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Read the
case study “Atlantis Vision and Mission” and answer the following questions.
Why did the Atlantis resort change their mission statement?What was the customer return rate the Atlantis resort?Why was it challenging to keep guests informed of availability, location, and timing of onsite options?What did the Atlantis resort do to overcome this challenge?What are some of the main differences between the original mission statement and the new mission statement?What methods did Atlantis use to roll-out the new mission statement to its employees?No too professional wards.The information you can see the files which I have uploaded


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Read the case study “Atlantis Vision and Mission” and answer the following questions.
Guidelines: Use proper MLA criteria for research and formatting. Type the question (bold type)
and then type your response below the question.
1. Why did the Atlantis resort change their mission statement?
2. What was the customer return rate the Atlantis resort?
3. Why was it challenging to keep guests informed of availability, location, and timing of onsite
options? What did the Atlantis resort do to overcome this challenge?
4. What are some of the main differences between the original mission statement and the new
mission statement?
5. What methods did Atlantis use to roll-out the new mission statement to its employees?
Grading Rubric
90 – 100
The assignment is followed. All questions are thoroughly explained. Proper MLA
criteria are used.
80 – 89
The assignment is followed. Some responses may have been basic. Some MLA
criteria were not properly utilized.
70 – 79
The assignment is loosely followed. Most responses were basic. MLA criteria
was largely ignored.
60 – 69
The assignment is not being followed. All responses were basic. MLA criteria is
not present
The assignment was not submitted.
Atllantis Paradis
e Island Reso
ort & Caasino:
ng Perfo
ormancce with a New
w Vision
n and
In January 2009
9 the leadersh
hip team at th
he Atlantis Paaradise Island
d resort in thee Bahamas deecided
to rev
visit its vision
n and mission
n statement, which
had beeen in place sin
nce its launch
h in the mid-11990s.
The world
was in the
t grip of th
he most severee economic reecession in deecades and th
he property’s guest
satisfaaction and em
mployee engaagement metrrics were flagg
ging. Atlantiss had just com
mpleted the laargest
layofff of employeees in its history, paring so
ome 800 work
kers from its payroll
in No
ovember 20088. The
propeerty had been
n marketed ass a “wonder of the world,,” re-creating
g the Lost Con
ntinent myth in its
archittecture, amen
nities and atttractions sincce its opening
g in 1995, an
nd these them
mes were feaatured
prominently in its original visiion and missiion statementt. Now, howeever, conditio
ons favored a new
oach, so the Atlantis
y board—com
mprising its keey senior man
nagers—set in
n motion a prrocess
that would
uce a new vision
and mission
ment. George Markanton
nis, presidentt and
manaaging directorr, recalled the need for a neew vision and
d mission:
There were a lot of littlee factors. Wee have to con
nstantly refresh and re-en
nergize how we
pproach our own
people, to
t make sure that the guessts who visit us
u once do haave that feelin
of coming back
k. It seemed lo
ogical that wee should look
k at the old viision, becausee it may be th
it’ss no longer reelevant. It’s no
ot that there was
w anything
g wrong with it. But things had changed
While it was cllear to the po
olicy board th
hat a new visiion and misssion was need
ded, it was faar less
clear how
they sho
ould go aboutt crafting it, to
o ensure that it would beccome embedd
ded throughou
ut the
nization rather than ending
g up as a flavor-of-the-mon
nth exercise in
n futility thatt would fail to
o lead
to imp
proved perforrmance.
Atlaantis: Hosp
pitality on
n a Grand Scale
he Atlantis resort
on Paaradise Islan
nd, Bahamass, was owneed and operrated by Keerzner
national, Ltd.,, the successo
or to Sun Interrnational, fou
unded by the South African
n entrepreneu
ur Sol
ner. Kerzner attained
conssiderable noto
oriety with th
he opening in
n 1979 of the Sun City ressort in
uthatswana, but when th
he South Afrrican apartheeid regime was
w replaced,, Sun City tu
ofessor Lynda M. Applegate and Prrofessor Gabriele Piccoli
of the Univ
versity of Grenoblle prepared this caase with the assisttance of
or Chekitan S. Dev
v of Cornell Univerrsity and independ
dent researcher Wiilliam Barnett. HBS
S cases are develop
ped solely as the basis
class diiscussion. Cases are
a not intended to
t serve as endorrsements, sources of primary data,, or illustrations of
o effective or ineeffective
ght © 2010 Presiden
nt and Fellows of Harvard
College. To
T order copies or request permission
n to reproduce matterials, call 1-800-545-7685,
write Haarvard Business Scchool Publishing, Bo
oston, MA 02163, or
o go to www.hbsp This publicaation may not be digitized,
opied, or otherwise reproduced, posteed, or transmitted, without
the permisssion of Harvard Bu
usiness School.
