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Editorial: Brookfield Here To Stay – So Work Together For A Brighter Future

THE future of Atlantis has been up in the air for a long time – but now it is off the market.

Whether that’s because the owners, Brookfield Asset Management, didn’t receive the right offer or whether they have decided to recommit to the property over the long-term, the important thing is that Atlantis is now going to get a shot of investment that will be warmly welcomed.

Long the biggest private employer in The Bahamas and now with Baha Mar as a rival, the investment will hopefully help to keep both properties on their toes as they seek to attract the world to our doorstep.

A number of bids for Atlantis were reportedly rejected – with former Prime Minister Perry Christie even saying he was representing one bid – and it’s easy to see why it would be a tempting purchase. Land, reputation and location are all prize assets for Atlantis.

So what comes next for the resort? Well, Brookfield did not reveal how much it is investing, merely saying a “significant” sum. How significant we shall see, but the talk is of renovations, new nightlife venues, new restaurants and more activities. That won’t come cheap – but will be a boon for tourists and Bahamians alike.

What doesn’t help Atlantis, however, is some grumbling from the hotel union about changes to its pay schedule. Atlantis is swapping from a weekly to a bi-monthly pay schedule – and you can see the reasons why. There’s a lot of duplication of effort in putting out pay slips every week, running payroll to make sure it is correct, and so on. Why not have it fortnightly? Or even monthly? It’s the same money coming into workers’ accounts, but streamlining the process can save time and effort – and as any business knows, that means saving money along the way.

We would also note that the union is stomping its feet despite admitting it hasn’t “had a conversation with our members”. Even so, union vice-president Harrison Williams says it is “going to be another fight”. A bit presumptuous there, Mr Williams, if you haven’t talked to your members. And if employers are paying out the same money, as long as there’s a smooth transition to the new system, you can’t complain about banks charging workers late fees if that’s just down to the workers’ own money management. You manage your own account, the employer doesn’t do that for you.

Not everything in business needs to be a fight. But if you fight everything, you can’t complain that you feel management isn’t on your side.

But as Brookfield commits to a longer-term future than was expected, workers had best get used to this management – and pulling in the same direction will take us all further.

We look forward to seeing more details of the plans for Atlantis – and how its owners see the future of one of The Bahamas’ best and brightest assets.

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