MONTEGO BAY, Dec. 1 (JIS): Plans are in place for the January 15, 2015 opening of the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, which is being refurbished at a cost of US$150 million.
This was disclosed by the General Manager of the resort, Clifton Reader, during a tour of the property on November 28 by Tourism Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill; and Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips.
Mr. Reader, a former Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Hotelier of the Year, said refurbishing of the property (the former Sunset Jamaica Grande) is ahead of schedule and already bookings for January 15 are being taken.
“So, we have no choice but to make it. We have 2,000 employees…contractors, labourers working around the clock. I went to Cancun, Mexico, for a month and when I came back, I just could not believe the pace at which the work is being done,” he said.
Dr. McNeill, who spoke to JIS News after the tour, commended the Management of Moon Palace for treating the staff well since they took over in September. The Management has sent 120 workers to Mexico for training in the Moon Palace culture.
The Minister said apart from the employment aspect, the Moon Palace should be commended for the establishment of a Foundation for the benefit of the workers and the wider public. “I think this shows real corporate partnership and corporate responsibility,” he added.
Commenting on the investment of US$150 million in the Moon Palace Resort, the Finance Minister said “this is going to be a totally new hotel experience.”
He also noted that when the work is completed, the Resort will employ 1,200 permanent employees.