Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Gordon Butch Stewart, speaking to the media at Sandals Royal Resort last Friday.

Jobs hope

WHEN the US$400 million Beaches Resort is completed in the north of the island, an estimated 1 800 new permanent jobs will be created.

In addition, it is expected that during the 32-month construction period, which should start in September this year, about 2 000 workers will work on the major project which will replace the existing Almond Resort, St Peter.

Word of this came from the Chairman of Sandals, Gordon Butch Stewart, who told the media during an interview at the Sandals Royal Resort, Dover, Christ Church last Friday, that Barbados will become the only country in the Caribbean – other than Jamaica and Turks and Caicos – to have an all-inclusive Beaches Resort which caters to families.

“It is going to be magnificent. It is going to do a lot for driving airlift. Those products use a lot of air seats and the airlines love it because the airlines are in the business of flying people…

“And that Beaches product has a huge demand from everywhere in the world – South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the entire North America,” Stewart said.

“We are very advanced. We know what it is going to look like. We know what the design and layout is. It’s a huge development. It is easily the biggest development, I think, Barbados has seen. It is 540 keys.

“Now, when I say keys, some of them represent four bedrooms suites, three bedroom suites, a lot of two bedroom suites, a lot of one bedroom suites. All of the accommodations are family suites. There will be a lot of restaurants and entertainment for kids and adults,” he said.

Beaches Resorts is an operator of all-inclusive resorts for couples and families in the Caribbean, founded in 1997. Beaches Resorts and Sandals Resorts are part of Sandals Resorts International (SRI) which is a parent company to five resort brands across seven countries.

The Chairman indicated that there is much work to be done on the beach at the proposed location for the new Beaches Resort. He said the area is beautiful, but needs to be refined to complement a world class resort.

“I have full solid cooperation from the communities and from all the political forces. There is nothing that has held us up. We are hoping to maybe break ground by September.

“This could easily be the best Beaches product we have. We are trying to take whatever experience we have been able to learn over the years, and putting it all into that whole area to modernise it,” Stewart said. (AH)

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