Beach party leads Marriott to erect private property signs

One of the nearly 20 signs erected by the Marriott Hotel describing the sandy area beyond its fence as private property.

A rousing Christmas Eve beach party aback the Marriott Hotel has led the entity to erect signs restricting the use of the area.

The Drinks Ice Soca Christmas Eve Fete which continued into the early hours of December 25 has been viewed by the Marriott Management as a security breach though the organizers have indicated that the area they used was public space.

Public posts including images on the Facebook page of Marlon Jacob, promoter of Drinks Ice Soca, show the partygoers congregating in the area closest to the sea aback of the Kingston Seawall.

Geoffrey Vaughn, Head of the Work Services Group of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, has indicated that this is public space.

“That area is open to the public. It is considered part of the sea and river defences in fact 50 feet from the centre of the defence both inward to the land and outward to the sea is government reserve and I am not aware that it has been sold or leased,” Vaughn said.

He stressed that he could not speak definitively on ownership of the area where the signs had been erected until an inspection was conducted by his officers and NICIL contacted to ascertain whether any agreements had been reached in relation to the area.  Meanwhile, Chairman of Atlantic Hotel Inc (AHI) Hewley Nelson told Stabroek News yesterday that the beach area extending up to 50 meters from the hotel fence is part of the hotel’s holdings and the signs were erected as a means of securing those holdings and its guests.  AHI is the special purpose company set up to run the Marriott Hotel.

“The Marriott is an international hotel and any situation that arises with the security of its guests can have far-reaching implications,” Nelson explained.

For their part the organizer of Drinks Ice Soca have extended holiday wishes to the Marriott’s Staff and Management even as they accused them of calling the Police every five minutes in an attempt to stop the event. It was also indicated that “from Day One” the hotel had attempted to prevent the holding of the event, though Nelson indicated that he could not comment on that assertion.

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