The famous Sporting d’été nightclub will be completely renovated and will only be reopened from April to October. It’s a blow for employees and dance floor fans.
It was recently announced that Jimmy’z is closing for renovation. For more than forty years this institution has shaped the reputation of Monegasque nights. But the party will only be on fine-weather days, at least according to Sporting d’été with the Société des Bains de Mer. Indeed, without any advertising, SBM has started extensive renovation work that will lead to the discotheque reopening only from July to September 2017 and then from May 2018. Beginning in 2019, the plan is to open the establishment from April to October and not all year round as it previously was.
SBM has explained its actions through the following written message: “Jimmy’z, (…) since 1974, has had only minor renovations which are now proving insufficient with regard to competition from international and local establishments being offered to an increasingly demanding clientele. In addition to the response of this work in terms of supply, these renovations are also indispensable in terms of meeting technical and structural standards (for example, securing the sunroof).”
There is also a positive view of the renovation work, on the part of the employees. “It’s been years that renovation work has been expected,” says Gilles Pelassy, head waiter, also a delegate of the team that manages Jimmyz. This point of view is also shared by Florian Gaillard, Staff and Union Representative, Bartender at the Buddha Bar, who says that “the construction work is needed.”
No Redundancies Expected
The social aspect of the plan is more delicate, because the disco is indeed closed and will only open six months a year. “The staff at Jimmy’z will therefore become seasonal employees and it is in this context that the company has met with employee representatives,” according to the SBM Human Resources Department. A full-time workforce reduction plan, mainly based on a voluntary early retirement programme, has been proposed and it is already known that it will allow for the reclassification of all employees whose year-round positions are eliminated.
According to Gilles Pelassy, twenty-four people will need to be moved. “The management had initially announced redundancies, but not anymore.” Florian Gaillard, staff delegate and shop steward, bartender at the Buddha Bar, says he received a letter from the management, dated 13 October, explaining that work would be done at Jimmy’z. “In this letter, it amounts to a plan to downsize Jimmy’z. The staff members are worried. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. The Company maintains that there will be no dismissals. It was said in a meeting. And the plan to take early retirement from the age of 57 has been extended to everyone.”
Another reason to grieve is that the night life is reducing year on year. After the closure of Moods cabaret in Monte-Carlo, this nightclub is now reducing its presence, and “it is a catastrophe for Monaco’s night life”, states Thierry Crovetto, national councillor, member of the joint commission of the SMB. Florian Gaillard, staff and union delegate, bartender at the Buddha Bar, notes that “Monaco has changed a lot in the winter. Over the past ten years, I have seen a marked decrease in the nightlife.” Gilles Pelassy said: “Jimmy’z still worked in the winter, though to a lesser degree. This establishment remains one of the world’s most iconic nightclubs and it can stay open throughout the year if it is given the means.”
The SBM is looking towards the future, and it is to be hoped that, from now until the end of the renovations, the night owls will not set their sights on other party locales. In any case, hopefully Jimmy’z improvements and renovations will eventually be appreciated despite its closing.
Photos: Jimmy’z Facebook Page