Anthony travels to Atlantis: Paradise Islands Bahama to check out the 5-star facilities. It increased tourist spending in the Bahamas by over $200 million, and half a million people come there a year. Instead of starting at the Royal Towers, Anthony begins at the Cove: the exclusive tower off to the side of the resort. There's nothing between the guests and the ocean, and the chandelier lights change over 24 hours to match the natural sunlight. The lobby forms a wind tunnel to provide cooling.
The Cove has 600 suites, each with an ocean view. Anthony has its $20,000/night penthouse booked for the night, and goes in to admire the understated elegance. The ocean is visible from every room, including the bathroom. The engineers installed impact-proof glass against hurricanes, each one tested with cannon-propelled wooden studs and 250 mph winds.
Later, Anthony goes to the Aquaventure Water Park and joins the inspection team. He meets with an inspector, Livingston, to check the Serpent Slide. They walk down the main slide making sure that it's smooth. The men enter the viewing tunnel in the shark lagoon and finds a scuba diver polishing the outside of the tunnel. Livingston says that he's worked at Atlantis for 10 years and describes one rider who broke into tears after riding the slide.
Anthony then tours The Dig, an $800 million recreation of the city of Atlantis. It's the largest open-air aquarium in the world, and contains 50,000 gallons of water and 250 species of fish. Anthony takes a selfie with a fish and then meets with the aquarist, Christopher. Christopher shows him the pump room where 34,000 gallons a minute go through. They use a natural process to eliminate bacteria and micro algae rather than chemicals. The resort has its own fish hospital where they practice fish rehabilitation with injured animals.
One of the handlers, Kool-Aid, gives Anthony exclusive access to see how they train animals for the marine mammal show. He uses positive reinforcement with the sea lion, Cassie, and have Anthony give it a back rub. Kool-Aid then gives Anthony a sneak preview of the show and says that he takes a lot of pride in his job.
That night, Anthony goes to the Atlantis casino and admires the Crystal Gate sculpture in the lobby. A private tutor, Paulette, teaches him baccarat at a private table. Anthony wins, 6 over 5, and Paulette says that she has worked 23 years at the casino.
The next day, Anthony meets with Kool-Aid, who says that he remembers making Anthony feel comfortable. The hotelier gives him his $5,000 tip and Kool-Aid hugs him, and says that it'll make him do his job even better.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 1, 2016