Adrian Loveridge Column – Simply the Beast Game in Town
As we come to the end of another year, for many around the world, probably the most unpredictable of their entire lives, it is perhaps time to reflect, while trying to make sense and possibly attempt to plan for the future.
Even after a working lifetime involved in tourism, like so many others, we simply are not sufficiently qualified to proffer potential solutions post pandemic, but there are past experiences which tell us that until ‘we’ as a nation find any viable alternatives, that it will largely remain the ‘only game in town’.
Looking back 32 years, we can only admit to being extremely naïve when purchasing a closed semi-derelict small hotel on what was perhaps considered then, as one of the less desirable coastlines of the island.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing of course and despite all the odds including a barrage of bureaucracy (that continues to exist three decades later), uncooperative banks, who often simply did not understand what it takes to make businesses work, merchant traders and suppliers not willing to take any credit risks, we grew the business while contributing around $50 million to the local economy, directly or indirectly.
During that time, we employed people, paid their NIS and met every single Government tax and imposition, despite still being owed tens of thousands of confirmed VAT refunds, dating back from as late as 2013.
Was it easy? Absolutely not!
But if you have a vision that you share with a partner, believe in what you are doing and preparing to work 17 hours a day, seven days a week, then ‘success’, in whatever form you consider that word applicable, is possible.
As we now look on under the new owners and their extensive commitment to massive renovations, which have been underway for weeks, we have no doubt they will take the former Peach and Quiet to another level and build on any ‘success’ that we might have achieved in the past.
Clearly acceptable standards and guest expectations change over the years and our former small hotel reaching almost 50 years since construction, desperately needed upgrading.
The new owners with three generations of proven hand-on hotel ownership and management share our vision and have the sheer determination to ensure the re-named property once again reaches the award winning boutique hotel status we enjoyed.
Personally I have no doubt that our tourism sector will rebound and that we will learn valuable lessons from the pandemic.
What will be absolutely critical to its recovery is that those who have the vision and drive to invest in times like this are given all the support and encouragement to ensure this happens.
It is time for some of our banks to revisit their purpose and for our army of civil servants to carefully evaluate how they can contribute to the national interest.
From our personal experience, there are always notable exceptions to the ‘norm’ and our sincere thanks go out to the incredibly positive response we received from all involved recently at the Central Bank of Barbados.