Latest Club Orient news
As you know, Club Orient has been closed since St. Martin was devastated by Hurricane Irma last year. This announcement appeared on the Club O Facebook page today.
For those of you who have been following our postings online or read the emails we have previously sent, what were about to say should not come as a total shock. But, please read it carefully and understand the following only affects Orient Beach Club (OBC), which employs all of the staff and operates the resort. The Coproprit (Copro) which owns the land on which Club Orient is built and is similar to an HOA is responsible for the vast majority of structues.
OBC received its insurance money in full on October 31, 2017, which included business interruption insurance. It has now been over a year that OBC has been waiting for the Copro to receive its money, so the rebuilding can begin.
OBC has had to pay chomage partiel, which is similar to unemployment in some countries, but different in that the company must pay out 85% of an employees actual wages and is reimbursed at only a percentage of minimum wage rates. This form of unemployment has been a very expensive proposition.
We were comfortable doing this as the Copro believed we would have at least some of our units ready for the high season starting in November/December. This prognostication, unfortunately, has proven not to be the case.
Even if the Copro was to receive their money in October or November, they could not complete any of the necessary rebuildings and repair until Summer or even longer. OBC cannot afford to continue to operate while missing two full high seasons, last year and this coming year.
OBC expects to be legally closing its doors over the next thirty days with the assistance of a government liquidator. We have just about completed contacting all the people who still had advance deposits on hold for a future stay. To all of you who were kind enough to donate them or delay asking for their return, you are a big reason why we have been able to continue to survive this long. Thank you very much for your help.
Now, does this mean Club Orient is finished? NO. It merely means the management company OBC, which is the employer and operator of the revenue-producing areas is closing.
Once the Copro receives its funds and the re-building commences, a new management company would have to emerge to operate Club Orient. Hopefully, most of the same staff will still be available and return.
Once again, the only reason OBC must close is they have no resort to manage and no way to continue to pay the staff without revenue being generated.
So, this is a very sad time for all of us, many of us have given years and often decades of our lives to Club Orient as employees. Most of us have never felt like employees, but more like being a part of an extended worldwide family.
We cannot predict what will happen next, as we will not be involved. We know the Coproprit is continuing in its efforts to re-build Club Orient and has contracts in place, once the legal and insurance issues are resolved.
Our website and Facebook page will remain up for at least the next few months, and we have listed an email address to be able to contact a representative of Club Orient who is on the island.
Thanks to all of you for your support over the years and we have missed seeing you this last year. We are heartbroken this mess has not yet been rectified and hope that the Copro will be able to rebuild very soon, so we can once again welcome all of you back to paradise.
We were just there last month, and there isn't much left to rebuild. A few of the mini suite deluxe and a single mini suite remain standing. Our favorite mini suite (#156) is next to the one that is still standing and is itself partially standing. You can see the mini suite deluxe in the background. They are all gutted like this one, but at least still have all four walls.