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September 20, 2012

Leading a Grande Fleet

Arguably Sandals Resorts’ most personable (and most popular) general manager Brian Roper constantly urges the staff of Sandals Grande Riviera to be the best they can be. With a Sandals association as grand as the resort’s lush expanse, Roper joined the Sandals family in 1981 to work at the flagship resort, Sandals Montego Bay, where he began his tenure as the Food & Beverage Director. Eventually serving as Sandals Resorts International’s Group Director of Operations for 13 years, Roper made the switch to General Manager of Sandals Grande Riviera (then Sandals Grande Ocho Rios) in 2008. Nearly five years later, he and his team go the extra mile to ensure that guests continue to make this sprawling paradise their home away from home.

SL: What do you like best about being General Manager?

BR: NO DAY IS LIKE YESTERDAY. BEING A LEADER AND TEACHER GIVES ME THE MOST ENJOYMENT AND WHEN A GUEST SIMPLY SMILES—IT BRINGS A SMILE TO MY FACE TOO. THESE ARE THE THINGS I ENJOY MOST.

SL: What is your most memorable guest story?

BR: SO MANY. BUT THOSE WITH A HAPPY ENDING MAKE ME FEEL WARM INSIDE. I HAVE SO MANY FRIENDS, TRUE FRIENDS, THAT I’VE MADE OVER THE YEARS WHILE BEING GENERAL MANAGER OF THIS RESORT WHO ARE PAST OR CURRENT GUESTS. I KEEP IN TOUCH WITH SEVERAL OF THEM. SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS HAVE BEEN BEING A WITNESS TO SO MANY WEDDINGS. THEY ALWAYS FORM GREAT MEMORIES.

SL: Do you have a favorite island cocktail or beverage?

BR: RUM WITH ANYTHING IN IT! I HAVE A COLLECTION OF RUM FROM 18 COUNTRIES AND TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ‘BAD’ RUM.

SL: Is there anything new or exciting going on at Sandals Grande Riviera right now?

BR: EACH AND EVERY DAY WE STRIVE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND WOW OUR GUESTS. CURRENTLY WE ARE MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE BY ENSURING THAT ALL EXPECTATIONS ARE EXCEEDED. OUR TEAM MEMBERS ARE THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS AND WE ARE LAUNCHING A NEW WAY OF RECOGNIZING THEM FOR THIS.

SL: Sandals Grande Riviera is known for its beautiful and natural landscape of surrounding mountains, rivers, and Sea, what’s your favorite natural aspect of the resort?

BR: THE FAUNA AND THE ROMANTIC SPOTS.

SL: What do your team members do to ensure that guests will return again to Sandals Grande Riviera?

BR: SIMPLE. WE LOVE THEM AND ASK THEM TO BECOME MEMBERS OF OUR FAMILY BY RETURNING. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE TELLING SOMEONE YOU WANT TO SEE THEM AGAIN…AND MEAN IT!

SL: What is one thing all guests of Sandals Grande Riviera must do before leaving?

BR: WELL, THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO THINGS! MEET OUR WONDERFUL TEAM MEMBERS AND DINE AT OUR OVER THE WATER RESTAURANT, KELLYS.

SL: What do you like to do in your spare time?

BR: SPARE TIME? WHAT IS THAT? I LOVE TO LAUGH AND SPEND TIME WITH MY BIGGEST MOTIVATION, WHICH IS MY FAMILY. A DAY ON THE WATER OR A VISIT TO PORT ANTONIO IS ALWAYS SPECIAL.

SL: What’s different (or special) about Sandals Grande Riviera when compared to other Sandals Resorts?

BR: SANDALS GRANDE RIVIERA IS THE COMPLETE RESORT. WE HAVE EVERY SINGLE FEATURE OF OTHER SANDALS RESORTS AND MORE OF THEM TO BOOT—TWO SPAS, A GOLF COURSE, 15 RESTAURANTS, ROCK CLIMBING AND BEING IN OCHO RIOS MAKES US THE ATTRACTION RESORT OF THE WORLD.

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