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Rex, Papillon Workers say “Thanks” to PM

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Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

February 24, 2003 - Management and Staff of the Rex and Papillon Resorts have thanked Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony for his role in helping save the hotel chain’s local properties and the jobs of hundreds of St. Lucian employees at a time when closure was imminent.

            It was in July of 2001 that the Directors of the Rex and Papillon Resorts suddenly announced the closure of the three properties, citing low occupancy rates among other factors. Workers were to be sent home and the properties would be undertaking renovations, but there was no certainty of the dismissed staff being re-employed.

Largely through the intervention of the Prime Minister, however, the hotels’ owners agreed to rehire the same workers when the properties reopened. In the meantime, the government worked assiduously with the Rex/Papillon chain to help create the conditions for an early reopening of the hotels.

            The Rex and Papillon Management and Staff last Thursday evening (February 20, 2003) held a special Staff Recognition and Appreciation Awards Ceremony, at which the Prime Minister was the surprise recipient of a Special Recognition Award.

            The hotel’s General Manager, Mr James Prospere, on behalf of Management and over a hundred members of staff gathered for the occasion, thanked the Prime Minister for his tireless effort during those heady days, just before September 11 tragedy. It was a time when several other hotels on the island were also facing closure as a result of the world economic situation.

            It was noted during the ceremony that all the other local hotels that were closed down during the period of uncertainty between 2001 and 2002 were all reopened, with one still to open under new management and a new one to be constructed, both in the south of the island. The only property yet to be re-opened is the Orange Grove hotel at Bois D’Orange, for which a buyer is still being sought by the liquidators.

            Visibly moved by the gesture of appreciation, the Prime Minister thanked the hotel’s management and workers.

Dr Anthony stressed that his actions to help save the hotels in trouble at the time were motivated by the need to assist and reassure the investors involved, in order to save the jobs of the hundreds of hotel employees, on whom thousands of relatives depended.

            The Prime Minister assured the appreciative crowd that of he had to do it all over again, he would.

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