Antigua resort shuts down until Dec. 15

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- Low occupancies that have plagued Antigua's 64-room Rex Blue Heron since January led London-based Rex Resorts to close the property from July 15 to Dec. 15.

A spokesman confirmed the closing of the inclusive beachfront property, adding that the shutdown was "hopefully just a temporary measure."

Guests holding reservations during the period are being accommodated at the 194-room Rex Halcyon Cove Beach Resort on Dickenson Bay, five miles closer to St. John's than the Blue Heron.

U.S. tour operators that offer Blue Heron packages were notified after the shutdown decision was made July 7.

In addition to occupancy levels that ranged between 30% and 40% from January through June, several other factors contributed to the decision, the spokesman said.

He cited a slowdown in key market economies in the U.K., the rest of Europe and North America and increased competition from Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

No closings are planned at this time for Rex Resorts' other eastern Caribbean properties -- Rex Halcyon Cove Antigua; St. Lucia's Royal St. Lucian, Rex St. Lucia and Papillon St. Lucia; Rex Grenadian on Grenada, and Rex Turtle Beach on Tobago.

The decision to temporarily cease operations was taken "to protect Rex Resorts.

When market conditions improve, the property will reopen," the spokesman said.

He added that Rex Resorts is hoping to reopen the Blue Heron for the traditionally busy winter season.

At press time, Rex Resorts' Web site, at www.rexcaribbean.com, did not reflect the news of Blue Heron's temporary closure.

For additional details, agents and operators should contact the U.S. sales office of Rex Resorts in Miami at (800) 255-5859.

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