Citing "critical and long-standing issues" that
have impacted operations over the past few years, the Beaches Turks &
Caicos Resort will close three times over the next two years.
The property will close from Sept. 3 to Oct. 15, 2019; Sept.
7 to Oct. 22, 2020; and for an indefinite period starting in January 2021.
Butch Stewart, founder and chairman of Sandals Resorts International (Beaches' parent company), commented on an
Instagram post, "Over the last several years, we have made a concerted
effort to resolve critical issues in relation to the operations on the island.
Because we cannot come to a resolution locally, beginning January of 2021, the
resort will close until further notice."
The resort would not elaborate on operational issues. Several Caribbean news outlets
say that Sandals is disputing a $60 million tax bill with the Turks &
"It is important to note that we do not owe any money in unpaid taxes," Sandals said in a statement. "We
have always fully observed, complied and met our tax obligations on time and to
the letter. We punctually and properly pay taxes according to the law and our
track record is exceptional. Much to the contrary, as it stands, we are
currently owed monies in overpaid taxes. We are heartened that the government
is trying to resolve this issue on a fast-track basis to which they have our
full and complete cooperation."
Responding to Sandals, Turks and Caicos Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson said
in a statement published in The Sun newspaper that while she could not say what the issue was about, "Just to be clear, it has not been a matter of Beaches avoiding taxes... I assure the people of the
TCI that this matter will be settled in the very best interest of all the
people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. I ask those employees of Beaches, taxi
drivers, other hotel operators, airline agents and airline workers who
contacted me frantically for representation to know that they are being held in
Beaches is the largest resort on Turks & Caicos by far
with 758 rooms.
Beaches said that during the time that the resort is open, "all
features and facilities of the resort will be open and operating per usual."
Guests booked during a closure may change their travel dates
to Beaches Turks & Caicos or travel on their original travel dates to one
of the other Beaches locations in Jamaica -- Beaches Negril or Beaches Ocho
Rios -- at no additional cost, including airfare change fees.
The resort closed for three months in late 2017 to repair
damage from Hurricane Irma.