Simpson Bay Resort director Miller: “It is solely up to Wifol whether resort stays open”

POSTED: 04/16/12 1:23 PM

St. Maarten – The Seminole Tribe of Florida will not finalize any purchase of the Simpson Bay Resort and rebrand it as a Hard Rock resort until the labor situation has been resolved, director Mark Miller wrote to the members of the embattled resort this weekend. He also noted that it is solely up to the Wifol union whether the resort stays open or closes.
Miller gave the Simpson Bay Resort timeshare owners an update after last Friday’s court case in which the resort attempted to freeze the April 2 ruling that obliges it to, as Miller put it “pay past wages to all Wifol workers, rehire all dismissed workers and pay Wifol $50,000 in damages.”
Miller declined to answer questions from this newspaper on Friday, but his account to the resort’s timeshare owners depicts his position in no uncertain terms.
“There has been some incorrect information released relating to the possible purchase of the resort by the Seminole Tribe for rebranding as a Hard Rock Resort. We previously informed you that no agreement had been formalized. It has been reported that the current labor situation will not affect a potential purchase; however, that is not accurate. We have been informed in writing by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc., that it does not plan to finalize any purchase until the labor situation is resolved.”
Miller wrote in his letter that the resort remains in the same predicament it was a week ago.
“It is solely up to Wifol whether the resort closes or stays open. If Wifol chooses to execute the local court verdict against the resort’s accounts or property, the resort will close. We believe that Wifol understands this action will be catastrophic for the island economy and the well-being of its own members, and that this may temper Wifol’s decision. Nevertheless, we have no control over Wifol and cannot say for certain what it will do.”
The resort’s decision to seek a freeze of the April 2 court ruling is the only way out, it appears from Miller’s letter.
“Without the freeze, Wifol can use the local court’s verdict to seize the resort’s bank accounts, place a lien on the property, or take other action that will ultimately cause the resort to close.

Already Wifol has sought to collect rents from the concessions at the resort, using the April 2 court ruling to force concessionaires to pay rent to Wifol instead of to the resort. This action strained the resort’s finances, but did not force it to close. However, if Wifol continues to seize funds due to the resort, the consequences will be dire.”
Miller called the decision by Wifol attorneys Le Poole and van Sambeek to challenge Judge Jurjen de Haan last Friday a “questionable-timed legal maneuver.” He blames the delay in the court procedures on Wifol and announced that the resort will now seek a temporary freeze of the April 2 court ruling.
Miller also opined in his letter that this ruling is flawed and should be overturned
“We remain committed to the idea that Simpson Bay Resort should not have to assume a labor contract it did not negotiate, did not adopt, and otherwise had no part in.”

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Simpson Bay Resort director Miller: “It is solely up to Wifol whether resort stays open” by

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