This document is authorized for use only by Robert Wahl ([email protected]). Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Please contact [email protected] or
800-988-0886 for additional copies.
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino: Improving Performance with a New Vision and Mission
controversy into success and Kerzner set his sights on a broader international stage for his hospitality
In 1993 Kerzner divested Sun International of its holdings in Africa and formed Sun International
Hotels in order to acquire the resort then known as Paradise Island Resort and Casino. Kerzner
renamed his new property Atlantis on Paradise Island. Having already demonstrated his ability to
marshal the resources needed to build and operate large-scale destination resorts, Kerzner envisioned
for Atlantis an environment that would immerse its customers in a mythical watery world,
surrounded by massive marine tanks and pools filled with sea creatures and accented by visual and
philosophical references to the lost continent. Indeed, visitors were housed in soaring towers that
were integrated with the simulated undersea world.
After opening in 1994 Kerzner almost immediately embarked on an $800 million expansion of the
resort, culminating in the completion of the Royal Towers in 1998 and its attraction-filled
environment, complete with marine life exhibition tanks, waterfalls, lagoons, water slides, multiple
swimming areas, gorgeous beaches, and the largest casino in the Caribbean. A third expansion phase,
involving an investment of some $1 billion, was recently brought to a close, further expanding
accommodations, attractions, and services. Following the expansion the property featured additional
upscale lodging and dining facilities with access restricted to adults unaccompanied by children,
joining a product set that included a spa, golf courses, a marina, interactions with live dolphins, a
massive convention meeting space, and more beach front. An official fact sheet, shown as Exhibit 1,
lists and describes the main components of the resort. Exhibit 2 provides a view of the Royal Towers.
Atlantis now catered to the needs and desires of a wide range of customers, from families with
young children, to hipsters and upscale professionals, to gamblers, to golfers to anyone who enjoyed
learning about marine life. As the largest non-governmental employer in the Bahamas, Atlantis
occupied a unique role in the country’s labor market and its tourism sector. Through its commitment
to employee development in a low-income, service-based economy, Atlantis took pride not only in
training raw recruits to become service professionals but also in contributing to the larger community
of the Bahamas through service projects and environmental stewardship.
Strategy in Focus
Vision, Mission and Strategy
Given Atlantis’s positioning and scale, constantly expanding and refreshing the product was a key
to its success. Markantonis explained:
We’re going to continue to expand. We’re going to continue to make sure this is the most
exciting place that there is. We have to come up with new thoughts, new ideas. We’ve got to
come out of this recession. But we don’t just expand. We have to be strategic. We have plenty
more land.
Atlantis competed in a global entertainment marketplace, and was positioned “as part Las Vegas
and part Disney,” but with the new additions its positioning was tweaked to cater to all generations
of customers. Markantonis characterized it as “the only place where you can bring your kids and
grandma and everyone is going to have a great time.” Atlantis Kids Adventure (AKA), a state-of-theart, youth-oriented high-tech entertainment facility for children from 3 to 12 years of age with a “no
adults allowed” rule, provided an apt example. Another was Cove Atlantis, an enclave that included
hip entertainment with a DJ, luxury cabanas, nightclubs and an adults-only pool (with
Mediterranean-style bathing) and bar facilities, and an outdoor poolside casino.
This document is authorized for use only by Robert Wahl ([email protected]). Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Please contact [email protected] or
800-988-0886 for additional copies.
