News for the Hospitality Executive
Houston Based Benchmark Hospitality Helps Build Seawall
Protecting Sheffield Island in Long Island Sound
|The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, August 24, 2007 -
Every year, Benchmark Hospitality hosts a company picnic celebration on
the exquisite and historic Sheffield Island in Long Island Sound.
At the foot of this intimate island is a restored circa 1868 Victorian-era
stone lighthouse, which opens its doors daily, inviting island goers to
take a few moments and commune with the 19th century lighthouse keeper
family, whose household items remain in the building. Students on
summer break serve as tour guides. A Benchmark picnic on the Sheffield
Island simply isn't complete without a climb to the lamp room and widow's
walk at the top of this vintage building.
Visiting the island is something Benchmark team members look forward to every year. The gorgeous scenery, spectacular views of the Sound, the interpersonal connection that comes with getting away together, and the scenic ride to the island on The General -- the converted Korean War-era vessel of Sam Haigh, president and COO of Benchmark Hospitality -- all add to a spirit of adventure the Benchmark team experiences every year.
"But nothing lasts forever unless we take care of it," said Sam Haigh. "Time and Mother Nature exact a toll." At Sheffield Island, the shoreline is constantly eroding, which can eventually threaten the integrity of the island and its structures, such as the historic lighthouse. "Benchmark has a company-wide Hometown Hospitality initiative through which we endeavor to be a vital part of each community in which we operate," continued Haigh. "Since Sheffield Island is a favorite for Benchmark employee outings, every year we ask how we can lend a hand to help preserve this beautiful place enjoyed by so many families each summer, including the Benchmark family."
Following a lobster, clams & grilled chicken picnic lunch, the Benchmark team, properly fortified, forewent dessert, gathered into teams, and headed for the shore. Here they commenced the building of a new Gabion Seawall designated by the Island Keeper as an important and necessary action, designed to control the Sound"s encroachment.
By the end of the afternoon, 20 tons of rock had been hauled by hand
and loaded into multiple wire mesh containers, which composed the seawall.
The Benchmark team left the island better equipped to ward off the advancement
of Long Island Sound for another year. "It's our gift to Sheffield
Island every year we visit," concluded Haigh. "Maybe our efforts
can help inspire others too. We hope so because if more people pitch
in, places like this can go on giving recreation and pleasure to families
for years to come."
Benchmark Hospitality International, an independent hospitality management company based in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, operates resorts, conference centers, hotels and condominium resorts both domestically and internationally. For locations of Benchmark Hospitality properties and for additional information, visit Benchmark's Website at www.benchmarkhospitality.com.
|Also See:||Benchmarks's Hometown Hospitality Community Outreach Initiative Put In Action on Historic Sheffield Island in Long Island Sound / August 2006|
|Benchmark Hospitality Cleans Up Island as Part of Special 25th Anniversary All Employee Outing / September 5, 2005|