Categorized | National News

Wyndham’s Closure Won’t Affect Tourism

The closure of the Wyndham Nassau Resort on Cable Beach will not affect tourism in any major way, according to Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.

Minister Wilchcombe told the Bahama Journal yesterday that generally September is a slow month for most hotels.

“This fits in well because they have seen a drop in occupancy levels because of the construction, so to be honest with you I prefer it to be closed right now than for something to happen like for someone to get hurt or something,” he said.

“Of course we are always concerned about Bahamians having jobs so we are always looking to ensure that we can place them somewhere in the interim. Five weeks is not a long time.”

Baha Mar officials announced on Monday that the hotel would close temporarily in September to allow construction to continue on the $2.6 billion hotel project.

“It’s sad that they have to close, but we also have some major conferences coming up for the Wyndham and Sheraton early next year so they are going to fix what they have to fix, move the construction along and then some major things will happen out there,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

“Next year will be a big year so once they get what they need to get done you will see a boom in business out there.”
The resort has offered its 1,000 employees an early retirement and voluntary separation packages.
The hotel will be closed from September 4 to October 17, 2012.
Senior Vice President of External and Governmental Affairs at Baha Mar Robert Sands said the resort is not terminating the workers, but rather giving them “control” over their career decisions during this construction period.
“We are not firing anyone,” he said.
“The employees will be given four weeks to decide what they will do. The key to all of this is that it is voluntary. It is all voluntary. We were trying to do the construction in our relatively slow periods, but customers and wholesalers were telling us that it is becoming increasingly difficult anyway for our customers to enjoy the hotel. It is just unreasonable to ask customers to stay and enjoy their stay with all the construction going on.”
He added that the early retirement and voluntary separation plan offers an attractive incentive for the employees to pursue other plans.
Last week, Baha Mar celebrated the completion of the first 100 feet of the development of Cable Beach Casino.
Prime Minister Perry Christie called the achievement a significant milestone that shows Baha Mar is on schedule for its December 2014 opening.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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