Peter Fraser counts his bless­ings

Jamaica Gleaner - - HOSPITALITY JAMAICA - Janet Sil­vera Hos­pi­tal­ity Ja­maica Co­or­di­na­tor janet.sil­vera@glean­erjm.com

WHEN SEA­SONED hote­lier Peter Fraser was asked to re­lo­cate to Gre­nada to open one of San­dals Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional’s new­est ac­qui­si­tions in 2012, the re­quest came as a sur­prise to him.

“I felt ex­tremely hon­oured and proud but was also sur­prised be­cause the com­pany had a lot of younger man­agers to choose from,” he told Hos­pi­tal­ity Ja­maica dur­ing a visit to the Eastern Caribbean re­sort San­dals LaSource last week.

Fraser earned his San­dals stripes at Royal Plan­ta­tion, hav­ing served that prop­erty for 10 years. He packed lightly, mov­ing to Gre­nada with a few paint­ings to keep him com­pany.

Af­ter three years at La Source and a to­tal of 13 years with the renowned chain, Fraser is count­ing his bless­ings while ac­knowl­edg­ing the life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and the pos­i­tive im­pact the re­sort has had on the coun­try.

He was at the helm when the ho­tel went through ma­jor con­struc­tion, hav­ing to deal with five main con­trac­tors, their 1,300 work­ers, plus the chain’s own project team.

“It took us 10 months to com­plete 157 new rooms, which we added to the ex­ist­ing 100 rooms that were here when we took over the ho­tel,” he said.

FREAK STORM

The re­sort opened of­fi­cially on De­cem­ber 21, 2013, and three days later, on Christ­mas Eve, a freak storm reared its ugly head, caus­ing an ero­sion of mud, which flooded 28 rooms, Fraser rem­i­nisced.

Not eas­ily dis­cour­aged, the hote­lier, who has more than 50 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor, said ev­ery day became a bet­ter day. “The grass got greener, the plants had set and de­cided to flower, the birds and the bees were back.”

To­day, he has a staff com­ple­ment of 500 and Gre­nada’s Lead­ing Re­sort un­der his wings.

“The 50 years have pre­pared me for this job. It’s all about deal­ing with peo­ple. Man­ag­ing is one thing, but lead­er­ship is key,” he noted.

Ac­cord­ing to Fraser, in the last 25 years, man­agers have had to look at them­selves and say, “How do we treat peo­ple”, said Fraser, adding that he has also learnt over the years how to keep the right peo­ple on his team.

Hav­ing watched the growth of the hu­man re­sources de­part­ments that were es­tab­lished in the is­land’s ho­tels in 1983 and how they have gone on to im­ple­ment train­ing for their staff, Fraser said once the right peo­ple are re­cruited and placed in the cor­rect seats, it is im­por­tant to know how to drive the bus.

“It’s all about team build­ing,” he said.

Al­though he misses the lim­ing and gath­er­ing in Ja­maica, he said there is a time and place for ev­ery­thing.

“My life has changed con­sid­er­ably. I go home to Ja­maica once per year, and when I come back to Gre­nada, I need an­other va­ca­tion,” he quipped.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTOS

Peter Fraser (third left), gen­eral man­ager of San­dals LaSource, Gre­nada, shares lens time with some mem­bers of his team.

PHOTO BY JANET SIL­VERA

Peter Fraser, gen­eral man­ager at San­dals LaSource in Gre­nada.

Gen­eral Man­ager Peter Fraser and his ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant, Vi­vian Lan­der.

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