PHILIPSBURG – Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin and Acting Secretary General of Ministry TEATT Valya Lake Pantophlet joined the management and staff of the Belair Beach Hotel at their Soft Opening in which they welcomed their first guests to the property since the passing of Hurricane Irma on September 6th 2017.
The Belair Beach Hotel, located on Little Bay Beach has a combination of hotel, timeshare and condominium room facilities. The General Manager Calvin Turner explained that the hotel has 70 rooms of which 24 were severely damaged during the passing of Hurricane Irma. Together with a dedicated staff who returned to work right after the storm the hotel has reopened with 54 rooms. Mr. Turner said he is expecting to complete the remainder of the rooms within the next 3 weeks.
“It’s nice to see all the happy faces here, I am sure you are happy to be back and we are happy to have you back” were just some of the words shared by Acting Secretary General of Ministry TEATT Valya Lake Pantophlet as she welcomed the visiting guests to the island. Mrs. Lake Pantophlet also thanked the hard working staff of Belair Beach Hotel for their contribution towards the reopening.
Prime Minister Romeo Marlin started her remarks by addressing the workers, “without you this could not happen, this is the attitude we should all have on Sint Maarten all hands on deck to ensure that we get back to where we were.” In observing the interactions between guests and workers at the hotel the Prime Minister also commented that “This is a family…the workers knows the guests and the guests know the workers”.
The Prime Minister thanked the hotel management for not firing the staff and even though faced with insurance challenges took the bold step to start the rebuilding process by including all stakeholders that are connected to the property and finding the necessary financial resources to ensure a successful reopening. On behalf of The Government of Sint Maarten the Prime Minister commended all involved and concluded, “Things are tough but together we can do it”.