I have read several articles on this event and I would like to respond to the Source's story on the closing of the Grand Beach Hotel's closing. This is a disturbing event for a community that has the rate of unemployment that we have.
It is sad that more businesses in the hospitality sector do not employ the methods that the Ritz uses to maintain a high level of occupancy. Whenever I have been on the Ritz property I have the feeling that every employee that I come in contact is working to make the guest experience a very positive one, and they appear to enjoy working there. Certainly the Ritz must spend a lot of time and effort in training and helping their employees to do their job well, and they must also treat the employees well.
I have met several people who were staying at the Grand Beach Hotel who did not have a very positive opinion of the attitude of employees that they came in contact with at the hotel. We all know that one bad experience makes a much greater impact than 10 good experiences. I am sure that many of the employees of the Grand Beach excelled in their jobs, but that was not what these guests commented on. If a hospitality business is to succeed, every aspect of it must provide a positive experience for its customers. The management must provide constant training and treat the employees well to succeed in this business. The employees must encourage each other to provide a positive experience to the guests. If not, everyone loses. Excellent employees end up without work, along with those with less than positive attitudes.
It appears that it is time for the V.I. Labor Department, the Senate and the University of the Virgin Islands to help provide training for potential workers and work with the hospitality industry to raise the quality of service provided to the guests on our island. Maybe it's time for some "tough love" for those who need it, if they want to work in the hospitality business. Millions of people come to the Virgin Islands each year, and each and every one of them is looking for and deserves a positive experience. It is up to each and every one of us to provide it to them.
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