|Wyndham to close doors for five weeks|
Guardian Business Reporter
Published: Jul 17, 2012
The Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace Casino will be closed beginning in September due to low occupancy levels.
Robert Sands, senior vice president of administration and external affairs at Baha Mar, announced that the resort usually experiences significant losses during September and October.
“Occupancy levels at the Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace Casino have been pretty challenged most of the time, because of the major construction and demolition of the two towers taking place. It’s also the slowest time of the year,” according to Sands.
He confirmed that this is third time that the resort has undergone a temporary closure and the second time it is offering employees the option of taking an “early retirement and voluntary separation plan”. The resort closed its doors temporarily both in 2009 for eight weeks and for six weeks in 2010. The closures impacted more than 1,000 employees.
Now it is being closed for five weeks.
“This is not the first time that this is happening. This is in fact the third time that we are doing this. We have done it once before when the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort was closing,” Sands explained.
According to a statement from Baha Mar, all full-time staff members have been offered a one-time, completely voluntary opportunity to end their employment with the establishment and receive an attractive compensation package based on their position and length of employment.
“Actual early retirement and separation dates will vary based on the employee and his or her role and function. The plan is non-discriminatory as to age, gender, position and length of employment, and Cable Beach Resorts maintains the right to accept or reject any individual application to participate,” it stated.
Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe told Guardian Business that he is hoping this won’t happen again.
“We do understand the difficulty that the hotel faces, given the fact that you have construction going on just near the towers of the Wyndham. Once it’s beyond the stage that it is at now in another three, four months, we believe that we will be in better shape,” he shared. “Early next year, we begin the year with several major conferences that will be held at that hotel. We are hoping that they move with haste. The decision made by the company will also allow for employees to consider the future by accepting the package. It’s an internal decision that can be made by the employees or they can remain at the property. We are hoping that this five-week closure goes by very quickly and we are hoping that construction remains on schedule.”
The temporary closure takes effect from September 4 to October 17. Those employees interested in accepting the early retirement and voluntary separation plan will have a four-week window in which to accept it.
Sands said once the resort is re-opened, an assessment will be made as to how much was saved during the temporary closure.