Fairmont Southampton to shut down for full renovation

The Fairmont Southampton's 593 rooms account for roughly a quarter of all hotel guestrooms in Bermuda.

The Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda will temporarily shutter on Oct. 23, with the property announcing plans to undergo a full renovation during its closure. A post-renovation reopening date has not been announced.

The 593-room property, one of Bermuda's largest resorts, hasn't been fully operational since the beginning of the pandemic in March.

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According to Kiaran MacDonald, the property's regional vice president and general manager, the Fairmont Southampton's room inventory accounts for around 25% of all hotel guestrooms in Bermuda and, in normal times, accommodates up to 30% of total air visitors on the island.

"The resort's relevance to the island of Bermuda cannot be understated," MacDonald said in a statement. "The temporary closure is not only necessary given the current market disruption but also an opportunity to execute on the broader business plan," which is to have the work done in time for an expected demand once the pandemic has subsided and people are traveling again.

Around 700 Fairmont Southampton workers will be left unemployed due to the closure. Chris Furbert, president of the Bermuda Industrial Union, called the layoffs "the largest redundancy to date in Bermuda."

According to Fairmont, the property's ownership group, as well as the Bermuda government and the Bermuda Industrial Union, are working to support affected employees, with staff set to be offered redundancy pay.

The Fairmont Southampton was acquired by an affiliate of Miami-based investment and development firm Gencom last December.


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