Sunday 29 November, 2020

Bermuda: Fairmont hotel closing for renovations, 700+ jobs uncertain

[iStock.com/Shunyu Fan]

[iStock.com/Shunyu Fan]

Bermuda's Fairmont Southampton resort is closing its doors to facilitate a complete renovation.

A spokesperson said effective October 23 the property will be closed to undergo a complete upgrade and renovation which will elevate and reposition the resort.

Because of the global pandemic, the Fairmont hasn't been fully operational since March.

Regional Vice President and General Manager Kiaran MacDonald said: “After careful consideration, a decision was made to use this time now when there is a downturn in tourism to look at starting the much-needed renovations to the iconic property, which has been a much-loved tourist destination and local events venue for almost 50 years."

He said the resort's temporary closure is necessary given the current climate.

MacDonald projects that the reimagined resort will be positioned to thrive as a greater contributor to Bermuda's economic recovery.

Chris Furbert, president of the Bermuda Industrial Union said while the closure of the hotel will leave over 700 people without jobs, the renovation will create job opportunities for residents in the construction sector.

He said the union is satisfied that the rights of its members affected by the closure were protected.

“The union is encouraged by the hotel’s ownership who is committed to significantly renovate the resort which will provide a brand-new hotel property once those renovations are completed. This should be very exciting for Bermuda’s hospitality industry because this hotel property is 50 years old so an upgrade is definitely needed. Once the hotel re-opens after the renovation period we look forward to those employment opportunities for Bermudians," he explained.

Meanwhile, speaking in his capacity as the Minister responsible for Tourism, Premier David Burt said the proposed redevelopment demonstrates great confidence in Bermuda's tourism sector.

"Today’s announcement is one that will signal to investors and our valued tourism stakeholders that Bermuda is determined to emerge stronger following this pandemic."

He said the proposed renovation presents an opportunity for jobs in the construction phase and new opportunities for Bermudian tourism professionals in another signature hotel.

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