Peter Fraser counts his blessings
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.
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.
Peter Fraser (third left), general manager of Sandals LaSource, Grenada, shares lens time with some members of his team.
Peter Fraser, general manager at Sandals LaSource in Grenada.
General Manager Peter Fraser and his executive assistant, Vivian Lander.