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Beaches Turks and Caicos confirms indefinite closure in 2021

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A reprint of an article published by Magnetic Media last Friday, January 25.

 

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands — Rumours had been swirling since Thursday that Beaches Resort Villages and Spa in the Turks and Caicos was planning a long-term shutdown in 2021 due to a massive bill, which is in dispute, with the Turks and Caicos Islands Government.

Minutes ago, and in response to Magnetic Media queries, Beaches confirmed that yes, it is true.

“Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa will be closed from September 3rd to October15th in 2019 and from September 7th to October 22, 2020, and then for an indefinite period from January 2021.”

Government taxes were reportedly calculated in a way that is not sitting well with Sandals Resorts International, which owns the Beaches family resorts. The calculations by the Ministry of Finance and backed by the Attorney General’s Chambers have reportedly been in dispute for years.

The lingering bill in dispute has now ballooned to some $60 million, we are told.

Finance ministers have asked for the debt to be treated with leniency, to no avail, and once again the topsy-turvy order of governance in the Turks and Caicos Islands — which is actually led by the Civil Service and not elected politicians has been exposed.

“The upcoming closures of Beaches Turks & Caicos are the result of several critical and long-standing issues which have impacted our operations over the past several years. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers and look forward to welcoming them back soon.”

Naturally, this decision by Beaches Resorts is being cited as catastrophic for the Turks and Caicos tourism industry, as Beaches is a key linchpin in the success of air arrivals to Providenciales, in particular.

Beaches explained: “Guests travelling between now and January 2021 that are not impacted by these closures will receive the vacation experience that we have become known for. All features and facilities of the resort will be open and operating per usual. For impacted guests, we are committed to making this as seamless as possible by allowing them to change their travel dates to Beaches Turks & Caicos or travel on their original travel dates to one of our other locations in Jamaica — Beaches Negril or Beaches Ocho Rios — at no additional cost, including airfare change fees. Guests may also choose to travel to any of our 16 Sandals Resorts.”

Magnetic Media has reached out to Premier and Finance Minister Sharlene Robinson on the matter.

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