Public, Private Sectors Develop Plan Regarding Closure of Popular St. Maarten Resort

In an effort to sustain minimal fallout from the anticipated closure of Simpson Bay Resort & Marina and The Villas at Simpson Bay in St. Maarten,  the Honorable Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams has announced that a public-private sector plan of approach has been formulated during a Monday meeting at the Government Administration Building.

The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) and the St. Maarten Timeshare Association (SMTA), commended the Prime Minister for calling together a "crisis team" to assess and mitigate the impending closure of the resort.

Every effort will be made for government-appointed mediators to bring both parties (union and new resort owner) back to the negotiating table, as it is felt that an agreement regarding employment at the resort will go a long way in resolving the other issues that lead to the announced closure of the Simpson Bay Resort & Marina and The Villas at Simpson Bay.

The SHTA and SMTA will continue their efforts to offer alternative accommodations to those timeshare members directly and immediately affected by the closure of the timeshare resort. "This gesture by the two organizations is deeply appreciated, especially at this peak time in our tourism season," said Wescot-Williams in a written release.

The SMTA is also communicating to timeshare owners of the former Pelican property to provide information as it becomes available. Both tourism organizations will also solicit, via their memberships, "add-ons" for timeshare guests who will be impacted by the closure of the resort, such as restaurant services and other tourist activities, including car rentals.

Government, acknowledging the long-term ramifications of sudden closures, committed drafting timeshare legislation that would mitigate in the future such fallout being experienced currently due to the Simpson Bay Resort & Marina situation.

Government will issue a direct statement, possibly through the SMTA, to affected timeshare owners, expressing government's resolve to seek immediate solutions to avert the closure of the former Pelican property or, in any case, facilitate to have the resorts re-open in the shortest possible timeframe.

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