Silver Sands Resort Closing

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 23 September 2010

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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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