Watersports firm earns TripAdvisor accolade
Somerset Bridge Watersports has earned a place in TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame after achieving certificates of excellence for five consecutive years.
The family-run business is now in its 30th year and provides waterskiing and jet-skiing options, kayak and boat rentals and tours and other water activities.
To reach Hall of Fame status businesses must achieve an average of four-star reviews, or above — out of a possible five stars — annually, and do so for five consecutive years. Somerset Bridge Watersports managed that and has been awarded the coveted status by the influential travel website TripAdvisor.
Tony Roach, owner and operator of Somerset Bridge Watersports, said a key factor in achieving that success was looking after customers, ensuring they have a great time during their vacation, and making amends if anything goes wrong.
“Whatever it takes to make the guests happy,” he said. He also paid tribute to the excellence and ability of his staff, which includes many young Bermudians.
Before founding the business 30 years ago, Mr Roach was a teacher and would often not return home until 8pm. His family convinced him to change his occupation. He took their advice and hasn’t looked back.
“We thought ‘what can we do that our children would also like?’” he said.
As they grew up his three children helped out during the holidays. Since then many more young islanders have followed in their footsteps.
“Over the years we have had an incredible number of young Bermudians work here. If they are any indication to go by, the future of Bermuda looks good.”
The current team includes Maxanne Caines, Jordan Bascome, Denzel Amos, Stefan Dill and Ryan Swan. Many more young Bermudians who worked at the business have gone on to enjoy successful careers elsewhere, from airline pilot to insurance industry executive and day trader. Paul Telford, who is now chairman of the Bermuda Tourism Authority and managing director of Rosewood Bermuda, is another who worked at the business during his younger years.
Somerset Bridge Watersports prides itself in having a very good safety record. Some of its jet ski tour guides are schoolteachers.
Mr Roach, 69, said he is glad he made the career switch from teacher to watersports business operator.
“You go for a business that interests you. I like being with people and seeing their satisfaction and happiness.”
Mr Roach said the business has seen changes during the past three decades. For example, in the pre-internet days it was necessary to visit hotel and guest properties to spread the word about what Somerset Bridge Watersports had to offer.
He also said that a healthy level of competition among watersports providers on the island “brings out the best”, and added: “The competition keeps you on the ball.”
• Somerset Bridge Watersports is located at Robinson’s Marina, Sandys. It has a website at bdawatersports.com
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