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JM | Oct 22, 2020

Jamaica Pegasus pivoting into providing office spaces

/ Our Today

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A CoMe work coffee station at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. (Photo: Contributed)

By Durrant Pate

One of Jamaica’s premier high-rise hotels, The Jamaica Pegasus, is pivoting into the business of providing office spaces for small groups. The four-star New Kingston-based hotel has made the move as it seeks to grow its revenues which have been hit hard by the fall-off in tourism with dwindling sales.

This new innovation, dubbed ‘CoMe Work’ has opened up a new revenue stream for the flagship property of the Hendrickson Group of Hotels. With this new innovation, the hotel has converted its 10th floor into office spaces for rent under its just developed CoMe Work concept, which is a unique co-working space that offers private offices. It is designed for entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives and corporate individuals and/ or companies.

 CoMe packages

 CoMe features private office spaces for individuals and/or groups of up to four. The packages start from a four-hour option for $4,500, with a full day costing $7,500. For one week a customer pays $38,000 and for the 30-day package, the cost is $120,000. As a start, a total of 12 rooms have been converted into office space but, based on demand, the hotel will convert additional rooms. The 10th floor was specifically targeted as it lends itself to magnificent views of the city. As part of the package there is a dedicated concierge on the floor to assist customers with any services they may need. When quizzed whether this will be a long-term or short-term endeavour, Nicola Madden-Greig, Hendrickson Hotels group director of marketing and sales, said, “this is currently a medium-term strategy and, based on the response, it may become a permanent product offered by the hotel”. 

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Nicola Madden-Greig, Hendrickson Hotels group director of marketing and sales. (Photo: eHotelier)

 Madden-Greig admitted that the new concept was influenced by COVID-19, which spawned its development. She conceded that there existed a market for small group office space before COVID-19, but the hotel is seeking to take advantage of the demand at this time.

“While we have decided to implement it now, the demand for small private meeting spaces always existed. From time to time we used to offer the living room space of our one-bedroom suites for private meetings,” Madden-Greig pointed out.

“With COVID-19, The Jamaica Pegasus saw an even greater demand as persons who went on ‘work from home’ needed a break from their home environment, and started to utilise the Café for ad hoc meetings as individuals or in small teams”.

“With COVID-19, The Jamaica Pegasus saw an even greater demand as persons who went on ‘work from home’ needed a break from their home environment, and started to utilise the Café for ad hoc meetings as individuals or in small teams.”

Nicola Madden-Greig, Hendrickson Hotels group director of marketing and sales

However, since last year, the hotel noticed an uptick in the use of its 24-7 café for meetings by individuals as well as small corporate groups.

According to Madden-Greig, “with COVID-19, The Jamaica Pegasus saw an even greater demand as persons who went on ‘work from home’ needed a break from their home environment, and started to utilise the Café for ad hoc meetings as individuals or in small teams”.

 She added that, “seeing this trend, we decided to pivot and offer more private co-working spaces and the reduced occupancy allowed us to pursue this business in a sustained way”. 

Encouraging market feedback

 She said the market feedback has been very encouraging, pointing out that the advantages of the Pegasus CoMe work office lends itself to a unique product.

Already, corporate Jamaica has shown keen interest in this new concept with market intelligence supporting this position. Asked about the value proposition underpinning this innovative product, Madden-Greig said that, “besides a really great price point, the Pegasus CoMe work private office spaces are very spacious, ideally located in New Kingston, offers a private bathroom with shower (perfect for busy persons who need to change during the day to attend various events and not have to travel all the way home), complimentary coffee, bottled water, complimentary high-speed wi-fi and mini-fridge”.

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An office for one at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. (Photo: Contributed)

Madden-Greig highlighted that the package provides access to all the expansive facilities at the hotel, discount on food and beverage, complimentary room service, free parking discount on spa services, access to larger meeting spaces, and special overnight discounted room rates, if required.

She said that “already the hotel has seen corporate CEOs using it to get away from their own offices in order to have a quiet, non-intrusive space to buckle down and work on a major project in total privacy”. 

Team Work

Conceptualising CoMe Work was not an individual but a team effort.  The team effort involves both operations and sales forces with the concept hammered out at a brainstorming session convened to look at revenue opportunities for the hotel. A small team worked on the entire concept, which combined another innovation, a ‘Workation’ package geared for those who may need a long-stay work space for over a month. This is for accommodation stay and allows guests to live, work and play with their new home address being The Jamaica Pegasus. 

Like most other hotels, The Jamaica Pegasus was not spared the onslaught on businesses with declining sales and dwindling customers. Madden Greig said that the initial impact was devastating as, when the country closed its borders in March, the hotel occupancy fell significantly.

The Jamaica Pegasus, however, never closed and was able to provide accommodation to local businesses and individuals.

Madden-Greig said the hotel also continued to operate all restaurants and banqueting facilities and was one of the first hotels to implement a sweeping set of COVID protocols from as early as February 2020.

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