Hotelier denies closing due to hard times


Chairman of the Elite Island Resorts Rob Barrett is denying that the 45-day closure of his Verandah Resort is as a result of hard times.

“I don’t think that Antigua or tourism is under hard times,” the hotelier told ABS.

He was referring to a Daily Observer publication in which “trying times” was attributed to the closure.

However, Barret conceded that “we are in challenging times.”

Veranda will close for about six weeks starting from August 30 but the hotel mogul has said it’s not for the reason being reported.

“We took this time as an opportunity to accomplish several things. First to upgrade Verandah in some of the critical areas. It would be hard to have your main dining room under construction and be operating a hotel.”

He also said the upgrades will be too “noisy” for the guests.

“Thirdly we have to turn off our electricity for two to three days.”

Barrett suggested that the hotel closure is being blown out of proportion since it is normal for hotel staff to be laid off in September.

In addition, the hotelier says not all of the 241 workers will be sent home as some will be on vacation, others will undergo paid training and some will be deployed to other properties owned by Elite Island Resorts.

He said how a letter to the Antigua Barbuda Workers Union was worded may be the cause of all the confusion.


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  1. Barett is quoted in the Observer as saying” trying times “are facing the tourism industry and blames the high cost of travel to the destination among other monetary factors while the hotel is closing. No where is he quoted as saying the resort will close for repairs as he told state media.this is what the synonym of challenging times mean… bad times. and difficult times; trying times; hard times; tough times. a period that offers difficulties, such as when there is not enough food, money, or Mr Barett is having a play on words that are saying the same thing. Why refute the paper’s use of hard times as opposed to trying times? Potato, potatoes….

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