Sandals, Beaches T&T closer to reality

BY HORACE HINES
Staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, July 22, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International Adam Stewart has announced that the Caribbean hotel chain has inched closer to sealing a deal with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to construct two resorts in that twin-island republic.

The new deal includes the establishment of a Sandals property and and a Beaches property alongside each other on a 600-acre parcel of land.

The new properties are expected to add to the Sandals Resort chain, which boasts 19 resorts with 5,481 rooms across seven islands and pulls in over a million customers a year, with a 40 per cent guest return rate.

“Mr (Gebhard) Rainer and I just got back from Tobago, and we met with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and we are nearing a deal down there where we will build two hotels at the same time. One Sandals and one Beaches,” Stewart revealed.

“It's the size of Whitehouse (Sandals Southcoast), 600 acres of land. A 350-room Sandals and a 520-room Beaches side by side.

“Everything we have ever built, from bowling allies to movie cinemas, BMX bicycle tracks, rooms in the trees in the skies and tree house suites — you never see anything like what's about to come out of Sandals and Beaches in Tobago.”

He was speaking at the Sandals' Overdrive Caribbean Tour 2018 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Wednesday night.

It was an evening filled with much entertainment, including performances by Sesame Street characters, and non-stop giveaways of gift vouchers, including all-expense-paid trips to SRI properties to a full house of employees present.

“On behalf of our chairman, (Gordon “Butch” Stewart), who couldn't be here tonight, the entire executive team, SRI, our general managers and everybody, we cannot do this without you. We appreciate you getting up every morning and coming to work and giving it a 100 per cent and being the superstars that you are. We have been voted world's best because of each and everyone of you,” the SRI deputy chairman expressed.

He noted that because of the outstanding contribution of the staff members, the hotel chain, which has copped the World's Best All-Inclusive Resort for 22 consecutive years, has notched the most awards in the world.

“If there is an award to be won by anybody or any magazine, or any credible institution, our company has won it year and year again. It cannot be by chance that our company is the most awarded hotel chain on the planet,” Stewart noted.

Jardine Vassell, a Beaches Ocho Rios photoshop supervisor who copped this year's Ultimate Team Member of the Year and the US$20,000 main prize, plus a private jet ride for two to an overseas Sandals destination of her choice; attributed her success in part to the Sandals Corporate University (SCU) for affording her the opportunity to excel.

“Beaches and Sandals have set the platform for me to achieve greatness through SCU trainings, outreach, through Sandals Foundation, and the list goes on. I thank you,” she said.

Stewart concurred that the corporate university was established for transforming the lives of workers.

“The Sandals Corporate University is a vehicle that is designed for you to transform your lives. It is a gift from our company to you so you can reach your goals. If you are not focused on the Sandals Corporate University, if you are not focused on your training and development and advancement you will stay stagnant. You cannot stay stagnant,” he told the workers.

“The Sandals Corporate University is designed for you to keep trying new things. There are over 150 different courses and tracks that you can work on free of charge that are designed for you to find the greatness inside of you. If you find your greatness, do it in life. If you are working in weddings and you don't like being with people and want to try finance, tell your general manager — tell him say me say so. If you are in finance and you want to be with people and you want to transfer to the bars or food and beverage, go and tell your supervisor. The corporate university is designed to pull out of you what it is that makes you extraordinary,” Stewart continued.

Head of the SCU, Dr Phillip Brown, described the corporate university as a vehicle that drives workers to realise their true potential.

“We are the only organisation in this hemisphere that does what we do. There are countless stories in this organisation of people who started in the dining room and ended up as a supervisor; as a manager and got somewhere because of Sandals Resort International. Now anybody can have a corporate university, but that's not just what we have. We have something that equips you for the future,” Dr Brown reasoned.

Gary Sadler, who joined Sandals as a playmaker and is now the Miami-based senior vice-president for sales, worldwide, sent a strong message to other hotels who want to recruit the well-trained Sandals staff members.

“I am Sandals yesterday, I am Sandals today, I am Sandals tomorrow, because we are proud Sandals employees. And when those other hotel companies decide that they want to come to the Caribbean and they want to take the best of the best, which is Sandals employees, our message is clear to them — we are not for sale, so go back where you come from because we are proud of being Sandals employees,” he stated.

Other speakers for the night included new CEO Gebhard Rainer; Jordan Samuda, director of Sandals' Procurement Division; Marsha-Ann Donaldson Brown, director of weddings; and Karen Zacca, Sandals Foundation projects coordinator.

See photographic coverage of the Sandals Overdrive Caribbean Tour 2018 on pages 26 & 27.

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