The Pegasus Pivot
Top flight hotel retrofits 10th-floor rooms for office space rental as part of COVID responseWednesday, October 21, 2020
BY DURRANT PATE
With declining sales from the fall-off in visitors as a result of COVID-19, Jamaica Pegasus hotel has been forced to innovate and enter into the office space market.
The four-star high-rise hotel in New Kingston has converted its 10th floor into office spaces for rent under its just-developed CoMe Work concept, a unique co-working space that offers private offices.
The product is designed for entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives and corporate individuals and/or companies. It features private office spaces for individuals and/or groups of up to four.
The packages start at a four-hour option costing $4,500, a full day for $7,500, one week at $38,000 to 30-day packages for $120,000.
Jamaica Pegasus is the flagship property of the Hendrickson group of hotels.
Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, Group Director of Marketing and Sales Nicola Madden-Greig disclosed that a total of 12 rooms have been converted into office space for starters, noting that based on demand the hotel may convert additional rooms.
“This is currently a medium-term strategy and, based on the response, it may become a permanent product offered by the hotel,” Madden-Greig said.
She emphasised that the 10th floor was specifically targeted as it lends itself to magnificent views of the capital city. There is a dedicated concierge on the floor to assist customers with any services they may need.
Although COVID-19 served as a catalyst for the service, Madden-Greig disclosed that the demand was not new.
“While we have decided to implement it now, the demand for small, private meeting spaces always existed. From time to time we used to offer the living room space of our one-bedroom suites for private meetings,” she told the Business Observer.
However, since last year, the hotel noticed an uptick in the use of its 24 Seven Café for meetings by individuals as well as small corporate groups. Madden-Greig pointed out that, “with COVID-19 the Jamaica Pegasus saw an even greater demand, as persons who went on 'work-from-home' needed a break from their home environment and started to utilise the café for ad hoc meetings as individuals or in small teams. Seeing this trend, we decided to pivot and offer more private co-working spaces — and the reduced occupancy allowed us to pursue this business in a sustained way”.
Already, corporate Jamaica has shown keen interest in this new concept, with market intelligence supporting this position.
“The market feedback has been very encouraging. The advantages of the Pegasus CoMe work office lend [themselves] to a unique product,” said Madden-Greig.
This is based on the fact that besides a really great price point, the Pegasus CoMe Work private office spaces are very spacious, ideally located in the city's financial and business hub, offer a private bathroom with shower (perfect for busy people who need to change during the day to attend various events without the need to travel all the way home), complimentary coffee, bottled water, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and mini-fridge.
The package provides access to all the expansive facilities at the hotel, discount on food and beverage, complimentary room service, free parking, discount on spa services, access to larger meeting spaces, and special overnight discounted room rate, if required.
Madden-Greig reported that already the hotel has seen corporate CEOs using it to get away from their own office in order to have a quiet, non-intrusive space to buckle down and work on major projects in total privacy.
The conceptualiser of CoMe Work was not a singular individual but a team effort involving the operations and sales forces, and came out of a brainstorming session as the groups looked at optional revenue opportunities for the hotel.
The Business Observer was told that a small team worked on the entire concept, which combined another innovation — a workstation package geared toward those who may need a long-stay workspace for over a month. This is for accommodation stay and allows guests to live, work and play, with their new home address being the Jamaica Pegasus.
Asked how COVID-19 has affected the hotel, Madden-Greig said, “Like every other hotel in Jamaica, the initial impact was devastating. As the country closed the borders in March, literally the hotel occupancy fell significantly. The Jamaica Pegasus, however, never closed and was able to provide accommodation to local businesses and individuals.”
She added that the hotel also continued to operate all restaurants and banqueting facilities and was one of the first hotels to implement a sweeping set of COVID-19 safety protocols from as early as February this year.