President’s Message: Climbing a mountain

April 2, 2020

COVID-19 might be compared to standing in front of a huge mountain you are about to climb.

You look at where you need to go and it seems insurmountable, but you’ve made the commitment and you know you have to do it. You’re prepared with the correct supplies, gear and food – or at least you hope you are. You begin, and you put one foot in front of the other no matter the terrain you encounter. Along the way you stop to admire the majestic views expanding beneath you. Occasionally you get really tired and feel overwhelmed. Then you stop for some nourishment and keep going. Soon what you thought you couldn’t accomplish, you have – and there you are at the peak. The feeling is as spectacular as the view and it dawns upon you how the pain and stress of getting there so worth it, and it was indeed a life changing event.

This virus is like no other, and has caused the world to be at the base of a very steep mountain. A few months ago we didn’t know how to climb a mountain, and felt totally out of control when asked to do so. However it became a matter of necessity for us, and for those around us as we joined together to tackle the climb.

On my climb up the mountain, the first view I stopped to admire was to see the positive with friends and family. We all have a different types of connections with our family and friends. But what used to be the conversation is no longer. Instead a more authentic concern, caring and willingness to help kind of conversation has taken over. I believe there is a stronger sense of togetherness developing in our families and in our communities. While apart, we are all committed to working together to beat this virus.

I believe we all have an accountability in this, and beyond climbing the mountain, it is to ensure we are better together in the future. This includes in our families, our communities and our businesses. Perhaps most importantly, in ourselves.

In our business, our associates and our guests are the heart of our hotels. This time has been extremely difficult as we’ve had to say goodbye temporarily to many associates, the very people that make us who we are, and say goodbye temporarily to our guests that inspire us daily to do what we do. From our new vantage point part way up the mountain, I don’t think there has been another time when we appreciate you more, and once we reach the peak we know the ‘view’ of being back together will be spectacular.

As we climb this mountain together, apart, I wish each and every one of you a safe and positively life-changing journey. We’ll see you soon!


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