Recently I wrote to you concerning this issue between the Landings and Sandals, and I cautioned then that if this matter was not resolved, then the country ran the risk of the project being delayed if not abandoned altogether.
Lo and behold my fears have come true as in the past week Sandals announced they were suspending work on the project seemingly indefinitely. In the meantime I have heard from no one, least of all the authorities, and there continues to be a deafening silence from those in charge about this matter, which now means that hundreds if not thousands of Saint Lucians stand to lose valuable employment opportunities.
What adds insult to injury, is this ridiculous letter in the paper put out by the Landings, trying to make a case where there is apparently no case to make.
They come out all high and mighty talking about the original plans for the Pigeon Island causeway, and how no building should be higher than a coconut tree – then admit that contrary to that they put up buildings four stories high!
The 146 villas they have are important, but so are the 1000 rooms that Sandals has.. and to add insult to injury, The Landings try to use their staff to play the sympathy card in that ad. But the numbers don’t lie, and while it is important that those 200 persons at Landings are employed, what about the 700 more Sandals said would find full time work? What about the 1000 people to have found work during construction? The company already has 1,800 people employed with them.
And come on Landings, you want to claim that guests and owners patronize local businesses as opposed to Sandals! Maybe a few local ones, and who can tell your guests from any other. I will tell you what I know, I know that I see Sandals guests are all over Saint Lucia on tours, spending their money. Why don’t you go and ask Joe Knows! He knows. The rest of Saint Lucia knows, How come you don’t know. So that is at best insincere.
And if you want to build in an area earmarked for tourism, don’t you think someone will build a hotel on the land eventually? It was approved by the DCA. Are you saying that the owners and Fosters law firm are the ones who running this country? That the DCA should jump every time you say jump?
So you want to tell Saint Lucians, what is best for Saint Lucians? Actually, sounds a whole lot like a bunch of big boys want to have their cake and eat it.
It is better the Landings had stayed quiet!