By James Whittaker, Pinnacle Media
As an expanded crew of around 700 construction workers races to finish the new Kimpton Seafire Resort, the hotel’s management team is ramping up its recruitment drive to find 400-plus staff to work in the new facility.
A few staff are already in place, working behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly when the first guest checks in on Nov. 18.
Among them is Megan Graves, the Kimpton’s people and culture director, and the person responsible for assembling the team that will open the hotel.
She says Kimpton Seafire will ultimately employ somewhere between 450 and 475 people.
Around half that number have been hired, and she hopes to have the rest on board before in-house training for the new team on Oct. 3. A job fair is planned at Craft bar and restaurant on Wednesday from 2 p.m. to allow candidates to mingle with management and apply for positions at the hotel.
“We are still looking for people in food and beverage, front of house, back of house. There are still jobs available in almost every position at the hotel,” Ms. Graves said.
Around a third of the employees hired so far are Caymanian, and about 70 people have been hired from the Beach Suites hotel, which will close in September.
Ms. Graves said she hopes to increase the ratio of Caymanians as the recruitment drive continues.
“We are really working to get that number up,” she said. “We want the hotel to be really representative of Cayman and have that local flair.”
With the hotel opening in high season, she said, it is looking for experienced people who can “hit the ground running.”
In the long-run, she said, the hotel will seek partnerships with the University College of the Cayman Islands and others to help train people to join its workforce.
“We are hoping we can inspire excitement about the hospitality industry as the first new hotel to open up in 10 years,” she added.
John Cardona, Kimpton Seafire’s director of sales and marketing, said the hotel already has bookings for late November and will also pull from the advance bookings at the Beach Suites.
He said the hotel aims to be running at greater than 70 percent occupancy by January.
The Kimpton has also announced the opening of three restaurants, including, in the main hotel, Ave and Avecita, which features a 12-seat chef’s bar, where diners can see the food being prepared. Coccoloba is a more casual beach restaurant planned for the site of the former Surfside bar.