When you own a 14 room resort and tourists completely disappear for months on end how do you spin this into an advantage?
Billy Day, owner of Eastshore Resort, took the bull by the horns, considered all available opportunities, and dove in with both feet.
He put a plan together to retain his staff, made improvements to units, and prepared new marketing initiatives so they were ready to hit the ground running when tourism returned.
"The biggest learning curve of all of this was finding all the available grant opportunities and figuring out how to file appropriately," he said.
Through city, county, and federal programs, Billy was able to secure enough funds to keep 100% of his staff while also allocating a portion to property upgrades.
"You have to find the opportunity amongst the chaos. We are normally fortunate to maintain a high occupancy year-round, so we never get more than 1-3 days of availability in any unit. Once everything shut down our team got to work and updated all 14 units, " said Billy.
While this was an obvious financial setback for ownership, the staff was actually getting more hours which were able to be funded by various grant programs. The city of Clearwater's Back to Business program allowed Eastshore to get a new drone video and marketing plan in place so they could hit the ground running as travel regulations loosened up.
"We are back in business and back to full occupancy as of March! Last year was a rollercoaster, so now we are excited to be back in action and better than ever for 2021," he said.
Strap up those bootstraps and get ready to work! We live where millions of people a year come to visit and they are ready to get out and start exploring.
Resourcefulness is the prime characteristic of the most successful entrepreneurs you will ever read about, and Billy is no exception. We love hearing stories of how businesses like this were able to come out of the pandemic strong and ready to conquer the year ahead. We hope Billy's story inspires you to take on awesome opportunities in your business too.