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Premier Smith denies knowing of Little Dix Bay Resort closure beforehand

- denies knowing of the closure months ago; said Govt is committed to helping the 325 workers find new jobs
Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith has dismissed assertions that his National Democratic Party (NDP) Government knew of the closure of Rosewood Little Dix Bay resort on Virgin Gorda long before January 14, 2016, the date of the announced 18-month downtime from May 1, 2016, insisting that he only knew of the closure just one day before the workers themselves. Photo: VINO
Premier Smith was today January 21, 2016 speaking at a press conference held at his Central Administration Complex conference room during which he addressed a number of concerns affecting the territory. Photo: VINO
Premier Smith was today January 21, 2016 speaking at a press conference held at his Central Administration Complex conference room during which he addressed a number of concerns affecting the territory. Photo: VINO
He said that there will soon be established a help desk to provide personal assistance to all affected employees and coordinate opportunities in conjunction with the Labour Department as well as handle all their queries and concerns. Photo: VINO/File
He said that there will soon be established a help desk to provide personal assistance to all affected employees and coordinate opportunities in conjunction with the Labour Department as well as handle all their queries and concerns. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith has dismissed assertions that his National Democratic Party (NDP) Government knew of the closure of Rosewood Little Dix Bay resort on Virgin Gorda long before January 14, 2016, the date of the announced 18-month downtime from May 1, 2016, insisting that he only knew of the closure just one day before the workers themselves.

He was today January 21, 2016 speaking at a press conference held at his Central Administration Complex conference room during which he addressed a number of concerns affecting the territory.

The Premier and Minister for Tourism also said he has since met with the 300 plus workers to be laid off to get their feedback and to let them know what Government is prepared to do to help them.

“Today I am pleased to report that we are moving forward to provide assistance to those persons. Yesterday I led a delegation for a meeting with the employees of Rosewood Little Dix Bay to hear their concerns following the announcement,” he said.

“On that trip my Minister [for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7)] along with the District Representative Dr The Honourable Hubert O’Neal, Permanent Secretaries of the Premier’s Office and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, the heads of Immigration and Labour Departments, the Chairman of the BVI Tourist Board and support staff engaged in open dialogue and candid discussions with the employees,” said the Premier.

He said that there will soon be established a help desk to provide personal assistance to all affected employees and coordinate opportunities in conjunction with the Labour Department as well as handle all their queries and concerns.

“I am indeed heartened that some members of the BVI business community and other tourism industry partners have already started to assist with providing new opportunities for the affected employees,” he said, encouraging other members of the business community to step up and do the same.

In his opening statement, he said the Rosewood Little Dix Bay Resort, which has been a staple in the tourism landscape of the Virgin Islands, would undertake the most extensive renovation and beautification project in its more than 52-year history.

“Rosewood Little Dix Bay has been in the hotel business in the BVI for quite a long time and many of the resort’s employees have been a part of the success of the hotel over the years.”

Premier to hold Rosewood Little Dix Bay accountable

He publicly expressed his thanks to the workers – of which he said some 200 of the 325 are local – for their contribution to the VI tourism industry while working at Little Dix Bay.

“We are happy to have met with the employees and we will continue to hold Little Dix Bay accountable for the promises made,” he said. He said that a team that has been put together would be collecting the names of the affected employees with a view to providing them with various forms of assistance, including connecting them with other businesses in the territory that may be able to use their skills.

He noted that during the construction phase there will be some positions available for the displaced workers.
According to Premier Smith, he did not know of the planned closure of the resort until one day before the announcement was made to the employees of the resort.

He said the resort had made several previous attempts at doing renovation but found that it could not be done at the speed required unless it completely closed its doors.

According to Premier Smith, the plans being approved has nothing to do with the date of the commencement of the works and the laying off of the workers as there was no date indicated on the plans which were approved by the Town and Country Planning Department, a Government Department which falls under the Premier’s Office.

26 Responses to “Premier Smith denies knowing of Little Dix Bay Resort closure beforehand”

  • my yute (21/01/2016, 16:55) Like (24) Dislike (3) Reply

    More l**s from olando

  • wize up (21/01/2016, 17:50) Like (2) Dislike (17) Reply
    continue trying to make a mountain out of mold hill
  • HMP (21/01/2016, 17:52) Like (40) Dislike (1) Reply
    Don't you think things should have been put in place to safe guard workers? If you all did not know how to handle this thing you all could have asked for help. Your explanation is still not acceptable. Don't jump on fraser and fahie to distract us from the real issue. They doing their jobs.
  • closure (21/01/2016, 18:05) Like (2) Dislike (36) Reply
    Folks both you and I can't stop the closure. The premier said he was not aware let's leave it at that. Stop these nasty blogs and stop judging. We can do better
    • Rumors (22/01/2016, 08:35) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      It does speak volumes about whoever controls the information that is fed to the Premier. Secondly, for an island that is rife with the rumor mill, and given how small the Territory is, Dr. Orlando's assertions of blissful unawareness beggar belief. It's not as if the proposed renovations are small.
  • Well said (21/01/2016, 18:20) Like (30) Dislike (0) Reply
    HE WONT HAVE KNOWN CUZ HE'S NOT THE LEADER. LOL. A GOVERNMENT ELECTED TO MISREPRESENT THE PEOPLE.
  • BuzzBvi (21/01/2016, 18:32) Like (29) Dislike (0) Reply
    damage control we do not belive a thing he says
  • Guest (21/01/2016, 18:42) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    I honestly don't understand why Dr. Smith bothers to deny this.
  • Fussy (21/01/2016, 19:51) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply

    Then how effective is the tourist board director a resident of virgin gorda. Who has closed ties with little dix. Did she not know to inform the premier. Something is not adding up..

