Premier Dr. The Hon. D. Orlando Smith disclosed on 16 June that one of the top BVI resorts has gone out of business. Virgin Gorda’s Biras Creek Hotel & Resort has confirmed that it is shutting down operations; since 2006 the posh resort has been operated by Mr. David Johnson under his Victor International Properties brand, through a leasehold arrangement with Biras Creek Resorts.
The Premier disclosed he had been told by Johnson “that regrettably, after 9 years of millions of dollars of capital injections and significant operational costs (losses) it had become impossible to continue to operate the hotel as a viable business venture. Therefore, he would be giving up his lease arrangements and shutting down operations at the resort on June 16, 2015. “
Premier Smith said he is very disheartened at these turn of events and deeply empathise with the workers and families, and the people of Virgin Gorda Community who will be impacted by its closure.
“I am hopeful that we can find a way to re-open the property in the Fall. Indeed, I am optimistic and my Government will work with the resort’s owners, through their local representative to explore all avenues to do just that.”
Some 73 workers will be affected, among them, 23 BVIslanders. Johnson and his senior management team have held discussions with all the staffers to explain the resort’s closure. “Indeed this is a difficult issue, not just for the staffers and their families, but for the Territory,” the Premier said.
All staffers will continue to be paid until the usual shut down period of August 15 this year. Moreover, Mr. Johnson has agreed that all employees, including those that were employed with the resort prior to it being operated by Victor Properties, will be paid full redundancy benefits in accordance with the Labour Code.
Johnson will be transitioning approximately 18 of the workers, by employing them at his Oil Nut Bay property.
The Honourable Premier said: “My Government will do everything possible to soften the impact of the resort closure on the workers, their families and the community. Already, we have asked the Labour Ministry to facilitate as efficiently as possible, the transitioning of any of the workers to other employment opportunities that they may find. We are engaging other resorts to determine whether there are opportunities to place any of the workers.”