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Melia postpones reopening until Fall, staff reductions pending

EyeWitness News BusinessJune 15, 2020June 15, 2020 at 3:45 am Natario McKenzie

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Melia Nassau Beach Resort has announced that it has made the ‘difficult decision’ to push its reopening date back to October, noting that additional staffing reductions are pending. Melia now joins Baha Mar and Sandals Royal Bahamian as resorts that have indicated that they do not intend to open until the Fall season. In an open letter, Daniel Lozano, Melia’s general manager, echoed concerns outlined by Baha Mar president Graeme Davis over economic impact COVID-19 has had on the United States. Lozano said: “Throughout this temporary closure we have been hard at work planning for a safe and responsible opening. In a fast evolving situation like the one we’re in now, our challenge is to create protocols that will allow us to create the safest possible environment for our associates and guests. “In order to ensure a successful reopening we must also consider the economic impacts COVID-19 has brought to the United States and beyond, the willingness of our guests to travel at this time as well as many other variables that have seriously and adversely impacted the hospitality industry.” “Due to the current conditions we have made the difficult decision to postpone our opening date beyond the July 1 reopening of the Bahamas,” Lozano said. “It is our hope that in extending our closing we are setting the stage for a more successful opening, one that will provide the much needed economic relief and stability that all of us depend on. I understand that this is disappointing news after weeks of uncertainty and each of us in leadership at Melia Nassau Beach feel that disappointment as well. It remains our goal to reopen in October and have as many of you as possible return to work.” Lozano noted that back in March the resort made the decision to support staff for up to 90 days, a period  which is nearing an end. “The hotel will be making additional staffing reductions to align staffing levels with projected business volume upon reopening and the future renovation work that will be taking place. In the coming weeks, at the end of June we will communicate  to the individuals being impacted by the staffing reduction to discuss what we will do to support and assist you in making the transition as smooth as possible. We look forward not bringing as many of you back as soon as business levels return to pre-COVID levels and renovation work is completed.” The letter noted that all non union full time associates will receive 30 percent of the base salary payment stated in their contract; with the resort committing to will work closely with Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied workers Union and Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association with respect to benefits available to union associates. “Where appropriate will continue to make payments to maintain health insurance, life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance coverage you will remain responsible for any required contributions however those payments will be deferred and the company will auto deduct from pay periods following your return to work.”

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