Nation e-Edition

1 500 jobs

Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Gordon Butch Stewart (left), with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler yesterday during the announcing of the coming of the hotel chain to Barbados. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)

By Antoinette Connell | Sat, October 19, 2013 - 12:12 AM

Not one, but two Sandals hotels are coming to Barbados in a multi-million dollar investment that will create 1 500 hotel jobs.

The chain has bought the former Casuarina property in Christ Church on its own and, under a lease arrangement with the Government, will also operate the former Almond Beach Village in St Peter.

Already the owners of the Jamaican brand are reporting heavy bookings all the way to February for the former Casuarina which begins its make-over into a Sandals Couples property from today, but officially opens on December 13.

The Almond Beach Village, which had a cloud hanging over it since closing in April last year, will be transformed into the hotel’s family brand, Beaches, and work is to start on that in nine months.

The double investment by the internationally recognized Jamaica brand was announced yesterday at Hilton Barbados during a signing between the Government and Sandals Resorts International in relation to the Village property.

Please read the full story in today’s SATURDAY SUN, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by Grey Stoute 1 year ago
1500 jobs is small fries compared to what Sandals-Jamaica will make. The only way this will help wider Barbados is if the volume of tourists are significantly increased, and the tourists feel encouraged to go off the all-inclusive hotel property to other destinations, but the profit would still be small in comparison to what Sandals-Jamaica would make. Interesting how the DLP has scared people for years that the BLP was selling out the country to foreigners, and under the DLP we now have the Republic Bank, Burger King, Payless, Converse, tons of Bajan businesses closed down, and now essentially 3 more foreign-owned hotels? With this in mind, the DLP has to have decided that more foreign businesses are better for the country. Did everyone change their minds as well?

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Posted by wayne husbands 1 year ago
EXCUSE ME IF I AM WRONG. DIDN'T THE ECONOMIST JUST SAID THIS IS WHAT BARBADOS NEEDS? BLP/GOP SAME FACE DIFFERENT PLACE.

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Posted by Daniel Christian 1 year ago
Wonder if this mean that a Jamaican has the same rights to apply for a job at any one of these businesses. After all this is what Caricom is designed to achieve. Let see if the immigration officials will turn away Jamaican job seekers if they turn up at the airport and advise they are here to seek work on the Sandals projects

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Posted by David Hall 1 year ago
Good for Barbados BUT am waiting to see all the details on this deal, before I celebrate.This administration has tricked us too often into rejoicing when we should have been concerned or crying.

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Posted by Ronald Jones 1 year ago
Persons are so bent on their agenda or promoting the agenda of someone else that they miss the facts. First, Mr. Grey Stoute should note is that the Republic Bank is the former National Bank of Barbados sold to the Republic Bank. All they have done is rebrand it. Nothing new. Payless, Burger King etc are all franchises and are so operated. That is not a selling out of Barbados. Which locally owned Barbados shoe store or fast food business which has been well capitalized has been shut down. It is time that some persons stop propagandizing and let the facts speak for themselves. Butch Stewart and his beaches and couples brand are well recognized across the world. Barbados is in need of significant improvement in its room stock and the coming of the Sandals Brand helps to move that forward. We now need to get three or four more hotels purchased and back to full operation mode. Silver Sands is one which could do with such investment along with one or two others along the south coast. I am not counting my chickens before they are hatched but for a start 1500 jobs is already significant.

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Posted by wayne husbands 1 year ago
@ GREY STOUTE. 1500 jobs are more than what we have now. that's a lot of people off unemployment. it also has the potential to reverse the impact of the economy that the closing of the resort had in the first place. retailers ,suppliers . importers and all the workers that are support staff to said companies.eg. order pickers , delivery persons etc.local farmers, laundries, garden supply et al. the door will be open for more visitors who believes and trust the sandals brand and have Barbados on their bucket list. sometimes we are so engrossed what we want, we lose focus on what we have. its time to build bridges and not walls. politically, as B or D we can do so much more if we work together than if we work against. an open idea wont be developed on a closed mind. SELAH

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Posted by En Dee 1 year ago
I hope that some of you bloggers are not employed in positions where motivation and positivity are required. We should be jumping for joy! Here is a very positive development at a very opportune time. Yet, some of you are able to put a negative spin on it. Every job now counts and 1500 at once are a Godsend!! In this Global economic downturn which is now hitting tourism and our island very hard we need more of this good news and I hope that the Government and Tourism Authority will keep pushing Barbados as a viable and attractive place to vacation or conduct business. Nigel D.

