Imagine this scenario; You are the general manager at a brand new, South Park hotel opening its doors on Sept 6. You walk in on opening day and hear the front desk phone ringing..it’s an evacuee stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on Interstate 95 looking for a place, any place, to bring his exhausted family. You make the reservation, hang up and the phone rings again..
and again and again and again.
Before you know it your brand-spanking new hotel, staffed with brand new workers is fully booked with indefinite reservations. Within hours, the cars start to arrive; bleary-eyed passengers spilling into the lobby dragging their hastily packed bags.
This was the scenario here in Charlotte at the Homewood Suites my mom and step-dad stayed at after they fled Florida last week. What was truly amazing was how this group of employees became a team, pulling together to serve this unusual group of guests and managing the strain caused by a totally unexpected influx of customers. Talk about trial by fire.
My folks left yesterday, mom insisting I get boxes of chocolates to distribute to the staff. These two have traveled to some pretty amazing destinations all over the globe and stayed at some equally awesome properties. I’m going to guess that handing out thank-you cards and chocolates to hotel staff was a first for them.
By the time they checked out, the tide of refugees had receded and the place was almost empty. It was Thursday, yesterday, one week since Homewood Suites/ South Park opened their doors.