Goodbye Hopgood

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort General Manager Peter Hopgood (centre) surrounded by staff members during his farewell ceremony on Friday night. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI

OUTGOING Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort general manager Peter Hopgood will leave big shoes to fill when he retires in a few weeks.

The Australian, who took up the mantle of managing one of Fiji’s premier family resorts more than eight years ago, has helped boost occupancy rates and increase the resort’s community engagement too.

During a farewell function at the resort on Friday night, his achievements were touted as momentous by Jeff Wagoner, the president and CEO of Outrigger Enterprises Group.

According to Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Mr Hopgood’s legacy exemplified an expat that “we would like to have”.
“Peter has immersed himself into the Fijian way of life and culture,” he said.

“This resort here, as a third party observer, the unique thing about it is the innate sense of camaraderie that I see among the staff and actual willingness to work.”

He said in many tourist properties, staff members were simply trying to do their job.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the passion with which Mr Hopgood carried out his work had been passed on to his 600 plus staff members too.

“The community work he has carried out, it’s not necessarily big ticket items with a lot of press. These are little things.

They start off with the bus shelter and a kindergarten. These are fundamental building blocks and to be able to harness the energy of the tourists who come to this resort and be able to harness the energy of the local community is a key to development of society.”

Mr Hopgood said it had been a wonderful journey for him.

“I think at the end of the day I’m just so honoured,” he said.

According to Mr Hopgood, he was leaving behind an extraordinary team of talented individuals and he was proud of how far the resort had come over the past eight and a half years.