As we close the first quarter I want to keep each of you updated on the importance of the gratuity program
The gratuity program was implemented as a motivational tool and used to provide fairness in the gratuity process so that associates who do not interface directly with members and guests have the opportunity to participate equally in gratuities like those associates who do interface directly with members. The gratuities are split among staff such as kitchen, laundry, maintenance and landscaping staff with the exception of those who typically receive gratuities directly from members and guests such as waiters, bartenders, bellmen and concierge staff. Executives do not participate in this gratuity program.
Even though the member has the option to remove the $3.50 daily gratuity prior to checking out, due to the excellent services at the resorts and the generosity of the members and guests, approximately 76 percent do accept the proposed gratuities, resulting last year in nearly $519,000 to distribute directly among the eligible associates. None of those gratuities are used to pay administrative fees. And in no way is your maintenance fee amount raised to support this program or subsidize wages. Please note that the operating portion of your maintenance fee – the portion that goes directly towards the daily operations of the resort – has not been raised in three years.
Our gratuity program directly benefits the employees, helps the resorts to reduce turnover, run more efficiently, and translates into higher levels of customer service to benefit you, the member. It’s a win-win all around and we want to encourage as many members and guests as possible to participate in the program.