The management of the Sandals is reassuring residents and businesses in the Speightstown community that they will not be “left in the dark” regarding plans for the conversion of the former Almond Beach Village into a Beaches hotel.
General Manager of Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Ferry Zievinger admitted to reporters today that “when we built here [on the south coast] we could have been better organized in terms of our communication with the residents, so we are doing that with this [Beaches] project through a series of town hall meetings.
“We believe it is important to keep residents and businesses updated on what is coming, especially since as the project progresses, new questions will always come up.”
The spokesman for the Jamaica-based regional hotel chain said work was currently being done on the beachfront of the hotel which began life as the Heywoods Holiday Village in the early 1980s.
“Presently we are working on the beachfront, cultivating coral so that we can upgrade the reefs directly in front of the hotel, and we have been receiving positive feedback from the people in the area based on our first town hall meeting with them.”
Zievinger also stated that since the hotel was a going concern when it was acquired, Sandals had to sell off its assets and expects to complete this process by January next year so construction of the new property could commence.
“We already had a big sale in which we gave our staff and former Almond workers first option on purchasing the inventory, and we are now about to give the general public a chance to do so. Ideally, we want to dispose of everything by January 2019 so we can demolish the old property and start working on the new buildings,” he said following last month’s town hall in which residents raised strong concern about beach access, with the multi-million dollar Sandals Beaches hotel due to be constructed at Heywoods within the next two years.
They also alluded to the constant issue of flooding in parts of St Peter, asking the Sandals officials, including Project Manager John Duffy, Corporate Director Jeremy Jones, Regional Project Manager Terence Des Vignes and Kevin Macintosh-Baird: “What have you done to prevent flooding?”. (DH)