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Aftermath of Hurricane Irene affects some Bahamas hotels

Hurricane Irene did not lethally harm any people in the Bahamas, but it certainly took its toll on many hotels. Some Bahamas hotels and resorts are in need of extensive repair and will close temporarily, causing losses for the Bahamas holidays industry.

Aftermath of Hurricane Irene affects some Bahamas hotels

Despite not having caused any human losses, Hurricane Irene had a serious damaging effect on many properties in the Bahamas. Some of the most popular and important Bahamas hotels and resorts have reported damages, and Super Club Breezes will be closing its doors to visitors for two months. Representatives from the hotel chain stated that the resort would remain closed, due to the great damage suffered, until 1st November this year.

This unfortunate natural hazard has caused the major resort company a huge setback. “As the damage is primarily roof damage, it will take some time to properly asses and effect necessary repairs,” the statement said. The time and money that is being spent on repairs generates huge losses from customers not taking Bahamas holidays at Super Club Breezes resorts during this time and as a result massive losses in revenue for the hotel chain during the popular summer season.

Furthermore, the only deepwater marina on the island, Cape Eleuthera, is said to have sustained losses of around $250,000 in damages. The general manager of the marina, Stephen Kappeler said the trickiest and most essential problem was the restoration of electricity. He insists on the well-being of the locals, but stresses the great damage properties have suffered due to this hurricane. “Everybody is okay,” Kappeler said “There are no injuries or deaths that I know about. There’s probably a quarter-million in damages, but we are waiting for power so we can put 50 people back to work.”

All Bahamas hotels and resorts in Eleuthera are in great need of electricity restoration. The once-perfect destination for Caribbean holidays now looks littered and uncared for with downed power lines all over the place, and is suffering greatly with no electricity, cable or internet connection as a result. Cape Eleuthera and its workers are in great need of a quick electricity fix, since this situation has forced the marina to close and therefore cancel the upcoming U.S. Labour Day holiday.

Kappeler explains the serious implications of this problem stating that until power can be restored, the resort cannot provide basic facilities for guests and will remain closed, leaving around 50 employees out of a job. “Everything hinges on power,” he says. He also informs that the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) should do everything in its power to return electricity to the island shortly. Luckily the marina did not suffer any structural harm.

David Johnson, the General Director of the Ministry of Tourism, informed Guardian Business that communicating with the rest of the islands was still very difficult on Friday, giving everyone a clear idea of the damage’s extent on the archipelago. Still, his attitude remains positive and calm, although he is greatly concerned about not being able to make contact with some of the islands, and the effect the hurricane’s destruction will have on those who were planning holidays in Bahamas.

“We’re still waiting for people to expedite the process because communication is still out to some of the islands, such as Cat Island and Long Island,” he said “[The islands] are doing clean-up locally. They have the ability and the resources.” Johnson also reported that One-and-only Ocean Club, one of the most lavish hotels for visitors taking luxury Bahamas holidays, and Cove on Paradise Island suffered small damages. These resorts were closed on Friday as teams work to fix minor leaks and landscaping harm.

Some Bahamas hotels however didn’t feel the wrath of Hurricane Irene so deeply. Sandals only reported landscaping damage in Emerald Bay, Exuma and the Sandals Royal Bahamian in New Providence. The head of PR for Sandals Resorts Northern Caribbean, Yasmina Cherquaoi said: “We’ve been very lucky with both, there has been no structural damage, but a lot of damage to landscaping and vegetation.” On Friday, Sandals was already successfully welcoming guests.

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