Turns out, renovating the entire damn island was always going to be the easy part. On Season 1 of HGTV’s “Renovation Island,” Bryan and Sarah Baeumler dealt with Hurricane Dorian. And on Season 2, the bad guy was the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 not only shut down the Caerula Mar Club grand opening, it made getting materials for the ongoing renovation impossible. (You think it was tough and expensive getting stuff to your home? Try getting delivery on a remote island in the Bahamas.)
“In Canada and the U.S., lumber prices have doubled, or tripled, in some cases. For our construction business in Canada as well, costs are going up, and you hear homeowners and other companies crying about the price of lumber. And I thought, ‘My God, even at triple the price… it’s still cheaper easier to get your hands on it than on the island,” Bryan Baeumler told TheWrap ahead of Sunday’s return. “It’s like we’ve been through such a difficult, uphill charge that the everyday problems and logistics that people in society — on mainland, whatever you want to call it — have just paled in comparison. Partaking in this project for us has really changed our perspective on what is a problem. Things just seem so simple back on the mainland. No matter what happens, I can’t see it being more difficult than the easiest day on the island.”
Hopefully there are brighter days ahead for the Baeumlers’ big investment. In an interesting way, while the pandemic shutdown burned through all the monetary contingencies built into their most conservative business plan, it also raised the appeal of their Caerula Mar Club.
For starters, the fact that Season 1 aired while everyone was stuck indoors provided the “perfect timing” for the “escapism” their resort provides, Bryan explained.
Plus: “Travel in general has changed,” he said. “People aren’t in a rush to go to a mega-resort and sit shoulder to shoulder with thousands of people they don’t know.”
Bryan and Sarah have the receipts on that — literally. Post-pandemic, business at Caerula Mar “very quickly went from just empty shutdown to gangbusters,” Bryan said. “So we turned the jets on and got it done.”
The 10-episode second season of HGTV’s “Renovation Island” follows The Baeumlers as they face the ups and downs of business ownership at their Bahamas resort and manage the unexpected challenge of a global pandemic, according to the cable channel’s logline. Adjusting to an ever-changing landscape, Bryan and Sarah quickly reassess their business objectives and family plans as they continue to renovate and design the hotel and gear up for their reopening.
“Renovation Island” Season 2 premiere Sunday, June 20, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.