Sometimes we have the right people at the right place at the right time. Sometimes in-the-midst of tragedy and misfortune, the best of us shines and the stories we tell, uplifting.
Sarah Clark, the front office manager at the Four Points by the Sheraton Santa Cruz Scotts Valley, was the right person. 90% of the hotel staff and Lotus Management, the owners, knew what to do in a disaster situation. When asked to support the CZU Cal Fire Lightning Complex of firefighters and first responders, there was no doubt of handling the challenge. Sarah, a Felton resident, understood the breadth of the situation.
Can You Help?
Cal Fire had approached the hotel early in the evacuation process, and soon the hotel was filled with Fire Fighters, First Responders, and several clean out debris crews. Still, today over 70% of the guests are those dedicated and hardworking souls protecting us, our homes, and businesses. The remaining 30% are evacuees.
When I asked Sarah how the process unfolded, at first, she said, "To be honest, now it all seems like such a blur." She explained that Lotus Management was concerned for the staff's safety and well-being and offered no pressure, but 90% of the team without question stayed on-site. They had a job to do. They needed to make sure the COVID regulations and guidelines were abided by the hotel. These were challenging times, but everyone was up for the task at hand. She continued taking me through the process.
First, they opened up their doors to Cal Fire, first responders, and clean-up crews. Staff would team up in rooms and stay at the hotel. They had jobs to do, and teamwork was at an all-time high. FEMA, Red Cross, helped by contacting the hotel with the evacuees' actual names in need of housing. I shared with Sarah, I too had to evacuate and asked her about the hotel's rates, since we all know about some hotels in our county who wanted to charge rates way above $200 per night. They did not.
Today, still, they offer a hardship rate for evacuees, supported by government guidelines. When the evacuations unfolded, city by city to eventually Scotts Valley residence and businesses, the Four Points Hotel helped make the fire-fighting teams' lives easier. “These hardworking heroes would tell us how they had not seen such community togetherness and organization. They were impressed. They continually expressed gratitude for the hot meals they received." Sarah was touched by how a hot meal could impact them so heartily. She is grateful to the hotel and all those involved.
While the CZU Lightning Complex fire is now 91% contained, with over 86,509 acres burned as of 9/15/20, we have 25 active fires happening in our state today. Cal Fire firefighters, first responders, clean-up crews, hotels, and local, county, and governmental agencies strive to do their best. Local citizens volunteer their time, services, offering free food, clothing, and housing as best they can.
Sarah said, "We at Four Points Hotel care about our community. Most of us are locals, and we live here". She paused, "We are a tight-knit community, so please be loving and kind to your neighbors because this is how it works, and I witnessed this first-hand."
In our community, the best of us show up.
Four Points By Sheraton Santa Cruz Scotts Valley located at 5030 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, California 855-516-1090.When the hotel opens-up again to the general public, enjoy their great-lounge area and outdoor patio with perhaps a glass of wine and spend the night!
Janet Janssen, business coach, trainer and public speaker. On October 15th, join her virtual class at Cabrillo College, Extension courses: Tip and Tricks for Online Presentation. Register: https://cabrillo.augusoft.net/index.cfm?method=ClassInfo.ClassInformation&int_class_id=9629&int_category_id=0&int_sub_category_id=0&int_catalog_id=0 Questions: email@example.com