Your front page (Friday 14 Nov.) is rather baffling. There are two main headlines that seem to contradict each other: New Year’s Booze Nixed and Tourism Growth Needed.
The frustrations expressed by Mr. Seymour, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Jackson and Mr. Lalli in your ‘Booze Nixed’ story are certainly understandable. After all, they have a business to run and bills to pay.
On what is considered the biggest night of the year in the restaurant, bar and entertainment business they are now being told to kick their customers out at 11:45 because doors must be locked at midnight – at midnight on New Year’s Eve – just as the rest of the world is starting to celebrate.
New Year’s Eve is big business – everybody from the hair dressers to the liquor distributors to the waiters and waitresses look forward to hefty bank deposits at the start of the New Year. And let’s face it; nowadays we all need to make those deposits, unless of course you ride a bicycle and use solar energy. Between the price of gasoline and my monthly CUC bill, it makes me want to be sick.
Tourism is also big business and that leads me to your other headline, Tourism Growth Needed.
When we spend millions of dollars to entice the tourists to visit our islands, our home, it is our responsibility to do everything within reason to make our guests happy. Allowing our guests a few extra hours to eat, drink and be merry on New Year’s Eve is not unreasonable.
In the Booze Nixed story someone says, ‘In the past most people resorted to private parties.’ Well, I wish we were living in the past…because I for one miss the good old days. However and unfortunately this is 2005-06 and we all must accept change.
This once peaceful little paradise is now world famous for traffic jams and high prices. Sure we residents and citizens can stay home or attend a private party on New Year’s Eve. But what about our guests – the tourists who spend their devalued dollars to have a good time. Do we just ignore them?
‘ Sorry sir I must ask you to leave, the pool bar is now closed, the band is playing the last song and it’s time to go to your room – if you’ll excuse me I’m in a hurry, I’m going to go celebrate New Year’s Eve at a private party…… A tip….yes I accept tips.’ I know, I’m being a bit sarcastic, but I am also trying to make a point.
At the Reef Resort where I’m employed we are expecting 100 per cent room occupancy on New Year’s Eve not to mention a sold out dinner and dance. As one who has entertained tourists for 35 years I’m looking forward to a short work night on 31 December. However, I’m not looking forward to making that announcement over my microphone at 11:45pm: ‘That’s it folks. Good night, happy New Year. Please come back and see us again next year . . . please! ‘