What's been the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding thing, personally, is being able to travel. We have been able to do some amazing things with our kids, and I'm so grateful for that time and those opportunities because, to me, travel is its own field of education. Culture, understanding what you have, understanding what you don't have, knowing that the bubble that you live in and spend most of your time in is not the same as the whole world. So personally, that has been my most rewarding thing.
And then, at work, it would be having a team and knowing that I'm making a difference in their lives, and they're making a difference in my life, and how the energy of all of that is constant. You can build something great, but if you don't have the team behind it, then it’s not going to work.
When COVID happened, the phone would not stop ringing—cancel, cancel, cancel. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in room revenue for the entire year of 2020 was gone in just three days. We ended up closing for five weeks, from the end of March through April. And before we closed our doors, we had a team meeting and I just remember looking at everyone, and they were looking at me and Marcus for the answers and the solution. That's a core memory for me because these wonderful, fabulous people depend on me and Marcus and there's just no way we can let them down. And by some miracle, we were able to move through COVID and keep 90% of our team. One person had to leave for personal reasons, but we managed to pay all of our team from our own savings so that they were taken care of. We also bought them laptops because the schools were virtual. It was just chaos. But I'm just so grateful that we could be there for our team and hopefully open up opportunities for them and their kids. That's very rewarding.