  • The Prophet (21/01/2016, 19:51) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    What the voice is saying to me is, Mr. Adams contract will not be renewed for telling the truth. Mr. Adams is a responsible person and would not have kept a matter of this nature a secret or not informed the folks upstairs of this development proposal. Nothing more be said.
  • voter (21/01/2016, 20:27) Like (1) Dislike (37) Reply
    This cannot help the VIP get elected, so please move on.

    ps please let fraiser and Andrew know.
    • @voter (21/01/2016, 21:34) Like (25) Dislike (0) Reply
      You may get surprised. This is only one of many issues they are tackling for the people. I am convinced that the Premier knew well over a year now. Remember that the Premier said he didn't know about the Bitter End major layoffs but the owner came on the radio days later stating that he had informed the Premier months before. So how could anyone trust or believe the Premier on anything else. Fahie & Fraser continue to do your best to represent some of these ungrateful people.
  • WTF (21/01/2016, 21:04) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another f*** help desk? What is wrong with Dr. Smith? Maybe he should just stop talking because whenever he opens his mouth, only no sense comes out.
  • Sick of some (21/01/2016, 21:23) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    So much abuse we the people taking under this dictatorial NDP gang. When the Opposition is quite ayo complain. When they start to open their mouths again to defend the people ayo start to put them down. They should shut their mouths & let some of you continue to catch hell on earth under the NDP. SMH.
  • AS for me (21/01/2016, 21:26) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    I don't believe a thing the Premier says anymore. I am convinced that he thinks we are a$$e$.
  • pain (21/01/2016, 22:04) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need good Caring Doctors. Especially now we have NHI. We can do well with Doctor smith back in his Doctor's office. He is definetely a better doctor than a leader..It hurts to see such a good man shrink this low.
  • wize up (21/01/2016, 22:27) Like (2) Dislike (7) Reply
    while some of busy sweating the small stuff, the major issues going unchecked.... pause for a while then you will see that after all the talking and blogging nothing changes....
  • SAY (22/01/2016, 03:22) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Honesty is very important. Mr Premier be honest with the people.. We did not need a snap election last year. Now is when we need it. Where is the governor in all this for good governance? You are not speaking to uneducated people despite our size. Stop trying to brainwash the people. This is not Putin country or China.
  • blah (22/01/2016, 08:51) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now they put the same man who was "too busy" and by his own words forgot to update and reply to a grieving widower to "assist" the over 300 unemployed. Wow
  • Domino (22/01/2016, 14:24) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Nobody seems to be talking about the domino effect, meaning what about all the vendors that supplied LDB with goods (food, liquor, consumables) and services (security, landscaping, pest control etc.) to keep them going? And, what about all the lost revenue for restaurants, bars etc.? Not only will there be about 10% of the islands population looking for work, but many island businesses will also take a hit, possibly requiring further redundancies
  • Yes (22/01/2016, 15:04) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    he is having another senior moment
  • wake up (23/01/2016, 04:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Section 99 of the labour code requires that the employer making the redundancy of a minimum of 3 employees from a company MUST notify the labour commissioner and give reason at least one month prior to giving a redundancy letter. The labour commissioner in return MUST inform the minister.

    Due to the type of reason which clearly was known from year 2013 in renovating I fail to believe the Government didn't know anything. One should not take these things lightly for 325 people there are hundreds more affected children, spouse, parent when employee is the breadwinner.
  • rastaman (23/01/2016, 11:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I don't even listen to these liars. all they do is lie. and they leading the blind and selling the country slowly but surely. The ones who are blind and far gone to their brainwashing will be the only ones buying their lies. sorry to say but we been in trouble with this government from day one. This the second time VG going through this and these places that's doing these folly is the same places these ministers be spending time drinking and eating.. them is sell out and I trust none of them. I does wonder if some of these virgin islands people be thinking or is greed got ayo so or is hand outs ayo looking for. well that's the judgment we receiving from the government the greedy and brainwashed ones put it. if is one man they aren't fooling is I man. blessed love to the ones that's not easily fooled and to those who are fooled you better open your eyes. good over evil.
  • Voter Too (24/01/2016, 13:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    SERVES THEM RIGHT! AFTER ALL THE VOTES VG GIVE TO THEM...THEY PUT VG IN THE DOG HOUSE!

    POOR TING!
    LMDAO!


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