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Buccament Bay Beach Resort workers sent home for three weeks

Buccament Bay Beach Resort workers sent home for three weeks


Oasis, the Spanish hotel chain that will operate the Buccament Bay Beach Resort, wanted to delay the opening of the facility until the Argyle International Airport was operational, but decided to stick to the 2010 schedule, on the assurance that the airport will be built by 2011.{{more}}

Dave Ames, Chairman of the Harlequin Hotel and Resorts, the company that is doing the US$200 million development at Buccament, made that revelation at a press conference last weekend to announce the deal that was signed six weeks ago with Oasis.

“The Hotel operators…if they had a choice, they will open this hotel when the airport opened…because their issue was getting the people into St Vincent,” Ames said.

As he stressed his company’s commitment to the project, Ames said that assurances had to be given to Oasis that funds will be given to them by his company to offset the routing of their guests from other countries like the Dominican Republic and Barbados, on smaller aircraft, into St Vincent.

This arrangement should be for a year, if the Argyle Airport stays on schedule.

Minister of Housing, Senator Julian Francis, representing Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves at the press conference, insisted that the airport would be on schedule.

When SEARCHLIGHT tracked down the Development Director of Oasis Hotels, Pedro Prats, at his Spain office, he confirmed what Dave Ames said.

Prats told SEARCHLIGHT that his company was looking forward to operating in St Vincent and the Grenadines, their first British Caribbean destination, but had concerns about opening the resort before the completion of the international airport.

“Obviously, without an international airport, it would be difficult. We are told that work is going on for the airport. That is very important,” Prats said.

He also commented on the slow down of work on the project.

“The things are of a technical nature,” he said.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that the revised plans should be ready in about three weeks.

This is good news for the workers on the project who have been put on the breadline. When SEARCHLIGHT met some of them at the construction site, they collectively indicated that they would not be affected too much if the lay off is in fact short lived.

The men, keeping their fingers crossed that it is as it has been advertised, said things will be tough if the stuation goes on for more than two months.

As regards the arrangement to bring guests into the island before the airport is constructed, Prats also confirmed what Ames said, but told SEARCHLIGHT that a lot more discussion has to be had on the matter.