PRESS RELEASE – THE buzz of excitement surrounding the commencement of work on Sandals’ newest resort in Saint Lucia has already spread beyond the shores of the island, and is creating waves among the hundreds of Saint Lucian nationals working at Sandals properties throughout the region.
While some 98% of the 1,800 strong work-force in Saint Lucia are locals, more than 300 others are working throughout the Caribbean, from Jamaica to Grenada.
In Barbados, where the new Sandals Royal Barbados was opened in December 2017, Nisa Nicholas of the Barbados Projects’ Office said her colleagues in Saint Lucia have a lot to look forward to.
“As a St Lucian, the ground breaking of a fourth Sandals resort is great news and an opportunity for more job creation. We also have the most resorts in the Eastern Caribbean and that in itself shows the confidence the brand has in my country. I would like to ask Mr. Stewart however to consider a Beaches in Saint Lucia so family and kids could enjoy our amazing product.”
Nadi Alphonse who is now the Lead Sales Agent at the Sandals Grande Antigua said, “It makes me really proud to know that Sandals has chosen to expand its presence in Saint Lucia and that we will soon have a fourth resort there! It means Saint Lucia remains the country with the most Sandals resorts and the highest Sandals team member employment outside of its home which is Jamaica.
“I think it is a really great honour and it’s a big benefit to our people. A lot of young people want jobs and opportunities for growth. And I, along with many other Saint Lucians all around the region, am a testament to the opportunities Sandals provides for travel and development.”
In Grenada Executive Pastry Chef Anthony Linor urged his countrymen and women in Saint Lucia to seize the opportunities presented. “The good thing about Sandals is that you can start anywhere and grow; from Steward to the General Manager.
“I have been working with the company for 18 years and doing well.
“I have had the opportunity to move around; I worked at the Grande Saint Lucia, the opening of Sandals Barbados, I did training at Sandals South Coast (Jamaica), now I am the Executive Pastry Chef here at Sandals Grenada and next month I’ll be moving to Sandals Grande Antigua.
“All of this is good, this is progress and if I can do it, anybody can do it.”
Sandals Grenada’s Front Office Manager Mellisa D’ Auvergne, another Saint Lucian agrees, “If I were to use myself as an example, when I started with Sandals in 2010, I started off as a Casual worker in Housekeeping with Sandals Grande Saint Lucia and as a Quality Floor Inspector, and today I am in Grenada as the Front Office Manager.
“The opportunities are endless. I got to work in Jamaica, all three resorts in Saint Lucia and hopefully the new Sandals in Saint Lucia! As a nation we must grasp this opportunity for more youth to grow in the hospitality industry.”
Bernice Alfred who holds the post of Finance Manager at Sandals Grenada is also excited by the potential for employment, “I am extremely excited because it will create more job opportunities for my countrymen and I can proudly speak of the brand Sandals.
“In 2009 I left Saint Lucia as a Payroll Clerk and had the opportunity to relocate to the Bahamas and now I am the Finance Manager at Sandals Grenada. I have been able to explore different Caribbean cultures and meet so many amazing people.”
Merlinda Pierre is the Executive Housekeeping Manager, and she is proud that Sandals again chose her home of Saint Lucia. “Quite frankly there are other local and regional investors who have the money but won’t make such a bold step to invest in the hospitality industry. I trust his judgment (Mr. Stewart) and I think it will be very fruitful for the island.”
Sandals currently has three resorts in Saint Lucia including the Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort and Spa, Sandals Halycon Beach and Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Golf Resort and Spa, and only recently announced plans with the Greg Norman company for the construction of a world class golf course at Cap Estate.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet broke ground for the start of work on the fourth resort on May 2nd, 2018, and it promises to be the very latest in design and innovations, boasting some 380 suites upon completion. During the 24-month construction phase 1,200 jobs will be created, with an additional 900 jobs upon completion.