Half Moon to have 57 new rooms, suites next October ... US$75 million upgrade under way
Having last month let go 40 older employees with the shuttering of four dozen rooms as part of a major upgrading project, Half Moon hotel in Montego Bay says it will be hiring anew when the build-out is completed next October.
"With the opening of 57 new accommodations in 2018, two new restaurants and three bars, more employment opportunities will become available," Erma Clarke, Director of Human Resources, told Gleaner Business.
Before the second phase of a US$75 million redevelopment began in May - the latest of several at the resort in its 60-year history - Half Moon operated 197 rooms and suites and 31 villas on a 400-acre property.
Forty-four of the existing accommodations have been taken out of service and replaced, according to the hotel, with 57 rooms and suites, suggesting a net gain of 13 rooms. All rooms will now have an ocean view.
This phase of the project also includes new restaurants and expanded beach and upgraded facilities. There has been no break down of how much of the US$75 million each of the segment of the project cost.
The first phase, in 2015, involved the refurbishing of the hotel's iconic Sugar Mill Restaurant, the upgrading of the hotel's golf course, the opening of a cafe and the modernising of back-of-the-house facilities. Most of this work was completed in June.
"Our investment demonstrates the ongoing commitment to our guests and Loyalty Club members, and also our staff and the people of Jamaica," said Half Moon's chairman , Guy Steuart III.
Clarke, the HR director, stressing that the reduction of the hotel's room count was temporary, indicated that it nonetheless meant less demand for staff and that the situation was sensitively handled.
"As a result of this, the opportunity for retirement was extended to staff members over the retirement age and just over 40 redundancies were made from a staff of over 900 people," she said.