Nation e-Edition

Silver Sands Resort Closing

Silver Sands Resort Closing Silver Sands Hotel will be soon be closing. (Carolann Tudor)

Thu, September 23, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Close to 120 workers will be on the breadline when the Silver Sands Resort in Christ Church closes its doors permanently at the end of this month.

The DAILY NATION understands that management said the decision was taken after heavy financial losses in the current economic downtown.

Originally, the workers who were sent home at the start of July were expected to be back on the job after three months, but since then management at the resort has notified those working at the facility that come September 30, the hotel would be closed permanently.

As a result of the closure of the resort, which has been operating for nearly 40 years, reservationists, bartenders, waitresses and receptionists, some of whom may have been working there for 30 years of more, will have to be looking for jobs.

Efforts to reach manager Randall Ward and financial controller Sonia Gittens to obtain a comment were unsuccessful. And when the DAILY NATION visited the resort late yesterday evening, the only persons on the compound were the guard and a poolman, who was busy cleaning the pool.

The sprawling 131-room resort, which opens out onto the beach, was still in immaculate condition.

When contacted last night, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy confirmed that the hotel would be closed, but said he was unsure if it would reopen any time soon.

He said information also suggested that it might be going up for sale and that there were other “extenuating circumstances involved”.

“So I’m monitoring the situation. It is a significant hotel, a very established hotel that has been around for some time now, and my heart is with the 120 employees that will be affected,” he stated.

Sealy said when the economy took a downturn one of the things Government had tried to do was to minimise the impact of these crises on workers.

“That was the whole thinking behind the Tourism Relief Fund set up in 2009. It was to protect the workers, and the Silver Sands Resort was a beneficiary of that fund, so I hope that we can get the hotel back up and running soon,” he said. (CT)

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Posted by Marilyn Tbeur 4 years, 1 month ago
"I'm monitoring the situation!?" What is the situation? I don't see here the reason/s for The Silver Sands Hotel closing. I remember when I was a bus conductress in Barbados, many tourist were always heading to The Silver Sands Hotel. What was the downfall....lack of Tourist? If so I wonder why! Maybe it's the sad recent activities. Hoping they don't have to close!

Marilyn Ross-Tbeur

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Posted by Double U 4 years, 1 month ago
Exactly what are you monitoring, Mr Sealy? Does the closure need monitoring or are you referring to the benefits due the workers?

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Posted by esther rhynd 4 years, 1 month ago
so sorry to hear,had a nice view and was in a nice area,hope it will re open soon

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Posted by pgtips 4 years, 1 month ago
This maybe another of those situations,where,the real estate value,"now",proves more lucrative than operating a Hotel.
What I am saying is that,we may be seeing condominiums there in the future.
I agree with Marilyn."What is the situation the minister is monitoring?If the principles decide to sell to a developer,who in turn will place the property in condos,he has no say!
Here goes another Hotel property.
Is he monitoring the old Kings Beach Hotel also?That is a total eyesore.

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Posted by susan 4 years, 1 month ago
My views of this Silver Sand hotel - this was years that was in business why close the dooor, Bajan always say tourist or business play a part. May be they let the homeless people live in it.only in Barbados.

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Posted by Roy 4 years, 1 month ago
When is this government going to start doing something about all these long established hotels closing down!
All we here is talk, there need to be some action. I'm afraid Barbados will not recover from these losses to the tourist industry and instead of spending 1000s of dollars on prados for the Barbados library etc maybe they should be looking at ways to save the many jobs being lost because of these closures.

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Posted by Nigel 4 years, 1 month ago
The loss of another tourist facility probably to be converted to condos which will only be occupied for a few weeks a year by the wealthy few. Sad.

