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We're questioning Our Lucaya's promotion too!
Thursday, 11 March 2010 07:12

We were very pleased to see the Freeport News cover story on Monday, March 8th "Our Lucaya's promotion questioned."

The references made about the Our Lucaya property have been said for years and have become a bit of a joke. We know of a few locals who refer to it as "Our Mistake".  Recently, at the GB Business Outlook, our own Director General of Tourism, Vernice Walkine said:

As I speak, since the closure of The Royal Oasis and especially since the loss of Princess Vacations doing business as as Grand Bahama Vacations -- an operation owned and operated by a large resort player on GBI -- Grand Bahama remains without the ability of a single resort to effectively market and sell the total vacation product in one place and as one transaction. As a result, this island remains almost totally dependent on these independent operators that offer thousands of products around the world, when we see that together they could only produce some thirty percent (30%) of the sales we are generating with our current promotions.

Reiterating what has been said before by her, and by many others, that this property does not promote itself.  It is also notorious for not making deals and even causing the delay of new airline arrivals by taking so long to offer rates.

It is quite amazing that a hotel located on prime beach front, designed so beautifully, decorated so well with gorgeous and spacious rooms, sits almost empty, all while its counterpart across the street and sitting on a peninsula, with no beach front, is busy! 

We remember the enthusiasm of the new GM who launched the "Our Lucaya" branding and other GM's promotions and launch events too.  Queuing to get in to Willy Broadleaf's for brunch and meeting one of America's foremost film and TV producers at China Beach when filming for Pirates 3 was ending.  Watching great bands perform for huge company events  -- and the hotel was packed!

But where has it gone?  At a recent dinner party our guests could not figure out what restaurants were open and when was the last time they actually went to one of them. This is not a reflection of the staff to us, but a reflection of the promotion of this hotel locally, nationally and most importantly world wide. We realise an Atlantis budget may not be an option but surely we could see some sort of ads — somewhere? Maybe a special or two to give those rooms a use? 

As the lead property on Grand Bahama this hotel should be constantly promoted and recommended by locals. When was the last time you recommended guests or business partners stay there? When was the last time you recommended a restaurant at Our Lucaya and not across the street at Port Lucaya?

Our hats have to go off to the casino management and staff who, despite their partner hotel's lack of effort, have managed to bring FUN back to Freeport!  The casino show is great and the dance floors are now packed on the weekends. They may not get the hotel guests but they sure know how to treat locals and make them come back for more. At least we see an effort.

Please don't get us wrong, we want Our Lucaya to thrive! We would love it to see it even half full -- especially by the pool side and beaches. It's time the owners of this property stop using this hotel as a pawn in a political game and either sell it to someone who will run it like the hotel it was built and designed to be, or start promoting it properly.

And if you think any of us are buying the airlift excuse given to Mr Sturrup, the new Editor at the Freeport News, by our Minister of Tourism, we remind you to check out Pelican Bay hotel. Somehow their guests manage to get here!

- Concerned Freeporter