As many island hoteliers can attest to, island living has its advantages. Year-round balmy weather and swaying palm trees is what we market as this is typically the norm 365 days a year. This beautiful tropical setting is what attracts countless guests to our idyllic destinations.
However, as we recently experienced here in our tropical paradise of Hawaii, Mother Nature sometimes has a different plan — or, rather, a different weather forecast — for our guests. Our resort, for example, just said aloha — hello AND goodbye — to tropical storm Flossie. In times like these, how do you negotiate with Mother Nature? Fortunately in our situation, Flossie was downgraded to a tropical depression as the storm moved across the northwestern Hawaiian islands. The initial projection of the storm, however, included wind gusts up to 60 mph (97 kmh) and 6-15 inches (15-38 cm) of rain with heavy flooding. Our unexpected guest, Flossie, was a force to be reckoned with, and there was no turning this guest around with a personalized note from the general manager or a delicious amenity. Mother Nature had her plan in place.
Therefore, the resort staff was on high alert and went into action with our emergency precautions. As I’ve written about previously, emergency drills and preparedness are essential because you never know when a natural disaster — whether it be a hurricane, earthquake, tornado or even a power outage — will hit. Safety is the top priority. Between the resort staff, our airline and hospitality partners, the National Weather Service State Civil Defense and Hawaii Tourism Authority, the communication was fluid and accurate during this 48-hour watch period.
The leadership and teamwork by the resort team was incredible, and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. The guests were incredibly grateful, not only for the extra care towards their safety, but for the continuity of their vacation. The day’s impromptu Flossie fun included hands-on cooking demos with our chefs, ukulele lessons, arts and crafts, Mai Tai classes and more, all within in the comforts of the resort. We kept our guests safe, busy and engaged during this uncertain time. There was constant communication with the in-house guests as well as with pre-arrival guests en route to Lana’i that day or the coming week. Even our social media channels were keeping fans updated.
As in life, when given lemons, make lemonade. In our case, we experienced the calm before, during and after the storm and made rainbows. With the proper leadership, teamwork and innovative thinking, you can weather any type of storm.
Mahalo Nui Loa to the team that weathered the storm!