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Layoffs at Atlantis - up to 800 people lose jobs

GrayFal

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http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/11/13/business/CB-Bahamas-Meltdown-Atlantis.php

Bahamas' Atlantis resort lays off 800 employees
The Associated PressPublished: November 13, 2008

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: The Atlantis resort in the Bahamas said Wednesday it has laid off roughly 800 employees, blaming low occupancy rates as the global economic crisis curbs tourists' appetites for exotic getaways.

The cuts represent about 10 percent of the work force at the country's largest private employer.

"This decision is both difficult and emotional as we are fully aware of the impact on the employees affected, the remaining staff and the Bahamian community in general," said George Markantonis, president of hotel owner Kerzner International Bahamas Limited.

The Atlantic archipelago's tourism-driven economy is reeling from a steep decline in visitors from the United States. Hundreds of other hotel workers already have lost jobs or seen their hours reduced.

Atlantis covers three-quarters of Paradise Island, an 800-acre (320-hectare) island just off the capital, Nassau, and is known for its large marine habitat and fantastical pink towers. It completed a $1 billion expansion last year that brought its number of rooms to nearly 3,000.

Sol Kerzner, chairman and CEO of Kerzner International, said the layoffs at its flagship resort reflect cost-cutting throughout the company, which develops and operates casinos and hotels around the globe.

The United States typically accounts for more than 80 percent of tourist visits to the Bahamas. The decline began early this year and accelerated with the global economic crisis, said Georgina Delancy, research manager for the Bahamas Tourism Ministry.

"When September hit, things went south," Delancy said.

A hotel workers union is tapping a rainy day fund for the first time to help underemployed members pay their bills. As many as 6,000 workers will receive $1,000 payments, said Roy Colebrook, president of the Bahamas Hotel, Catering and Allied Workers Union.

Colebrook said the entire industry has been rattled by a tourism drought that has left half the country's hotel rooms empty in the months leading up to its peak season.

People "will try to find some other line of work," he said.




http://www.thenassauguardian.com/national_local/293085536118144.php

"Until the Americans feel better and they are spending more and traveling more - and the property developers are able to borrow money from their banks and do some of the projects that we rely on them to do - it's going to be a difficult time and it's not going to be business as usual," he said. "And so, Bahamians must heed the advice that the Central Bank, that financial experts are giving them: Focus on spending for what you need and forget those wants."

Some workers from the famed Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island were among the most recent to lose their jobs amid worsening conditions in the hotel sector and the economy at large. It came two days after Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, in a national address, said unemployment is now a most serious concern.

"Many workers in the tourism sector face the prospect of layoffs or unemployment for a considerable period, and at least until the global economy, especially that of the U.S., is stabilized and returns to forward movement," Ingraham said.

Kerzner International, the owner of Atlantis, announced that it had laid off 800 workers, 10 percent of its staff at the Paradise Island resort. The layoffs left some workers feeling numb.
 

mariawolf

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Occupancy is way down--restaurants have been closed on a rotating schedule all fall-- for as long as we have owned at Harborside it has been sold out over the Christmas/New Year's holiday but not this year==if you check the Atlantis web site you will see that they have rooms available for that period in all towers. I rented my week 52 through atlantisfamilyfun.com but the person I deal with there said things are slower this season.
We go in January so I am curious to see how slow it really is. I am a destination expert on Trip Advisor and reports have been all over there that Atlantis was laying off 800-1000 employees in the coming daysc--somehow that seems worse than hearing that 800 is 10% of the staff--clearly they employ a lot of people at Atlantis--whatever the number it is awful for those who have been let go as it is unlikely other hotels are doing any better and Atlantis is likely one of the biggest employers.
 

gmarine

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I was there from Sept 27- Oct 4. Occupancy on weekdays was just over 20%. The weekends were 40-55%. The casino was empty except for Friday night so it isnt surprising to me.
 

rhonda

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They've been running TV ads in San Diego -- something I've never seen before. Three nights for $299 per person (double occ) including 2 dolphin encounter experiences. I'm not sure if the rate/package is big deal -- but again, I've never seen TV ads here before.
 

