Fort Clarence’s reopening pushed back

Fort Clarence Beach in Portmore, St Catherine is now being renovated. (Photo: nepa.gov.jm)
Fort Clarence Beach in Portmore, St Catherine is now being renovated. (Photo: nepa.gov.jm)

The expected reopening of Fort Clarence Beach in Portmore, St Catherine, did not take place on Friday, as the new operators, Guardsman Hospitality (GH), failed to upgrade the facility to an acceptable standard.

A 25-year lease was acquired by GH at the start of September, when they closed the facility for renovation, as the company wanted to reopen the beach to the public for the Heroes Weekend.

However, in a release on Thursday, GH said that the early work is not at a stage where the facility is able to accommodate the public as yet.

“The management apologises to the public for any inconvenience that will be caused.”

— Guardsman’s Laura Heron

Laura Heron, general manager for GH, said in the release: “We have not been able to make substantial remedial infrastructure changes due to circumstances beyond our control. The management apologises to the public for any inconvenience that will be caused. We look forward to hosting beachgoers as soon as is safely possible.”

The renovation for the reopening is the first phase, with the complete remodelling expected to take five years. Major infrastructure changes will begin next year.

The beach is owned by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), which advertised for property management. It is understood that GH was the only entity to bid after three invitations to tender.