Young family relaunch The Ledgelets
John Young grew up surrounded by the tourism industry.
Now, he and his wife, Alison, have fallen back in love with the business after they relaunched guest cottage business The Ledgelets in Sandys.
Mr Young said: “I have worked in tourism since I was 13 or 14. We are working so hard right now to make sure we deliver what we say we deliver.
“But when you look at the guest comments or what people write on the guest books in the rooms, it’s all worth it.”
Mrs Young added: “They are all just so happy to be in Bermuda. They realise they can fly here with their family in 90 minutes.”
Mr Young said his grandparents, John Hinson Young and Nelga Young, started The Ledgelets in 1948 and welcomed guests into their cottages and their own home.
The Lantana resort opened on the neighbouring property a decade later and the Young family leased The Ledgelets to the operators.
The arrangement continued until 1998, when Lantana shut its doors.
Mr Young and his cousin inherited the property when his grandmother died in 2013.
At the time he and his wife were working at Tucker’s Point, but knew they wanted to turn their attention to restoring The Ledgelets to its former glory.
Mr Young said: “I knew something had to happen with it.
“Ally and I thought about it and we realised that one of the things missing was that authentic, old-school Bermuda charm. It’s something you can’t really find in the hotels. It’s hard to do in a hotel.
“It’s about people arriving and feeling like they are coming home. It’s home for them.”
Mr Young and his family live on the property and also invite guests into their living room for a cocktail or a conversation — the way his grandparents did.
He said that one of the reasons vacation rentals had become popular was that such properties were more suited to larger families.
Rather than renting several hotel rooms, guests can rent a home or apartment and save money.
Ms Young added that many visitors wanted to meet Bermudians and absorb some island culture.
She said: “I think the younger generation is art hungry and culture starved. They grew up with Marriots around the world.
“There has been a lot of talk about how we can do something new, but there’s also the question about how we can make old Bermuda cool again.”
The couple added that said there needed to be a widespread commitment to tourism across the island.
Mr Young said that problems with the bus system and the high cost of living annoyed guests as much as residents.
He added: “When I worked at Tucker’s Point, one of the things I always tried to press on my team is value. The key is really that if people are spending $1, they should feel they are getting $2 of service.
“People need to feel they are getting more for their dollar.”
Mr Young said that one of the reasons they wanted to reopen The Ledgelets as a tourism site was to help support businesses in the area, which include The Bridge Trading Post and fishermen who sell their catches near by.
He said: “We want these people to succeed, so we tried to set our prices so our guests can go out and do these things.”
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