If you are looking for a simple metaphor for the growth of Grace Bay Car Rentals over the past decade, count the chairs in the training room at the company’s gleaming new headquarters.
When Leslie and Todd Foss arrived from Saskatchewan in 2006, the tiny Providenciales firm they’d acquired was tucked into a one-room storefront at the back of a Grace Bay shopping plaza. Together with a handful of employees, the Fosses hired out cars to tourists. The neighboring parking lot served as a staging area for their rental fleet.
Today, the staging area is still located in the same lot – and everything around it has changed.
From that modest beginning, Grace Bay Car Rentals has grown to include a welcome station at Providenciales International Airport, a service station on Leeward Highway, and their newest addition – a modern headquarters adjacent to the company’s original staging lot.
“We wanted a building that sets a standard in Grace Bay,” Todd Foss said. “Something that focused on our staff and customers.”
The result is a bright, statuesque and unmistakable local landmark on Grace Bay Road, the bustling main strip through the heart of Provo’s hospitality sector. More than 50 employees keep the building abuzz with activity – cleaning, maintaining, preparing and renting hundreds of cars a week to visitors from around the globe.
The staff was excited to move into the new building, in part because employees provided input during its design process. But for Todd, the company’s owner/operator, his employees’ contribution extends beyond that. He thinks the new facility reflects the spirit of the company, which is now written in large, proud letters across the wall: “Fun, friendly people who appreciate your business.”
While the original office was suboptimal, “we had such good people, they delivered quality service,” Todd said. Over the years, much of the company’s identity emerged naturally from the smiling, upbeat disposition of the people who worked there.
Today that organizational personality is represented in physical form at the new headquarters. It’s a well-lit, welcoming facility, with a wall of glass and an open-office concept on the main floor, where team members greet and register customers. Everything has been built around the idea of keeping the rental process quick and friendly, with employees right there to assist each new arrival.
Which brings us back to those training room chairs.
raining is a big part of the Fosses’ business philosophy, so when the couple built the company’s second location on Leeward Highway in 2011, they included a training room to accommodate their 15 employees. The business quickly outgrew the space, forcing the Fosses to schedule training in stages.
“We would provide the same training, in small groups, to the entire staff,” Todd said. “But it’s better when everyone hears it at the same time.”
The second-floor loft of the new building features a long table dotted with bright yellow chairs alongside. There are currently 55 in total available, one for each team member. Most training is devoted to delivering top-quality service, so there’s a regular rotation of customer-focused classes. The company also provides health and wellness classes to its staff.
There’s even a roof-top terrace, Todd said, “because fun, friendly people like to celebrate a lot.”
It seems an appropriate feature for a business that’s growing one car, one smile – and one chair – at a time.