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino: Improving Performance with a New Vision and Mission
The new children’s facility played into another strategic goal of Atlantis, generating returning
customers. Markantonis asserted: “The children are the key to making people want to come back.”
Visiting Atlantis was a major commitment of time and money on the part of its typical customers, so
after experiencing everything Atlantis had to offer, they needed a compelling reason to return. That’s
where the never-ending expansion of products and services came into play, allowing the firm to
maintain an estimated 22% to 25% returning customer rate. Exhibit 3 shows the repeat business
record for a period spanning 2003 through 2008.
Although its commitments to expansion and renewal as well as community service reflected
Atlantis’s unique positioning in its market, Atlantis’s strategy was not entirely unconventional. Alex
Kim, general manager of the Coral and Beach Towers, said: “The four ‘pillars’ of Atlantis’s success
are revenue, controlling expenses to boost profits, employee satisfaction, and customer satisfaction.”
The latter involved a commitment to providing the guest with what chief operating officer Jean
Cohen called “the blow-away experience.” Kim expanded on this set, however, describing a recent
meeting with his team managers at which he asked them to articulate the Atlantis strategy:
I just asked the question: What is it that we have to do to be successful? I don’t tell them
how to be successful. They have to tell me. End result? Leadership, from top to bottom.
Leadership is not just the general manager’s leadership. Leadership goes all the way down to
the line employee. Room attendants—there are leaders there. So it has to flow up and down
the chain of command.
So the Atlantis strategy also focused on familiar touchstones in hospitality—revenue, profit,
employee engagement and guest satisfaction—with a focus on company-wide leadership, which was
perhaps understandable given the scale of the property.
IT Connection
The phenomenal growth that distinguished Atlantis Paradise Island’s storyline increasingly
depended on leveraging information technology and electronic media to raise the high-tech bar for
the customer experience. Chief information officer Bernard Gay talked about how Atlantis had
carved out “a space of innovation and creativity” that would help to drive future growth and
continual upgrading of existing facilities. To be sure, Atlantis’s IT organization—with a staff of
approximately 80 people divided between full-timers and contractors—channeled many of its
resources into running the property smoothly and efficiently and upgrading and integrating software
platforms, but the growth imperative provided it with opportunities to innovate and push the
customer experience. Nowhere was this opportunity more in evidence than in the aforementioned
kids’ club, where the high-tech installations created a feature-laden environment. The IT organization
would also play an important role in helping Atlantis to roll out and embed the new vision and
mission by facilitating internal communication of the message.
Focus on Employee Engagement
As the third phase of growth came to a close in 2007, Atlantis’s sprawling complex of hotels,
restaurants, exhibits and attractions had set a new standard for destination resorts in terms of the
scale and variety of the offering. Every known customer segment now had something to enjoy at
Atlantis. Yet all was not well at the property, even apart from the impending recession. Epic scale
alone could not guarantee success.
This document is authorized for use only by Robert Wahl ([email protected]). Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Please contact [email protected] or
800-988-0886 for additional copies.
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino: Improving Performance with a New Vision and Mission
Many of the challenges Atlantis had to overcome were simply byproducts of its scale. In terms of
occupancy, Atlantis needed to manage bookings so as to fill various areas of the property while
sometimes shutting down entire building wings, restaurants, or other attractions, based on seasonal
occupancy and fluctuating demand. It was especially challenging to keep guests fully informed about
the availability, location, and timing of all the options available onsite. In describing what she would
regard as the perfect customer experience at Atlantis, Cohen mused:
The guest would know what’s available to them. I still have guests today who will call me
and say, ‘I cannot figure this out. You need to tell me what to do because I don’t have time to
figure this out.’ So the perfect guest experience would mean that they know what is available
and match it to what they would like to do, depending on their likes and their kids’ likes.
The way to the perfect guest experience ran directly through the employees in the guest
encounter. Thus Atlantis targeted how employees fit into the property’s strategic focus on the
customer experience at the receiving end of the service equation. When the decision to revisit the
vision and mission statement was made, the policy board focused on “really aligning the employees
with our core values and success factors, to energize them” as the property attempted to navigate in a
down economy following a major expansion of facilities and attractions.
