As I enter my 23rd season at The Nonantum Resort, I still get a chuckle when someone says to me, “The hotel is closed, it must be so nice to have the winters off!” Seemingly when the resort closes after the second weekend in December one would think we lock the doors, head South to a warmer climate and then return when the crocuses start breaking ground. That couldn’t be farther from the truth!! I compare our winter team to Santa’s elves – we’re both incredibly busy getting ready for the big day – only instead of December 25th, ours is at the end of April – Opening Day! (The exact day of our annual event varies based on what group our dynamic Director of Sales, Timothy Ames, has contracted.) While open, the resort employs over 150 employees. While we are closed in the Winter months, there are 12 of us!
So what exactly do we do from mid-December until the end of April? First, I’ll introduce the team and then explain what happens when the snow flies…
Bill and Jeff have been working together as the dynamic maintenance duo for over 10 years! The two men tend to each and every detail of maintaining a 130-year old property, always with a smile, good sense of humor, attention to detail, as well as always being cost conscious. For instance, upon closing last year we had planned to renovate some guest rooms requiring the debris from the third floor to efficiently get to the dumpster on the ground floor. They priced chutes, but they were cost prohibitive. Determination and ingenuity took over – after much research – the “Red Neck Chute” was born”.
This Red Neck Chute has been the object of much admiration amongst local contractors – much like the movie Christmas Story as George and neighbors admire his “leg” lamp. When the resort is open, they have been known to play the role as a bellman, breakfast server, dishwasher, housekeeper, or receptionist when needed.
So what are they doing now? Renovating rooms and shoveling snow!
Tim began his career at The Nonantum Resort working part time at the Front Desk for 15 years. He was promoted to Director of Sales 10 years ago and he’s been booking weddings, conferences, family reunions, social gatherings, etc. ever since. Tim is the best of the best – just ask any one of his past wedding families, co-workers, or community members. In addition to all of his responsibilities at The Nonantum Resort, Tim is a very active board member at the Kennebunkport Historical Society.
So what does he do in the Winter? Sell, Sell, Sell!!!! He’s booked 41 weddings for the 2014 Season and Valentine’s Day is still 8 days away!
Teresa’s title doesn’t exactly describe all that she does…Teresa is our Human Resource Manager, Revenue Manager, Office Manager, Purchasing Agent and Extraordinary Bartender when needed (she’s also a phenomenal baker when not on the clock!).
So what does she do in the Winter? Reconcile all of the 2013 numbers and – you guessed it, plan for the 2014 season!!!
Sheila began working at The Nonantum Resort 12 years ago as a Front Desk Agent after working at The Breakwater Inn for years. Sheila’s natural attention to detail quickly rose her to the top of the pack, and although she was hesitant in “breaking” the computer – she has overcome that fear and now trains new employees in computer skills!
What does she do in the Winter? Reservations!!! The phone has been ringing off the hook with advance reservations, all those weddings bring in lots of advance room sales, not to mention our long list of repeat guests setting up their summer stays.
Michael began his career at The Nonantum Resort working in the landscaping department, then transferred to Housekeeping, and eventually landed at the Front Desk in his current position. Mike, in addition to speaking French, is about the nicest man I’ve ever met. He treats each and every guest with the Whatever It Takes philosophy.
What does he do in the Winter? Reservations, setting up guest profiles, and ensuring stellar guest experiences.
Woz has been our Bar Manager for the past four seasons. When he first arrived, we had one main bar, a service bar and very limited service at our pool. Once he arrived, he helped design and plan the building of Heckman’s Pub, 95 Ocean and Latitudes Bar and Grill – success!!!!
What does he do in the Winter? Paint and shovel snow!!!
Steve is entering his 11th season and has helped grow The Nonantum Resort’s food service operation to an award winning status. 95 Ocean is a Platinum Plate Winner and The Nonantum Resort’s reputation for superb weddings and banquets are easily attributed to his culinary creations. We are thrilled to announce that Steve has been named Maine Restaurant Association’s 2014 Chef of the Year! Who else could make Blueberry Chipotle Ribs a raging success where Lobster is known as King?! Steve also volunteers for Cooking Matters Good Shepherd Food Bank, Special Olympics of Maine, and Share our Strength.
What does he do in the Winter? Answer the phones! He also spends time at Southern Maine Community College, helping and observing Chef Boardman and Chef Levett in their Culinary program.
Tina is going into her 23rd season as General Manager. While the property is open, she oversees all aspects of running The Nonantum Resort – Front Desk, Housekeeping, Maintenance, Activities, and Food & Beverage, as well as the personnel of each department.
What does she do in the Winter? General contractor for all of the renovations and plan for the upcoming season! Board obligations keep her busy with the Kennebunk Kennebunkport Arundel Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Maine Restaurant Association. She loves to work out, and attends boot camp at the beach with Get Out There! Fitness, and has rediscovered skiing with her 5-year old daughter.
Jean is entering her 15th season as Innkeeper and her responsibilities cover a wide spectrum. She is an advisor to the management team and oversees the day to day operations of the property. Her attention to details keep us all on our toes! 🙂 She responds to each and every TripAdvisor posting – we have 571 reviews to date and are ranked the #1 Hotel in Kennebunkport!
What does she do in the Winter? Jean sits on several Boards: the Maine Innkeepers and New England Innkeepers as well as being a member of the Maine Community College System Board, as well as strategic planning for the season. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends much time, snowshoeing, hiking and skiing.
So yes, it might be nice to have the winter off, but much thoughtful planning goes into preparing for a fun, exciting, and successful season on the shores of the Kennebunk River at The Nonantum Resort! So for those of us here throughout the winter, we see it as an honor and a privilege. Come see us this Spring!
–Tina Hewett Gordon, General Manager