On New Year's weekend Michael Jordan, Alex Rodriguez and Tiger Woods were all in the same place at the same time (proving that only one of them can be the real Superman). The place: the Atlantis resort and casino on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. Since opening in all its kitschy splendor in December 1994, Atlantis has become the hot spot for sports stars from John Elway to the Williams sisters. Jordan bought two undeveloped lots for roughly $2 million at the adjacent Tom Weiskopf-designed Ocean Club golf course, where he'll host a celebrity invitational this weekend. Scheduled to show were Charles Barkley, Wayne Gretzky and Mia Hamm.
So how did Atlantis become the destination of choice for the jock set? Start with the way it courts high-profile athletes. "We've targeted sports relationships because it's a healthy image for the resort," says Jerry Inzerillo, an exec with hotel chain Sun International, which runs Atlantis. Combine that with a high celeb quotient (recent sightings include Gloria Estefan, Angie Everhart and Whitney Houston) and the pampering the resort offers A-list guests, and you have a package no sports star can refuse. "In Las Vegas, L.A. and New York, there's so much going on that a celebrity isn't looked after from A to Z," says Inzerillo. "If Tiger's here, we spend as much time with Tiger's friends as we do with Tiger." Of course, it never hurts when those friends are MJ and A-Rod.