After 5 months of lockdown, Sun City embarked on a phased reopening on the 2nd of September, with the Valley of Waves set to open on the 23rd of September. The reopening was kicked off with the Jerusalema dance challenge, which saw all of the staff come together to celebrate.
Speaking about the reopening, Sun City General Manager Brett Hoppé said, “Nobody is more excited about Sun City’s reopening than the management and staff and we fully intend to celebrate the occasion with great offers for visitors. There were times during these past few months when our future looked bleak, but along with spring has come new hope for us and for the industry.”
Currently, The Palace of the Lost City and Soho have reopened their doors as well as the Sun Vacation Club.
Health and safety protocols
All of Sun International’s properties, including Sun City, have been awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) safe stamp of approval, verifying that the COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place meet – and even exceed – international benchmarks. Sun City’s protocols are all based on advice from the Department of Health, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Capacity inside restaurants and at those swimming pools that are open will be limited to a maximum of 50 persons including staff. The space inside restaurants has been reconfigured to ensure plentiful space between tables, and social distancing will also be practiced on buses and shuttles.
Per regulation the casino is restricted to not more than 50% of the available floor space. Every second seat has been removed from slot machines, and tables will be limited to a maximum of four players per table.
While the resort was closed, Hoppe said he and his team tried to keep busy and positive, “For us lockdown did not mean abandoning our responsibility towards our most vulnerable neighbours. We kept busy by providing for the needs of our surrounding old age homes, hospices, orphanages, disaster and crisis centres, health care centres, clinics and home-based care centres.”
Sun City staff made up and distributed the COVID-19 educational material and hygiene support kits. Each pack contained essential information about the virus and the reasons why communities need to maintain hygiene and social distancing. Inside each kit were sanitisers, gloves, soaps, toilet paper, waste plastic bags and other useful hygiene products.
The resort also made sure that beneficiaries of the Sun City ‘Adopt a Project’ initiative were able to continue feeding needy people who rely on them. Many of the people they support are destitute, and unlike other day care centres, they are also responsible for many children who are fulltime residents. Sun City’s food parcels all provided essentials such as cooking oil, potatoes, onions, sugar, tea, tinned foods such as baked beans and fish, and maize meal.
Raring to go
Speaking ahead of the public opening, Hoppe said “We are inundated with enquiries from people wanting to visit Sun City and our reservations team has been hard at work managing bookings for rooms. The reaction from travellers is a good sign that Sun City will still enjoy a bumper tourist season this year.”
Sun City Resort staff joined together to do the Jerusalema dance challenge in happy celebration of finally being allowed to reopen after six long months of lockdown.
Speaking at the reopening of Sun City today, General Manager Brett Hoppé said, “The staff were sensational and watching them celebrate our reopening was a deeply moving experience. We are a close knit team which is totally reliant on each other to deliver what guests see as the Sun City experience and live our mantra of customer service. Now we have all shared in the stress of not being allowed to operate or earn an income for six months, to finally be allowed to do what we all do best is an indescribably joyful moment for us.
“Our message is one of unity and celebration, not just for Sun City’s reopening, but for the reopening of the broader tourism industry in South Africa. We can do this. We have to do this. We will do this. Our industry will survive if all South Africans support us, and we know they will,” he said.
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