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Barbados Beach Club

Mr. Felix Broome, the managing director of Barbados Beach Club, always had a vision of what his future could be. He started his career in the early sixties as a barman on the West Coast but left the tourism industry to build residential properties as this seemed the route to his goal of owning a hotel. In 1991 he acquired construction equipment and a fl eet of trucks and delivered aggregate to refurbish the Welcome Inn Hotel. Th at same year he returned to work in the hotel industry, this time to be in charge of the operations of Food and Beverage for the same hotel at which he delivered construction material.

It was his vision of
working for himself that
shaped his direction but
considered it “a pleasure
to watch the business
grow from nothing – that
motivated me.”

Faced with an opportunity he could not resist, he made a deposit towards the purchase of Welcome Inn Hotel and took full control of the hotel by 1994. In 1996 he transformed the hotel into an all-inclusive property. Anxious to change the image of the hotel, he refurbished the property, rebranded it under the new name of Barbados Beach Club and expanded its reach from the Canadian market to include guests from England by 2000. Today the 110 room hotel caters to guests from as far as Asia.

When asked why he chose tourism and construction as career options, Mr. Broome explained that it was his vision of working for himself that shaped his direction but considered it “a pleasure to watch the business grow from nothing… that motivated me.” He believes that entrepreneurs are “created”, meaning they can be fashioned but admits that some “need a push”. He however stressed that ultimately the road to success, or not, depends completely on how well individuals prepare for the future and how much help they get along the way.

After many years in the business, sustainable development of the plant, its legacy, and helping to save the environment are priorities on which Mr. Broome wants to focus. To achieve these goals, energy effi cient and renewable energy technologies are being employed to enhance the effi ciency of the hotel’s operations. Th e hotel has already installed some energy saving air-condition systems and currently separates some of its garbage for recycling. Barbados Beach Club is actively exploring how best to utilise greywater in the bathrooms and gardens and anxiously awaits governmental approval for this project.

For larger energy saving projects, the hotel is working closely with Enterprise Growth Fund Ltd. to install renewable energy (RE) technologies to improve the effi ciency of his business. Th e plant has already been retrofi tted for the installation of a 50 KW photo voltaic system. Funding for these installations has been approved and Mr. Broome is looking forward to the New Year when the system will be “switched on”.

Th e hotel will continue to expand its use of energy effi cient (EE) inverter type Air Condition units and appliances, LED TV’s, LED lighting and motion sensors in the guests’ rooms. When all of these technologies are working well, Mr. Broome will be satisfied that he has not only reduced the hotel’s operating costs but has made a sizeable contribution to sustaining Barbados’ scarce natural resources as well. His ultimate goal is to convert the entire hotel into a green retreat. He is happy to lead by example and recognises that energy conserved is money earned for Barbados. He looks forward to showcasing the many aspects of his energy saving accomplishments in due course.

He is happy to lead by
example and recognises
that energy conserved
is money earned for
Barbados.

As for the general operations, Mr. Broome is most at ease when his staff and his management team work “hand in hand” to satisfy his guests for whom he creates a relaxing atmosphere. He credits his family and in particular his wife for supporting him and the business over the years. He continues to expose his son to the myriad techniques and challenges of managing the hotel, including marketing the business at the World Travel Market in London, a job he has delegated to his son. His advice for all young people is very simple: “Listen to your parents not to other young people.”

His giving back to the community is a duty which he takes very seriously. He is therefore quite proud to be associated with the St. Michael’s School, a secondary school, which the hotel adopted some years ago.

Mr. Broome indicated that only a game of pool or his guests keep him up at night. Over the last five years he has rested better because of the positive relationship he developed with EGFL. He commends the EGFL team for being “pleasant and professional” and for helping him sustain his dream of starting the process of turning the hotel into a green space.