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Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort to reopen October 14; staff and stakeholders unsettled

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 24, 2020 — Less than 72 hours after the Turks and Caicos celebrated a jubilant reopening of its borders to tourism came the unsettling announcement by Beaches Resort Villages & Spa; the resort today revealed that it will not reopen until October 14.

Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC) is the country’s largest private sector employer; said to have some 2,000 staff members. 

Beaches Turks and Caicos resort on Worlds #1 Beach Destination, Grace Bay Beach

While the statement, made earlier today, is distressing for the team, which has not seen a regular paycheck since March, the implications on air travel to Turks and Caicos is far reaching in its impact on employees and employers across the country.

Beaches Resort accounts for 70 percent of long-stay visitor arrivals to the Turks and Caicos; these are the guests who fill up the airplanes of major carriers like: American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, United Airlines, West Jet, Air Canada, South West Airlines and British Airways which run regular commutes from Providenciales (PLS) to popular hubs in North America and Europe.

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James McAnally, General Manager of BTC today confirmed the worst fears of many.

In a media statement, Beaches said, “We know all too well the tremendous fallout the closure of Beaches would have in terms of employment, revenue, airlift and the overall economy in the TCI, and we wish to assure our valued guests, team members and stakeholders that we are sparing no effort to have the resort ready to receive guests well ahead of the popular Christmas season.”

Other resort properties and partners in the tourism industry realize this decision, forced upon Beaches Resort by the unplanned, unprecedented Covid-19 outbreak worldwide, could and likely will have a harrowing ripple effect.

It is possible that airlines could decrease frequency in flights or worse, cease operations altogether until Beaches Resort is reopened.

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Beaches (BTC), in that statement, clearly recognizes how essential its operation of 750 plus hotel rooms has on the tourism and travel sector. 

The executives of the resort give good effort to offering a bright side perspective, which is that the sprawling family all-inclusive has no intention of pushing its opening back any further.

“…this announcement will provide an important signal to the airlines who can now start planning on recommenced scheduled airlift to the Turks and Caicos Islands, a major boost for the overall industry and economy.”

The problem is, with the global impact of Covid-19 being felt in the worst possible ways, it is hard to celebrate Christmas in July.

For some of the Beaches team members who tell Magnetic Media they have not yet been directly informed by the resort of its decision, two and half more months of no work and little pay, if any, is depressing and distressing.

One staff member reported having a “near panic attack.”

Covid-19 is not to be taken lightly. 

Beaches Turks and Caicos water park

It is a potentially deadly virus which has now infected 16.7 million people in the seven months since its dastardly debut in January 2020.

The hospitality and travel industries have been shattered by the contagion which demands that people do not touch each other; that they remain distant; that tends to thrive on most surfaces; which is highly infectious; that disguises itself as the common cold; it debilitates its human host by sometimes severely sabotaging its respiratory system and which has no vaccine to date.

Nearly 650 thousand people have died from the coronavirus.

The implications of resuming operations at one of the Caribbean’s largest resort properties are not lost on Beaches or onlookers. 

On any given day, thousands of people can be found on the property, booked for vacations which give them access to over 20 restaurants, six outdoor pools, a waterpark, adventures and tours, spa, twelve bars, four luxury resort villages which cover 93-acres on the world famous, Grace Bay Beach.

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“As anyone can imagine, this is no small undertaking due the many variables of cost, size and sheer magnitude of the resort; however, we have always kept our promises to the people of the TCI, and we intend to do so again.”

In the statement, Beaches Resort admits it will be reliant upon its staff to be TCI Assured certified opening day.  “It is to this proven and dedicated team that we entrust our highly touted Beaches Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness, explicitly designed to ensure the strictest health and safety measures.  Guests can rest assured therefore that when our doors open on October 14, you will be in the safest hands and will be taken care of by a team that is unmatched in its level of training and development.”

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

TCI News

Joint Operations Result in Interception of Illegal Migrants in Providenciales

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#RoyalTCIPolice, #Providenciales, June 10, 2024 – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force intercepted an illegal sloop transporting SIXTY-SIX (66) irregular migrants on the evening of June 9th, 2024.

The detained group, comprising FIFTY-FIVE (55) males and ELEVEN (11) females, was
intercepted in TCI waters and handed over to the TCI Immigration Task Force for processing.

On June 8th, the Marine Branch of the RTCIPF intercepted a blue and white fibreglass boat
carrying thirty-two (32) irregular migrants.

The boat was spotted 27 miles east of South Caicos and found to be transporting twenty-six (26)
males and six (6) females. The irregular migrants were handed over to Immigration for
processing.

These successful interdictions came following information obtained from a US Customs and
Border Force aircraft.

A joint operation conducted on June 7th has led to the detention of irregular migrants in Blue
Hills. Acting on the information received, authorities detained forty-eight (48) individuals
running along a beach.

