Mrs. Gwendolyn Dowell, chatelaine of Chateau Blanc Apartments for over 40 years, recalls those first years.
Back in the early 1970s, my late husband sought to change our building into self-contained apartments for visitors who wanted to spend their holidays on the beachfront.
I had to be self-taught in this new business venture, as my husband had met with an automobile accident and was paralysed, so I had to nurse him and take care of our seven children and fight my way through with God to develop the business.
Despite this, I was absolutely prepared in my mind to accomplish my dreams. It’s just like a child that is born and you take good care of that child, who then develops into a strong and mature adult.
I received bookings by telephone, circulation of letters and also, when guests arrived at the airport, the taxi drivers would bring them to the apartments and earn a commission. We spread the word by running ads in the Canadian, American and English newspapers. I would remain late at night typing letters in reply to the inquiries I had received.
Then a transformation took place. We acquired a computerised system which, through science and technology, improved our business and we were able to do everything in “double time”. Remarkably, we gained a great deal of business through this technology!
In those early days there were 12 apartments; today, the property consists of 16, and we have continued to embrace technology in our operations, most recently stepping boldly into the digital marketing arena.
With the installation of photovoltaic panels to power our business, we’ve begun another phase in our love affair with the sun that has been so good to us for the last four decades, in the process redefining what relaxation means to us!