The Nassau Guardian May 18th, 2020
Declaring that, “We can now see the light through the tunnel,” Atlantis President and Managing Director Audrey Oswell announced this weekend that a phased reopening of the Paradise Island resort will begin sometime next month.
During the first phase, Atlantis will be opened on a limited scale, starting with the reopening of the Royal Towers and the re-engagement of some employees.
“We expect to reopen the resort on a limited scale sometime next month. No one really knows when tourism will resume to previous levels, but what we do know is that we are planning for a phased-in reopening. The Royal will reopen first. Over the next 45 days a limited number of you will be called back for the phase one reopening. You will receive notice from human resources,” Oswell said in a video message to employees released this weekend.
Atlantis, like most hotels and businesses deemed non-essential, closed its doors when the prime minister declared a national state of emergency in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in thousands of its employees being temporarily laid off.
The resort is the largest private employer in the country.
Oswell noted that not all employees will be able to return to the property until the tourism sector becomes more stable.
“Those not scheduled until a later date or phase two, will not receive a notification and will continue with their furlough. We appreciate your patience and know that we are doing our best to bring back as many of you as quickly as possible. You must understand that not everyone can come back until business returns to previous levels,” she said.
The indoor and outdoor amenities that will reopen next month include the Marina Pizzeria, Ben & Jerry’s, Starbucks, Plato’s, Shark Bites Express, the scuba and diving tours, Splashers, Zero Entry, Dolphin Cay and McKenzie’s Fresh Conch.
Cashier and order-taking stations will be available at restaurants including Nobu, Olives, Carmine’s and Seafire Steakhouse.
“As we continue to navigate uncharted waters, please know your well-being and the long-term success of the company are at the heart of every decision we have made. We are very much aware of the economic hardship this pandemic has placed on you and your families. Your continued commitment and dedication, even during these most challenging times, can make it easy for one to understand how Atlantis has been so successful. You are the foundation of Atlantis and that will never change,” Oswell said.
“We can now see the light through the tunnel. We will move forward deliberately with the fortitude and knowledge that the decisions made in the upcoming weeks will not be easy ones. While you have been away, some of us have been working diligently on the path forward. We’re working closely with the government of The Bahamas, hospitality neighbors and the airline industry to develop protocols that will allow us to provide safe environments for you and our guests to return to.”
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis indicated during his national address on Sunday the government’s intention to allow for the resumption of commercial travel in and out of The Bahamas on or before July 1.