All-Jamaican staff, US$1.5-m investment for Dinner in the Sky
NEGRIL, Westmoreland — Jamaican-born entrepreneur Samantha Ksloir and her business partner Krystal Ksloir, who are investing US$1.5 million in Dinner in the Sky, Jamaica, say the Negril-based venture will provide jobs for more than 50 locals.
“We actually have locals doing all our groundwork now, from construction to marketing,” Florida-born Krystal, who is of Jamaican descent, said in response to a question from the Jamaica Observer as she officially presented the business idea to the Negril Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday. She is chief operations officer for Dinner in the Sky, Jamaica.
According to Samantha, who is the CEO, it is important to them to support the local economy.
“All our employees will be Jamaican… Our mission is to support the locals, enhance tourism and make jobs available to the local community,” she said.
The Ksloir ladies are already mulling expanding Dinner in the Sky, Jamaica to Ocho Rios. In fact, they said that resort city had been their initial choice of venue but they later switched to the more densely-populated Westmoreland. They were also enamoured by Negril’s world famous seven-mile beach and its overall ambiance.
Starting this August, groups of 22 guests will be able to enjoy breathtaking views, delicious gourmet meals and live entertainment while suspended 45 metres above the resort city’s popular West End. The venue will offer six ‘flights’ each day — three lunch and three dinner menus — every day of the week. The package includes transportation, if needed, from Negril or Hanover, live entertainment, a virtual reality theme park experience, and a live disc jockey.
“We start at US$220 per person and that is for brunch; we serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday. And then we have lunch which ranges from US$230 – US$240 per person. We have dinner that ranges from US$250 – US$260 per person, and then we have the VIP that ranges from US$300 to US$310 per person and that is all-inclusive,” Samantha explained.
Guests should be 13 years old and above, at least four feet five inches tall and weigh no more than 300 pounds. If the weather prevents a ‘flight’ guests will be given a chance to reschedule, Krystal said.
It will be the first time in the English-speaking Caribbean that the popular concept will be offered. Dinner in the Sky began in 2006 in Belgium — where Samantha and Krystal first experienced it — and it has since grown to more than 65 countries.
“We’re on one acre of land, we have a two-storey building just for entertaining purposes, we have the virtual reality bar, we have unlimited bars and guests will have access to unlimited premium cocktails,” Samantha said when asked what makes Dinner in the Sky, Jamaica, unique.
The business partners have trusted Zoukie Trucking Services, headquartered in Kingston, to suspend their guests from a crane throughout the dining experience.
“We trust them and we feel safe with them,” Samantha told the Observer.
“We pay special attention to safety. We also have TUV certification [Technischer Überwachungsverein, which means Technical Inspection Association in English]. That is the same agency that passes the car to go on the road; the elevators are the same company. We have a safety coordinator at all times on-board,” she added.
She said that there has never been a major mishap in the Dinner in the Sky franchise’s 17-year history.