About Aura Casino’s prospective operator and some Bucuti news

We understand that a likely operator recently said he is prepared to pick up the abandoned operation of Aura Casino at the Occidental Grand.

That casino’s last post on FB, under previous management, is from early December. It has been closed for eight months now, its employees idle at home, waiting to be rescued by a future casino operator.

What sunk the boat after years of mismanagement was a law suit.

On December 7th, Barcelo Hotels & Resort, the owners the resort, went to court to try catch up on the delinquent rent, but to no avail. The so-called former casino operators disappeared. Then it turned out that they ran the casino without bank accounts for four years, on a borrowed identity, go figure. How did they get away with that?

For more information, please read my column from January 5th.


So this prospective operator materializes and immediately, the political echelon and the workers’ union, start threatening him with law suits and posturing for the media, defending employees’ right to be re-hired.

Wait a minute that is hardly a warm welcome for a potential investor, willing to take over a failing business.

It seems no good deed ever goes unpunished.

What they are all taking about it the following: The union and the politicians are attempting to exercise pressure on the prospective operator to assume the payroll of all forty-four former Aura casino employees who lost their jobs when the casino folded.

That is indeed sad. That they lost their jobs.

But it is disturbing that the probable operator didn’t even open the business, and he is already embroiled in a fight?!

The union and the politician should wake up. Encourage employees to get off their butts and look for alternative employment. Nothing is going to save them, but themselves. They will never be paid retroactively for the Christmas bonus and salaries they lost, unless they go after the former casino operator, successfully. The politicians and union leaders could use some of their bravado to pursue the group that dumped them.

Didn’t they all allow them to get away with murder?

How is that the new guy’s responsibility?

And we’re talking about a tiny space, because the resort annexed some of the casino real estate making it smaller, with just about twenty-five jobs available. How could a smaller casino sustain all forty-four former employees?

What the union and the politicians are so called demanding is a retroactive $800.000 payroll, salaries and bonus since December. Keep dreaming. Who in his right mind thinks that this is a successful strategy?

The future operator might as well declare bankruptcy on opening day.

Question: Why aren’t employees looking at Barcelo Hotel & Resorts for their lost bonus and salaries? Doesn’t that group hold the casino operating license?


Welcome Niels resort manager at Bucuti Beach Resort

After 17 years at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts, it is with a heavy heart that the resorts bid Manager Deborah Dintelman farewell. “We will certainly miss her dedication to ensuring our guest satisfaction and wish her the best in her retirement,” says the resort newsletter. As the same time, staff and management welcome the new Resort Manager, Niels Stuedemann. Niels comes to Aruba from prestigious 4- and 5-star properties throughout the Caribbean and has more than 20 years of experience in the hotel industry. “He looks forward to welcoming guests and extending the warm Bucuti hospitality for which we are known,” continues the newsletter, and we’re looking forward to meeting him, we hear he is good-looking!