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Posted by Alfred Stuart 4 years, 1 month ago
It is unfortunate that workers are going home. It must however be pointed out that people who do business don't necessarily do business for their health. A business is operated to make money. In cases where revenue earned is below expenses or the cost of doing the business, it becomes necessary for the business person to examine options.
When the various options are examined and there is no way out it becomes necessary, in many cases, to cut your operating losses before losing your shirt.
This is a basic tenet of doing business and must be understood above all the rhetoric and emotion that pervades the situation.
It is a hard moment for the workers and also the owners, one must understand that it has to be a very difficult moment for a business man who has worked for forty years establishing and growing a business to make the decision to close.
The picture is larger than some of us will care to admit.

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Posted by Daniel 4 years, 1 month ago
I think part of the problem in that area is the rampant crime problem.With this hotel closing it will only add to the crime issues. If this area sees a major reduction in crime and an increase in community policing I believe the jobs will return. Maybe its too late for Siver sands but perhaps it can improve for other areas. It sad to see this property close.

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Posted by Proud Bajan 4 years, 1 month ago
Hi Roy,

Your point is well taken. However, why don't Bajans invest in their Country? We have several wealthy Barbadians who keep their monies in the banks and earn 2% interest, instead of investing in real estate, and other segments that will help the Country to prosper. Why can’t we get a group of Barbadian investors take over ownership of Silver Sands? Bajans need to take a “step out of the box,” Stop being passive and become proactive, and stop waiting for government or foreign investors to solve our problems.

Proud Bajan/ATL

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Posted by Percy 4 years, 1 month ago
From Mr. Sealy's remarks it is clear that the Government's plan to assist hotels in the down turn was insufficient to save Silver Sands.

How many others will close and how many other Bajans will lose their jobs, Mr Sealy?

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Posted by Greg 4 years, 1 month ago
What's a breadline? anyone ever seen one? I wish the media would stop trivialising things with silly cliches.

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Posted by shelly Bradshaw 4 years, 1 month ago
I read an article recently that implied that Cuba was about to allow travel to and from America again. If this is the case it will open up much more affordable travel destinations for Americans than Barbados. Maybe the owners of Silver Sands is seeing the writing on the the decline of the Tourist industry in Barbados.I hope I am wrong but just saying.....

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Posted by JOEL BEST 4 years, 1 month ago
I was a boy when that hotel opened.Now I'm a grown man and was so sad to hear that SILVER SANDS is closing. That will hurt alot people who work there for some years. IT WILL ALSO CHANGE THE NEIGHBORHOOD FOREVER.

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Posted by lyn lyn 4 years, 1 month ago
Mr Sealy says his heart is with those 120 workers who will be on the bread line. I think right now they need more than his heart they need to send to school their children, feed them and themselves etc.

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Posted by Annette 4 years, 1 month ago
Think about it.
Fifteen elderly people, who were recently discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, have nowhere to go.
Well, Silver Sands has a lot of empty rooms.

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Posted by Mary Williams 4 years, 1 month ago
I, too, wonder what is being monitored! A nice piece of property that I would hate to see developers grab for condos. Hopefully it will remain a hotel - Having stopped there for lunch this past year was disturbed by the fact you just couldn't pay for a meal but had to buy vouchers worth so many dollars. I suspect this may have helped with the downfall of the place. Location is too beautiful to lose to outside monopolies interested in fattening their pocketbooks.

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Posted by Jus Sayin 4 years, 1 month ago
The Siver Sands of 40 years ago isn't the Silver Sands of today. For what it would cost to renovate and upgrade the hotel you might as well knock it down and build a new one. Or better yet, why not build some luxury condos and apartments on the site. The Government has no choice in the matter. The Government's problem is how to deal with the people who will lose their jobs when these antiquated hotels become residentially insignificant but their location remain highly attractive real estate-wise.

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Posted by Lee 4 years, 1 month ago
I hope the empathy is for the workers who are losing their jobs and not for the property. I stayed overnight at this hotel in June and the facilities are substandard, the service is poor and food is of low quality. This is not a lost to the tourist market.

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Posted by Doah 4 years, 1 month ago
Hey Lee,

A hotel with substandard plant poor service low quality food should close, but tell me who you think provide the poor service? The same workers you have empthy for.

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