Audrey Oswell, the Paradise Island resort’s president and MD, said that it is difficult to forecast precisely when the pandemic will end. Speaking in mid-April, she added that the resort was committed to paying its 8,000 employees 50 percent of their base salaries for the next 60 days.
Atlantis’s top executive has advised furloughed staff members that the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic makes it difficult “to predict” when the mega resort will be able re-open.
In a video message posted on the property’s website in mid-April, Audrey Oswell, the resort’s president and MD, explained that it is difficult to forecast precisely when the pandemic will end.
The Paradise Island property had previously said in March that the closure would last until at least 15 May, following which the resort’s management would make a decision on an official reopening date, however the shutdown now looks likely to extend beyond this deadline.
“As the global conditions surrounding COVID-19 continue to evolve, we realise that no one has all the answers or can precisely predict when this will end,” Oswell said. “This situation makes it difficult to predict when we will be able to re-open.
“Once we know when the country’s borders will open, and it’s safe to welcome guests and colleagues, we will set a date and notify you.”
Her remarks reflect the ongoing uncertainty facing the Bahamian private sector over when the COVID-19 virus will be contained allowing the economy to start moving again.
Commentators have speculated that the tourism sector – particularly large resorts and cruise ships – will be among the last sectors of the economy to recover due to a combination of health-related concerns and the toll coronavirus has taken on the Bahamas’ major source markets.
Oswell acknowledged that Atlantis employees have “been through a tremendous amount of change these last few weeks, none of it easy”.
“As we look ahead, your safety and well-being remain our to priority and we will continue to make proactive decisions based on the available facts and science to ensure you feel genuinely supported and cared for in the best way we can while remaining fiscally responsible,” she continued.
“You have our commitment; my commitment, that we will always make decisions with your care and safety first. Together we will get through this and emerge even stronger with more courage, resilience and hope for the future than ever before.”
Atlantis reportedly has close to 8,000 employees, although not all the workforce has been laid-off as a result of the temporary closure. Security guards; maintenance and engineering personnel; and animal handlers have all been kept on to maintain the resort and its attractions during the lockdown.
Additionally, Oswell confirmed that the Paradise Island mega resort has put into effect plans to pay staff up to 50 percent of their base salaries for the next 60 days.
**Latest Update 15.05.20 – Atlantis is targeting June 15 for a phased reopening. The exact date is contingent on critical decisions such as lifting travel restrictions to and from The Bahamas.**