Employee engagement posed perhaps the greatest challenge to Atlantis. Managing nearly 8,000
individuals was intrinsically challenging, but conditions imposed by the Bahamian labor market and
the local economy upped the ante considerably. Leadership skills, so important in an organization
that emphasized employee engagement, were almost entirely absent in new hires. Moreover, the
labor pool was relatively small, as the population of the Bahamas was only slightly above 300,000, so
the Atlantis workforce featured an uncommonly high number of staff members who were related by
family or otherwise acquainted. Karen Carey, the senior vice president for human resources,
explained, “We have had to recruit with the understanding that we were going to invest in a lot of
training and development…”
Yet even with extensive training programs, including some basic training for potential recruits, a
considerable challenge remained with cultivating middle management talent. Cohen pointed to the
major challenges:
We struggle with entry-level management, really having them understand what leadership
is. Many of them feel that they’re the boss now, so now they can be dictatorial. Their exposure
to leadership and management has been limited.
Atlantis Paradise Island thus found itself having accomplished most of the goals related to
expansion of its facilities and attractions but facing worrisome trends. These trends included
declining customer satisfaction (Exhibit 4), declining reservation enquiries, declining conversion
ratios (reservations/enquiries), and reduced average spend/reservation (Exhibit 5). Atlantis also
faced forecasting difficulty because, by 2009, more than 50% of customers were making their
reservations within 60 days of arrival, likely a symptom of the down economy (Exhibit 6).
It was in this context that the policy board, informed by Markantonis’s instinct that a renewal was
needed, turned its attention to its original vision and mission statement.
The Original Vision and Mission
From its inception Atlantis Paradise Island adhered to four core values:
Blow away the customer
This document is authorized for use only by Robert Wahl ([email protected]). Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Please contact [email protected] or
800-988-0886 for additional copies.
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino: Improving Performance with a New Vision and Mission
Sustainable bottom-line performance
Develop passionate and committed people
Continuously strive for perfection
Its original vision and mission statement built on the theme of “blowing away the customer” with
an amazing experience, but also emphasized the presentation to the guest of elements of the lost
continent myth. The concept of blowing away the customer came directly from Sol Kerzner and was
rooted in the approach he pioneered in South Africa: amaze the guest. Accordingly, Atlantis marketed
itself as one of the wonders of the world, a principle that it enshrined literally in its original vision:
To have the Atlantis experience regarded as one of the wonders of the world!
The remaining elements of the core values figured equally literally in its original mission statement:
Our mission is to provide every guest with a “Blow Away Experience” that is inspired by a celebration of
the sea and the myth of a lost civilization. We accomplish this by bringing the myth of Atlantis to life by
offering warm, positive, engaging service.
At Atlantis we are a team of individuals who are passionate and committed in everything that we do. We
continuously strive for perfection. We are proud to work at Atlantis because we are a caring and learning
organization which rewards accomplishment and promotes teamwork, respect and innovation.
At Atlantis, we are the pride of our community while providing enduring value for our shareholders. When
Atlantis succeeds, we succeed as individuals, and we contribute to the success of the Bahamas.
Atlantis concentrated on creating and presenting the mythical elements to provide the “wow”
factor to its guests. As it grew, however, managing such a large workforce and such a huge facility
quite naturally made it difficult to bring the promises of the vision and mission statement to the
customer encounter.
Challenges related to driving the customer experience and employee engagement were reflected
in the metrics Atlantis relied on to gauge its success. Atlantis tracked customer satisfaction through a
variety of media, but foremost were monthly figures reflecting the Guest Satisfaction Index (GSI) that
it received from J. D. Power and Associates (see Exhibit 4) and a metric Atlantis called its Employee
Engagement Index (EEI). Cohen remarked:
When the crisis hit in 2008 we were really struggling with disappointing results in our
guest satisfaction ratings. They were frightening, to be honest. Our employees were feeling
vulnerable for the first time in our history. Their hearts and minds were no longer in it.
All these management imperatives were never more challenging than in the grip of a worldwide
recession, and Atlantis’s business suffered as a result. It may seem perverse then to have pressed
forward with ambitious plans for expansion, but as CIO Gay said,
While economic times may not be the best, these are good times in ter …
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