GrayFal

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I was there from Sept 27- Oct 4. Occupancy on weekdays was just over 20%. The weekends were 40-55%. The casino was empty except for Friday night so it isnt surprising to me.
Wow, that IS low!
Even the TS seemed rather empty when I was there 9/12-19.
 

adanac1

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we are heading to Harborside on December 12

we are going for our first time and hopefully it will be enjoyable. How do we find out about occupancy rates.
I will assume that it will be busy the week of December 12 - 19 at Harborside
We are now starting to get excited but I hope that the restaurants and shops will still be open and thriving even during the Christmas break.
Any suggestions on things we should take in? We swam with the dolphins in Cabo so we do not need to do that again so soon.
How is the fishing in the bahamas? I have caught two marlins in cabo and it was fun.
Any parasailing or excursions we should focus on. We have two children with us age 10 and 6.

Take care everyone, the economy will eventually turn around.....i hope
 

Jbart74

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Unfortunately folks, this is only the beginning of vacation services meltdown. Expect less service, higher fees, and angry customer support. Sorry. That's reality for the next couple of years. I hate to be negative, but I am a strong proponent of realism. In this case, reality sucks.

Keep smiling and be happy that some of us are still able to afford a vacation or more each year.
 

falmouth3

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They've been running TV ads in San Diego -- something I've never seen before. Three nights for $299 per person (double occ) including 2 dolphin encounter experiences. I'm not sure if the rate/package is big deal -- but again, I've never seen TV ads here before.
I'm on a business trip to Orlando and I just saw the same ad on TV tonight.

Sue
 

gmarine

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we are going for our first time and hopefully it will be enjoyable. How do we find out about occupancy rates.
I will assume that it will be busy the week of December 12 - 19 at Harborside
We are now starting to get excited but I hope that the restaurants and shops will still be open and thriving even during the Christmas break.
Any suggestions on things we should take in? We swam with the dolphins in Cabo so we do not need to do that again so soon.
How is the fishing in the bahamas? I have caught two marlins in cabo and it was fun.
Any parasailing or excursions we should focus on. We have two children with us age 10 and 6.

Take care everyone, the economy will eventually turn around.....i hope
Harborside has similar occupancy rates most of the year due to the amount of timeshare weeks already sold. The rest of the resort is where occupancy is so low.The week before the holidays is a fairly slow time as well. Your likely going to encounter restaurant closures rotating each day as well as some water features closed.

Occupancy rates are shown each day on a list showing which restaurants are open on a particular day. Or you can ask a casino table games employee, they also had the information on occupancy.
 

FlyKaesan

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I currently have 4 separate request for exchanging into Atlantis.

If they are running so low, why not let people come to the resort?

I ONLY travel during non-peak season.
 

Stefa

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I currently have 4 separate request for exchanging into Atlantis.

If they are running so low, why not let people come to the resort?

I ONLY travel during non-peak season.
As was stated earlier, the timeshare section of the resort (which you are trying to exchange into) is not having the occupancy issues. It is the hotel side that is experiencing the low occupancy.

I'm so bummed! I had grabbed a 2br for next October, but had to let it go because of my work. I would have loved to be there when it wasn't too crowded.
 

tomandrobin

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As was stated earlier, the timeshare section of the resort (which you are trying to exchange into) is not having the occupancy issues. It is the hotel side that is experiencing the low occupancy.

I'm so bummed! I had grabbed a 2br for next October, but had to let it go because of my work. I would have loved to be there when it wasn't too crowded.
I saw a 2 bedroom for next Oct on II this morning...maybe that was yours.
 

Stefa

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I saw a 2 bedroom for next Oct on II this morning...maybe that was yours.
Mine was a couple of weeks ago. Nice to know these still show up. Just in case things change (again) and we are able to go...
 

mariawolf

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FlyKaesan--Harborside and Atlantis are two different entities which is why the resort won't let Harborside book in to the hotel--Harborside is part of the Starwood network and Atlantis is not--the timeshares have a use agreement with the hotel.
 
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