As we move into the fall months and hurricane season, I wanted to make you all aware that Meredith Elmore has been promoted to Assistant General Manager. She has completed 24 years of service to Shipyard, earned her Doctorate in Management/Organizational Theory, and achieved a CAI property manager designation. Over these 24 years, she has taken on every task we have sent her way from Beach Club operations to communications efforts, human resources, and oversight of office operations. Her service has been invaluable, and I know you will congratulate her as we have for her excellent work.
We are all working diligently on the budget for 2022, and I am sure you are aware of labor challenges island-wide as well our prior information regarding the challenging insurance market. I pick up a senior coffee on my way to work in the mornings, and the girl from the McDonald’s window shared with me that she was from Mongolia. I had to smile as we are finding it harder and harder to get staff, but I had not realized the global search that some companies are using to fill their staffing needs. The Chief has been juggling labor this summer trying to keep all operations going as budgeted, but labor rates are forecast to escalate at least 5% for 2022. Fewer applicants are responding to job openings, and many who respond “ghost” their interviews, never arriving for appointments. We have been consistently down one person over the past few months; and when we get fully staffed, another one chooses to leave. So labor will be a challenge for our 2022 budget as will insurance issues.
On the brighter side of things, the Beach Club operation is getting back to normal and our pass program has provided much needed income to offset some of the other issues we have faced this year. Real Estate has also been a very bright spot for 2021 as people continue to crave the lifestyle we have on Hilton Head. Our hope is that we will be able to keep any assessment increase to around 3.5% to the owners for 2022, but assimilating the labor increases needed for staffing and some other inflationary issues will make this year’s budget, to say the least, a challenge.
Stay well, stay dry, and here’s hoping the hurricane season is as kind to us as it was last year.