Whether you’re from the business, or not, it takes a great deal to open a hotel. A lot of hours, a Herculean effort from so many, from all walks of life, coming together to put on a show that we hope will never end. These buildings open and the hope is that they’ll be around forever, whether the people behind them are or not. Its people’s belief in a vision, what it stands for, the experience and what these things can one day become – that keeps you working 21 hours a day – just, to simply open the doors. In a way, its madness – a normal person, or someone that perhaps didn’t believe in something greater than themselves, might walk away. And you couldn’t blame them, but to us, it’s what we live for, opening doors.
Without undermining those who fight bravely for our independence, you might say it’s like going to war. And if you’re truly preparing for a war, then there are soldiers, lieutenants, captains – and of course Generals. Robert Collier was a General, and a man we met in 1997, two years before the doors to My Bloomsbury first opened. He was kind, generous with his time, and he believed in us. His credentials and impact on the industry are known to many, for everyone else – let’s just say if you’ve ever slept in or booked a hotel bedroom, at some point in that journey – whether onsite, or from a boardroom table, he’s impacted your journey. Recently Bob passed away.
In this line of work, you might say we’re all looking for something permanent. Marketers dream about making an impact, operators dream of the perfect experience and owners hope for assured and sustained growth – who doesn’t wish for their ideas and wisdom to live forever. But in a business that offers few guarantees and even less sleep, the only thing that any of us can honestly hope for is someone to believe in us. Thank you for that Mr Collier and for always opening doors, you will be missed.