Island Celebrates 25 Years with an Event Spotlighting the Community

To commemorate the milestone, the iconic resort jetted in hundreds of A-list guests, debuted a new restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef, and enlisted many Bahamas-based vendors.

Atlantis Paradise Island Celebrates 25 Years with an Event Dedicated to the Community
Bahamas-based vendors handled everything from furniture rentals to event decor, audiovisual, entertainment, and production, just to name a few.
Photo: Courtesy of Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas

ATLANTIS, BAHAMAS—Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas has grown immensely since its inception in 1998, now boasting 4,000 guest rooms and 40 restaurants and bars set on 200 acres, which served as the perfect playground for its three-day 25th anniversary celebration Nov. 10-12.

After jetting in hundreds of A-list guests on private planes, a weekend of high-brow happenings included the grand opening of Paranza at The Cove—a swanky eatery helmed by Michelin-starred chef Michael White—a cocktail party at the resort’s Nobu restaurant, and an evening of jazz music that was capped off with a performance by CeeLo Green.

Aside from pulling off a multiday extravaganza that played host to the likes of Katie Couric and H​​elena Christensen, to name a few—with the only snafu being “one charter flight taking off a little bit late coming in,” said Linda Stednick, the vice president of conference and banquet operations at the resort—Atlantis Paradise Island’s anniversary was a case study in how to show the local community love. Stednick said the resort exclusively tapped Bahamas-based vendors, gifted from native establishments, and wove in educational moments that informed guests more about the region. (Did you know the Bahamas are made up of some 700 coral islands?)Atlantis Paradise Island Celebrates 25 Years with an Event Dedicated to the CommunityThe anniversary event dually celebrated the opening of Paranza at The Cove—a swanky eatery helmed by Michelin-starred chef Michael White. Atlantis Paradise describes the restaurant as "a love letter to Italy."Photo: Courtesy of Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas

Stednick, who started working at Atlantis Paradise more than two decades ago as a conference planning manager, noted just how important it is to give business back to the community, “especially in the Bahamas [where] the entire country lives off of tourism.”

“So if we don’t bring in a tourist—if we don’t provide [locals] with business growth—they really aren’t going to have it. Every major resort, including our Atlantis, feels a duty to give back to the community,” Stednick added in an interview with BizBash.

Atlantis Paradise walked the walk, tapping Bahamas-based destination management company Wildflowers for all decor, including furniture rentals, florals, and the step-and-repeat at the anniversary party’s opening night blue carpet event, dubbed the Bal de Royale. Stednick explained that aside from picking Wildflowers for its location, Atlantis Paradise enjoys working with the family-owned business, which was established in 2001 “as they say, in the garage.”Atlantis Paradise Island Celebrates 25 Years with an Event Dedicated to the CommunityBahamas-based vendors handled everything from furniture rentals to event decor, audiovisual, entertainment, and production, just to name a few.Photo: Courtesy of Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas

Naturally, Bahamas-based audiovisual company Zamar Group handled “CeeLo Green’s background, all of the entertainers and backline equipment,” Stednick said. Aside from the “Forget You” singer’s headlining performance, famed jazz singer Peter Cincotti and DJ Kim Lee from Netflix’s Bling Empire also performed during the event.

While Atlantis Paradise’s high-rolling event was notable for its VIP experience, Stednick said that one of the most memorable moments of the anniversary celebration took up the least amount of spend: “the first room drop amenity.”

“We gave them Eleuthera pineapple! Eleuthera is one of the islands of the Bahamas and there are pineapple farms on this island with a beautiful story behind them. Lady Di and her family harvest these pineapples, so we thought it would be a great touch to have everyone experience a Bahamian pineapple. So that was one of the rare drops we sent to [guests'] rooms along with a little card that explained the story of the Eleuthera pineapple,” Stednick said.

As you might expect, Bahamian food was also highlighted during Paranza's opening. Chef White said of the menu: "I felt that it was important to use ingredients that are indigenous to the Bahamas. They have incredible conch and grouper; adding my Italian twist to these dishes really allows me to create something special."

Atlantis Paradise Island Celebrates 25 Years with an Event Dedicated to the CommunityAtlantis Paradise donated all untouched banquet-style meals to local Bahamian food bank Hands For Hunger.Photo: Courtesy of Atlantis Paradise Island BahamasAtlantis Paradise Island Celebrates 25 Years with an Event Dedicated to the CommunityCeeLo Green performed a set list of his hits at Atlantis Casino’s brand-new Bar Sol.Photo: Courtesy of Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas

The event’s footprint in the community extended beyond the actual to-dos thanks to Atlantis Paradise’s partnership with a local food bank, Hands For Hunger. All leftover food from the banquet event was sent to the organization. With that, Hands For Hunger provides meals to children and the elderly.

For other event profs traveling out of town for their to-dos and looking to become intertwined with local vendors, foods, and groups, Stednick suggested visiting a local tourism bureau or even resorts like Atlantis Paradise. “I would say the first stop would be the Ministry of Tourism for the Bahamas. They are a large source of information.”

“Atlantis Paradise takes it a step further, and we provide our preferred documents. We actually have a three-page document that we send out to all of our customers saying the people that carry the same insurances we would require, or that the U.S. would require of certain companies. We may have established contracts with these vendors and have regular checks with them,” Stednick said.

The most important element of ensuring an event captures the local spirit? A site visit, according to Stednick. “The internet and social media are great to help guide you, but there’s nothing like actually seeing things with your own eyes and experiencing what your guests are going to go through."Atlantis Paradise Island Celebrates 25 Years with an Event Dedicated to the CommunityAtlantis Paradise opened in 1998 with some 2,000 rooms. Twenty-five years later, it boasts double the amount of accommodations.Photo: Courtesy of Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas

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