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Treasure Cay resort lays off most employees

The Treasure Cay Beach, Marina and Golf Resort recently laid off most of its staff, and may not be able to re-engage those employees for up to two years as the hotel rebuilds in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, the resort’s president, Robert Meister, said in a statement on Monday.

He said the two-year time period would be the “worst-case scenario.”

“With nothing left, no shops, or restaurants open, no utilities, and no safe, adequate housing, we unfortunately were forced to consider an extended layoff of most of our staff until we can rebuild and reopen our doors again,” Meister said.

Meister did not say how many employees were let go.

He said “every building and asset was either left in ruins or extensively damaged.”

“We have kept on some staff to start the initial steps and in several cases, we have reassigned staff to new positions if they had the skills needed for rebuilding,” he said.

“We just reopened our fuel station and those staff returned to work. How quickly things will be rebuilt and in what order is still being determined. It was imperative to let our staff know the reality as quickly as possible so they can also make plans for themselves and their future given all of our circumstances.”

Meister added that the rebuilding process will be long for everyone affected on Abaco.

He said: “None of us wish to be in this position and it will be hard for a long time as we rebuild this extraordinary community, but we will do it and Treasure Cay will be even stronger.”

Hurricane Dorian ripped through Abaco and Grand Bahama last month, leaving hundreds missing and at least 61 dead to date.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis last week announced that Grand Bahama would now be included in the special economic recovery zone the government intends to implement in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

Initially the designation was announced for East Grand Bahama, Abaco and the Abaco Cays for a period of three years.

The government intends to provide tax breaks and duty-free purchases of designated material; a waiver of business license fees and real property tax; a value-added tax credit; the establishment of a $10 million loan guarantee; an equity financing program; extension of the provisional business license program; and the establishment of a business assistance one-stop shop.

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