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July Update

By Slickrock Adventures on August 1, 2021

Dear Slickrock Friends,

I trust all’s well with you and yours.

As normality returns to normal(ish), we are concreting plans for next season.

In the ten years, I’ve been involved with Slickrock, I have only ever seen dolphins twice before. Both times were in a smallish boat and in The Blue (2,500+ ft), which is between the Barrier Reef and Glover’s Reef Atoll.

The very last trip of our minuscule season was a couple of days away from ending, and when close to exhaustion after being in fifth gear for over a year, something amazing happened.

Just a hop, skip, and jump away from the island on our boat, a pod of 12 bottle-nosed dolphins swam and played with us for well over 15 minutes. Jumping so close, I swear they wanted to pop into the boat. Then one did a Michael Jackson-esque moonwalk using it’s tail.

I never fail to be surprised by the aura of the island and the wildlife. It really does recharge your batteries seeing fauna in their natural habitat, and living (albeit temporarily) in the middle of nowhere, with nature’s CD playing gentle waves on repeat, as you lay in bed, with just stars, the moon, and the cabana’s thatched leaves in sight.

No light pollution, no phones, no social media, no emails, natural daylight, no washing up, freshly made food three times a day, endless guided activities, and making new friends on a remote island.

Being able to switch off from work, whilst being able to release the endorphins with a snorkel, scuba dive, windsurfing, SUP, or kayak, even a hammock surf is so good for the mind, body, and soul.

As the business recovers from Covid, we will be welcoming new team members in the following months.

As for the island, I highly recommend a digital detox on our island this upcoming season, after the nigh on two-year Covid pause button.

Unplug and recharge.

Southwest Airlines will resume flights to Belize from Houston and Denver starting 7th November 2021.

Southwest started flying to Belize from Denver in early 2017. The airline also offered a non-stop service from Hobby International Airport in Houston and later on added a direct flight from Fort Lauderdale.

WestJet is also set to resume non-stop seasonal flights to Belize from Toronto and Calgary during Belize’s tourism industry’s high season in November and December.

Tickets are already on sale on the airline’s website.


Marcy and Jose

Admitting to your weak points is the best thing you can do to grow as a business, as well as personally.

I always got stressed out answering business phone calls, even when I first set up Philzoofari (later Zoofari), and that has encouraged me to train and allow the Slickrock family to grow into the roles I struggle with, and knew they could do when I met most of them ten years ago.

It may sound a bit whacky but business has never been about the money for me. It is the buzz of setting up businesses from absolutely nothing but an idea and stubbornness not to give up when the tide is against you.


Magdaleno “Junior” aka MJ

I continue to be hyper-focused on Slickrock’s long-term survival and success post-Covid, with a huge emphasis on empowering the Slickrock family to grow as individuals, as well as a team.

I can say hand on heart that if I can make the current, and future team members happy, I’ll be a happy bunny.

By that I mean to keep the business at a level that has taken 44 years to get to, and build upon that to make the team financially stable beyond what they’ve ever had over the years, with what has always been pretty much a part-time seasonal job.

Jose and Marcy are now heading up the office operations, with Magdaleno and Luis continuing to manage the island trips. There will be a cross-over between the roles to some degree, with me stepping into an oversight and encouragement role.


Luis

15-20 hour days are the norm for me, so with a million and one things going on across the companies, it is time to delegate and help more behind the scenes, which suits an introverted chap like me perfectly.

We have social enterprises, and retail products nearly over the last hurdles, which will be available through Amazon very soon for around US$10 per unit, so not too much, although this will provide 1% of the Belize labour force a job opportunity within five years (1,700+).

This year is pretty special for us. It is Slickrock’s 44th anniversary,  40th anniversary of independence for Belize from the UK in September, 35th anniversary of Slickrock coming to Belize, 30th anniversary of Slickrock moving to Glover’s Reef, 25th anniversary of moving from North East Caye to Long Caye, and last but not least, the third year anniversary for the Belizean team to take over co-management.

Post-Covid, you can isolate from isolation with our great group of people, who are more like a family. It is so nice to see them grow into what I knew they could become, as you’ll see with your own eyes.

For new bookings, we have reduced our pre-Covid price by 18%, and have included airport shuttles, dinner, breakfast, and accommodation on both the Friday night and Saturday night stays at Best Western. It used to exclude the shuttles, dinner, and breakfast on Saturday night.

As part of the recovery from a 95% drop in business since March 2020, the only change going forward is discontinuing the 10% discount for repeat guests due to the extra costs incurred. We will be keeping this price for all of 2021 and 2022.

We will honour the 10% discount on private charters exceeding 20 guests and under 12’s, only.

We have several enquiries for private charters next season (minimum of 15). For next season, non-charter weeks will be open to anyone on 24th December 2021 for Christmas (sold out), 31st December 2021 for New Year’s (last few spaces left), 11th February 2022 for Valentine’s, 18th March 2022, 25th March 2022, and 1st April 2022 for Spring Break.

Other dates will open up for general bookings, we are just seeing how Covid calms down in the next few weeks.

We look forward to welcoming you back, or for the first time.

Whether the island was a fond memory, or on your bucket list, we’re here to help answer any questions you may have.

Please feel free to call anytime between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday Belize time (Central America Time).

Thanks for your support in the past, present, or future.

Cheers,
Phil Dowsett

CEO – Slickrock Adventures
+1 800-390-5715
slickrock@slickrock.com

Covid-19 Travel Update

With regards to Covid-19, we became a government-approved Gold Standard Hotel (Long Caye Adventure Camp), and Gold Standard Tour Operator (Slickrock Adventures), implementing extra sanitisation and safety measures, which won’t dampen the experience. Prevention and minimising risks, even without Covid-19 on the scene has been our priority. This is for your peace of mind, as well as our Slickrock team.

The Belize government’s requirement at this moment in time is simply a negative Rapid Antigen test 48 hours before arrival, or a negative PCR test 96 hours before arrival.

As of March, you won’t require a Covid test to enter Belize, if you have had both vaccinations and bring proof of this upon entry.

https://belizetourismboard.org/belize-covid-19-update-for-travellers/

In accordance with CDC to re-enter the States, we have arranged a Rapid Antigen test for US$75 per person. They will come to Best Western as you arrive back from the island and you’ll get results within 30 minutes.

Covid-19 Cancellation Policy

If you are unable to travel due to restrictions placed on your home country or Belize by the government(s) or airlines, or if the resort is unable to open due to government restrictions, any paid bookings are eligible for rebooking for future dates of up to a year from your original check-in date. Guests will receive full credit for the amount paid to apply to the future rebooking dates, subject to availability.

As with previous terms, all cancellations are subject to a minimum US$100 administration fee, if not re-booked for an alternative date.