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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 & Caicos government.
“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 highest consideration.”
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.