Atlantis sheds more staff as slow hotel business drops to record lows?

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The grand foyer of Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island

Paradise Island, Bahamas — There is trouble brewing on Paradise Island again as BP has learnt the nation’s second largest employer has commenced a second round of terminations.

World tourism mega brand Atlantis has begun rounds of dismissals last week and the cuts we are told will shave off its payroll more workers.

It was back in late 2008 when the resort made redundant more than 1,200 workers due to sharp tourism declines. The declines in arrivals were a direct result to the global meltdown. The cuts represented about 10 percent of the work force at the country’s largest private employer.

BP has learnt the cuts are being done in stages with terminations commencing in departments gradually as time progresses.

“We are now experiencing drastically low occupancy levels. Our marinas, for example, which can hold scores of private charters, are down to numbers like 10 and two on peek days.  Room occupancy levels are lower than we have seen in years and guest stays on our properties are shorter.

“This is paying tremendous toll on our revenues and therefore, cuts should be expected,” a senior resort official told BP.

A former employee celebrate the wedding of a former guest.

The resort we know, had already implemented drastic conservation plans as the Bahamas’ Tourism product moved into its slow season. For instance, managers were being scheduled on ‘weeks on week off’ timetables. And several staff loads were cut to two and three days. In the laundry departments, staff cuts moved from short workdays to shorter working hours during those days. And we have learnt some entire work schedules have been suspended.

Additionally, due to the slow business period, several of restaurants across the island have closed its doors until the winter season opens up.

In Grand Bahama the scene is no different. Some 78 workers will be out of a job this week as three major GB restaurants close its doors. La Dolce Vita, The Pub at Port Lucaya and East Restaurants will no longer service the Grand Bahama area.

“I have not seen it this bad since the Gulf War in 1991. Everywhere you turn someone is getting laid off. The Government is firing! There is massive unemployment on New Providence and on Grand Bahama. When you add the numbers up 800 from the Princess, 1,200 from Atlantis, the workers sent home from Wyndham, and the scores sent home from smaller properties, we are in some deep ‘dodoo’,” an Atlantis worker said.

Last week, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham held a press conference announcing the stalled plans for Baha Mar as he discussed the weakening state of the country.

While the PM noted low occupancies across the country, neither he nor his minister of labour sighted current job losses in the industry.

No word from the Hotel Union has come concerning workers affected by the drastic cuts. The entire industry has been rattled by a tourism drought that has left more than half the country’s hotel rooms empty, with forecasts into the months leading up to the peak season showing slight signs of improvements.

8 COMMENTS

  1. @ peacekeeper

    I agree with you, we need to lean on Jesus for the answer but lets be careful not to assume things are as they seem. I have no allegiance to any political party and I do believe that many politicians are pursuing their own self interest but it is not the Minister of Tourism’s fault that our people have a nasty sense of entitlement that is threatening to will us right out of the market. I have seen and experienced the lack of quality service, the uncaring attitude and worse work ethic across this country. It is a disease that has spread. I have seen the government and private citizens fix up/ clean up an area only to have it polluted and run down again by our people. I have seen people who have absolutely no sense of patriotism or home who always believe that foreign is better until it directly affects their job or livelihood. Makes me ask, how are we raising our children? The very ones who complain that the government isn’t doing anything to help are the ones who benefit most by sucking the social assistance bowels dry. This ungrateful, unconcerned, unpatriotic attitude is killing our country and no amount of advertising can turn that back we need to change.

  2. I just returned from a week in London and Paris and I have to agree with “truth or consequences” that they are bursting at the seams with tourists. British Airways from Miami was full going and coming back and the tourist attractions from Buckingham Palace to the Eiffel Tower was all jam packed.
    We need to get our act together especially with the crime situation or our future will be bleak.

