Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Half Moon chops 40 from staff but says new hires will begin in 2018

Published:Sunday | December 3, 2017 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder

Having recently let go 40 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 Sunday Business.

Before the second phase began in May of a US$75 million redevelopment - the latest of several at the resort in its 60-year history - Half Moon operated 197 of what it calls "individually-appointed" rooms and suites and 31 villas on a 4400-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.

 

Upgrade phase

 

This phase of the project also includes new restaurants and expanded beach and upgraded facilities. There has been no breakdown of how much of the US$75 million each 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 manager, stressed that the reduction of the hotel's room count was temporary, indicating 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.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com