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Opposition concerned about Govt's silence on Ritz-Carlton issues

Published:Friday | May 17, 2013 | 9:23 AM

Opposition Spokesman on Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, is concerned that Tourism Minister, Dr Wykeham McNeill, has not addressed issues regarding the fate of 400 workers who are slated to lose their jobs when Ritz-Carlton closes its Jamaican operations on May 20.

The Jamaica Labour Party spokesperson says he’s shocked that the minister has not yet met with representatives from Playa to ascertain whether they intend to purchase Rose Hall Resorts' Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

News had emerged that Playa had acquired the hotel and, luxury brand Park Hyatt had been selected to operate the property.

However, Bartlett is arguing that it has been more than a week since the initial announcement of the Ritz's imminent closure and the impending sale.

He has raised concern that the tourism minister is seeking to meet with Playa and what he says is such a late stage.

McNeill says he expects to be contacted by representatives of Playa today, to arrange talks on the Ritz-Carlton sale.

Playa’s chairman and CEO, Bruce Wardinski, said the company was still in the negotiation phase and would provide further information on its plans for the resort if and when the sale is complete.

The Government has a 15 per cent stake in the property to be vacated by Ritz-Carlton.


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