Officers conducted extensive searches of surrounding areas, and tragically, the body of a female
was found at Pigeon Pound. Further investigations are ongoing, but it is believed the incident is
linked to a vessel attempting to enter the country illegally.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (Specialist Tactical Operations) Mat Newton states, “I
wish to thank all law enforcement agencies for their invaluable assistance in intercepting illegal
sloops attempting to enter the TCI. Your dedication and collaboration have been instrumental in
ensuring national security and protecting our borders. Our Radar, Marine and Drone units, the
TCI Regiment, the Immigration Task Force, and the Customs Department conducted the
operations.

“The RTCIPF strongly condemns the attempts to enter the TCI illegally. Such actions violate the
law and pose severe risks to life, especially in adverse weather conditions.

“We urge those facilitating and encouraging these illegal attempts to consider the severe
consequences. Do not risk your life or the lives of others by embarking on such perilous
journeys.

“I am also grateful to those people from our communities who report suspicious activity relating
to illegal migration and would urge the public to continue keeping us informed.”
The RTCIPF asks the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime
Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to anonymously provide any information on
illegal entry into the TCI.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crimestoppers P3 app to share
information anonymously.

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Caribbean News

TCI Sport delegation visits the Cayman Islands and Barbados with key sport leaders

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TCI Sports Commission delegation traveled to the Cayman Islands and Barbados to visit with key Sport leaders. The TCI delegation included the Sports Commission Director, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, Deputy Director, Mr. Alvin Parker, and Facility Manager for Providenciales, Mr. Darian Forbes. The aim of the travel was to visit major facilities, with priorities being pool facilities, and discuss sport development strategies.

The team had the pleasure of being hosted by the Deputy Chief Officer for Sport, Dr. Dalton Walter, and the Director of Sports, Mr. Kurt Hyde in the Cayman Islands; who facilitated the facility tours and shared valuable information on Sports Development. Meetings were held with Deputy Chief Officer Ms. Joan West and Technical Director for the Cayman Islands Aquatics Sport Association, Mr. Jacky Pellerin, on the Cayman Islands’ new 50-meter and 25 meter 10 lanes Mrytha pool facility, as well as with Ms. Shakeina Bush from the National Olympic Office on National Federation development and funding opportunities. The Sports Commission delegation was also grateful for the courtesy call with the Minister of Sport for the Cayman Islands, Hon. Isaac Rankine, and the Chief Officer Ms. Teresa Echenique.

During the Barbados leg of the exploratory travel, the Sports Commission team was hosted by the Director of the National Sports Council, Mr. Neil Murrell, and the Assistant Director of Sports, Mr. Ryan Toppin. The TCI team toured the National Sport Council facilities and visited the Barbados National Olympic Association. Significant to the TCI’s plan to develop an aquatic center, the TCI Sports Commission visited the Barbados Aquatic Sport Association and met with former National Olympic Academy Director, Mr. Dave Farmer, and the President and Second Vice President of the Barbados Swim Association, Mr. Robert Armstrong and Mr. Nicholas Mathis. Insights were shared regarding swimming pool design, development and maintenance as well as pool programming strategies to ensure the growth and sustainability of swimming in the islands.

The TCI delegation also visited other stadium facilities such as Track and Field, Football and Cricket, and other major facilities in Basketball and Boxing. The TCI Sport Commission officials had great discussions with both the Cayman Islands and Barbados sports officials surrounding the development of coaches, athlete development pathways, and strengthening relationships with National Sport Governing Bodies.

Director of Sports, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, said, “We were very grateful for the hospitality and support extended by our Caribbean colleagues. Their support affirmed the commitment and unity among the Caribbean community to develop sports in the region.”

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Crime

Male Charged With Murder

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#TurksandCaicos, June 7, 2024 – A 29-year-old male has been charged with the murder of BUTLER BRAVE PROPHETE. KERLY AGENOR, of Dock Yard, Providenciales, was charged today (June 06th) following advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. In addition to the murder, the accused faces the following charges:

  • Possession of a Firearm
  • Possession of Ammunition
  • Discharge of a Firearm
  • Discharge of Ammunition

The charges against Mr. AGENOR state that on March 05th, 2024, in Providenciales, he murdered Mr. PROPHETE, Contrary to Section 3 of the Offenses Against the Person Ordinance Chapter 3.08.

At the time of his death, Mr. Prophete, 22, of Wheeland, Providenciales, was exiting his workplace on the Lower Bight and was shot dead.

Mr AGENOR remains in custody pending a Sufficiency Hearing.

In a brief statement, Superintendent in charge of Crime, Safeguarding, Public Protection, and Intelligence Dean Holden said: “I wish to thank the officers of the Serious Crime Unit for their dedication and commitment in bringing this case to a charge. Further, I wish to reassure the public and families that the RTCIPF is committed to bringing prosecutions against perpetrators and, when possible, closure to persons who have lost loved ones to these senseless homicides”.

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