  3. Truth or consequences was right on until you got to the polotical part. While you are right, we must now look beyond politics when people are hurting, souls are in despair and people really don’t know where to turn. Our tourist attractions alone leave much to be desired as we really have nothing to offer our visitors. Other destinations have sun, sand and sea, better attitudes and people who offer service like their life depended on it. Minister Vanderpool-Wallace and his EXECUTIVE team have no idea what the hell they are doing or what is going on. Instead of addressing tourism issues, they are busy turning the ministry upside down to accommodate their buddies. It’s time to stop this nonsense. You know God is angry and we must stop this cut throat political thing and focus on the real issues. People open your eyes and look around, the politicians we squeal and holler over are set, they’re children are set, and half the issues that plague us they don’t have. They live in big houses, mortgage free, children in private schools, housekeeper, nice cars, family vacations and all the rest. Most of us live in the ghetto, pay rent because we own nothing and live from paycheck to paycheck, our children in public schools with no lunch, we have no cars, owe Commonwealth Bank and lord knows who else. Yet we scream and holler behind the politicians who ain’t gat us to study making a bigger idiot of yourself. See how many of them will give up their salary to help us out, NONE! Leearn to depend on God, the only thing he cannot do is fail. Mortal man will make a mockery out of you. This is the time to lean on Jesus, that’s where true help, happiness, good health, security, and peace comes from. Make a Joyful noise unto the lord!

  4. Note of these Atlantis layoffs must be taken into serous consideration pertaining to the proposed The Bahmar project, which many of us think is much to big for Nassau, particularly with such connection with the Chinese? Atlantis and other tourist faculties can be seriously harmed. Let’s all note that at this moment there are some 64 million vacant apartments on the market in China. That my friends is more vacancies than all of America. You would think this worry the Chinese government and their Chinese develop?. But it does not because they just want somewhere to put their vast funds. The PM has attempted paint Bahamians a picture of the Chinese government’s Bank as doing business like normal banks. He could not have been more wrong. Many believe the Chinese may end up building and keeping vacant, if necessary, enough vacant properties to keep half of America housed. And that scary number ranges in a few hundred million vacancies?

  5. Isaw a report yesterday where it is being reported that Europe, especially countries like France are bursting at the seams with tourist arrivals. Our Product is not attractive and it is made worse because of our bad attitudes and the FNM government’s bad handling of our advertising. My wife and I toured the Baltic area in July; passed through London and Amsterdam and from all the tour guide reports, all our stops were booming. It is not that tourist are not travelling but more so that the FNM’s management of our Ministry of Tourism department leaves much to be desired. In other words they don’t know what the hell they are doing; bottom line. The first mistake they made when they came to office was to cancel all the advertising contracts that the PLP left in place. Actions such as those always sets any country back by months, if not years as tourists plan thier vacations well in advance of actually taking them, and if we are not seen advertising in the media in those markets then we lose. I plan my own yearly vacations months in advance; we chose to visit the Baltic this year because we saw the area advertised in a periodical last year sometime. No body thinks about those areas but we saw the advert. and it suited our fancy and the rest is history. If the Bahamas don’t advertise, we’ll get no visitors and that’s the way it is.

    • @ truth or consequences

      You are dead on except the PLP part. Any Bahamian government must be concerned with Cuba’s march towards greater Tourism. Many believe Cuba’s 1950’s on boom may be closer than ever. Instead of massive projects like both Atlantis and the proposed Bahmar looming, the Bahamas should be considering a major redirection of our tourism products away from our dependency on cruise ship stop over visits, which may be good for a McDonalds but little else? Where is the funding assistance for much smaller Bahamian owned and operated villas and cottages type of facilities? Too bad such funding was not tied into the Bahmar deal?

    • I agree with the Ministry of Tourism’s ineffectiveness with regards to advertising and the like. But are we ever gonna leave the politics out of what is good for the BAHAMAS? Why is it always have to be PLP or FNM? We need to think Bahamians first instead of a bunch of deadbeats with little plans for the future!!!I am sick off you arm chair politicians

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