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Posted by wayne husbands 1 year ago
Daniel, you are mixing apples and oranges. These are two separate issues ie. travel and work. Being a Caricom citizen do not qualify you to work in every Caricom nation.

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Posted by David Hall 1 year ago
The emerging details of this deal are proving the skeptics right. The 1500 jobs if realizable are a few years off.Re-construction at Almond will not commence under nine months and will take a couple years to complete. Government is the one who bought the hotel. Taxpayers will renovate it, then lease it to Sandals, unlike the Grenada sandals project where Sandals built the property themselves. The cost for this venture to the Barbadian taxpayers is projected to be over 400 million. Years ago when Sandals refused to rebuild Paradise but kept it until it was rundown, it was said that the action on their part was because they did not get their way, which at the time was a demand for private beaches.With this sweetheart deal, It seems like they have at least gotten much of their wish this time.

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Posted by Grey Stoute 1 year ago
I ain say nothing one way or the other. No sense being blindly positive or negative just for the sake of it, or jump for celebrations too soon, it's to our advantage to be critical and see things as they are. My point is simply that the people getting the big money out of this aren't Bajans. You get much more being the owner than being the employee. Sandals wouldn't be spending the money unless they're looking for a good profit margin - what would be the point for them? It will take a lot more than this to patch us back up, even if it is a step. I was under the impression that the figure of 1500 probably included all the different services Husbands listed, and probably a good proportion of lower wage jobs which may not really put a dent in increasing disposable income nationwide. There is nothing untrue about the statement that if Sandals significantly increases the volume of tourists and they are encouraged to go off hotel property then it will help wider Barbados - outside of that 1500. My concern is that often at all-inclusive resorts, tourists just stay there where they don't have to spend more money, as is the norm in Jamaica, Cuba, the DR. One could only hope they use real nuff Bajan supplies and distributors and that this trickles down. Perhaps it was misunderstood that I was seeking clarification about the positions on foreign business, but it seems as though most people think I have it confused. That's fine, I'm learning. I thought those were the positions presented, and it seemed hypocritical. Are the businesses/franchises I listed not Trinidadian then? Anyway. Our biggest bet actually is on the advertising and marketing machinery that Sandals has, and even for other hotels to get windfall from that. Not on the 1500 jobs or on tourists sitting constantly by the poolside of their hotels being as cheap as possible.
On another note, Jones, I loved Silver Sands, I would love for it to flourish again. And the island in general.

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Posted by Pan Wallie 1 year ago
My understanding is that a graduate of UWI can work in any Caricom country without a work permit? Would somebody please put me right on this?

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Posted by Pan Wallie 1 year ago
Is this the Butch Stewart of Paradise Hotel fame who is back again?

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Posted by Ian R 1 year ago
1500 jobs? I will believe it when I see the jobs.

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Posted by Kevin Rey 1 year ago
I have always wondered why and when Sandals Resorts would be part of the hotel industry in Barbados. Being that Barbados is a premier Caribbean destination and Sandals is highly rated in the hotel industry, it is a win-win for both entities. This will certain boost Barbados tourism industry - from research, many tourists visit the Caribbean just for the Sandals brand. And apart from the 1500 initial jobs this chain will create, I think the spinoff will be great as well. I think Mr. Stewart is a genius, he knows a thing or two about this business.

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Posted by Nikki Jonas 1 year ago
1500 jobs for how long? The hotels in trouble, many are closing down because tourists aren't coming, condominiums aren't selling. Yet the brilliant plan is to build another hotel. How will the hotel survive without the tourists? I can only see this ending in another disaster.

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