BVI Leader and Minister for Finance, Premier Dr. the Hon D. Orlando Smith described the proposed extensive closing of Rosewood Little Dix Bay, one of the island’s most popular and iconic resorts as unfortunate.
“Although it is the right of Rosewood Hotels and Little Dix Bay Hotel’s principals to determine how best to serve their clients, their decision was taken without any consultation with this Government,” Hon. Smith announced.
The Premier said that on Thursday 14 January he was informed by senior managers of
Little Dix Bay that on 1 May 1 2016 the hotel will begin a complete resort renovation, marking the most extensive renovation and beautification project in its more than 52-year history.
Hon. Smith said that he is saddened to learn that in order to ensure that the renovation is undertaken with greatest efficiency and to the highest possible standards, the hotel will have to be closed for approximately 18 months.
“I am heavily burdened by the impact of the closure on its staffers, their families, businesses and the entire Virgin Gorda community. As a matter of fact my entire Government deeply regrets and empathises with you. My Government and I remain committed to your economic and social well-being and will support you in every possible way,” Hon. Smith declared.
The BVI Leader said that he understands that the redesign and modernisation of the facilty was needed. However he said that the welfare of the workers of Little Dix Bay is paramount.
“We must never lose sight of the fact that it is the 52 years of excellent service to our visitors that has enabled that hotel to remain one of this Territory’s signature hotels. I have seen a copy of the letter circulated to employees that among other things sets out benefits to them. I expect that certain aspects of the letter as it pertains to seeking employment and severance will be negotiated further,” Hon. Smith announced.
Furthermore, the Premier said that Government will be holding Little Dix Bay accountable for all promises made verbally as well as in writing and to keeping of the deadline for reopening. He also said that as the Minister of Tourism, he will personally lead all efforts to navigate and mitigate the impact of this significant development on the entire Territory.