We sat down with our esteemed lodging manager, Philip May, to find out about more about the man behind the British accent.
Where are you from?
I was born and grew up in a small town called South Molton in the county of North Devon. We call that part of England the Southwest.
You came into this world under some interesting circumstances, didn’t you?
The rumors are true: I was born above a pub. At the time of my birth, my parents were boarding (you call it “living” in your country) in a room above the Barnstaple Inn, which was a pub my mum’s parents owned and ran. It was what we call a free house: since it was not owned by a brewery my granddad could choose what beer he sold there.
They let out rooms (you call it “renting”), much like a Bed and Breakfast. My granddad William retired from serving 22 years in the British Navy; he saw active duty in the second World War. The one you blokes helped us win.
How long have you been Zoar Outdoor’s lodging manager?
I am the first and only lodging manager at Zoar. I moved into the lodge in March of 2004, and we opened for guests in June 2004.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I love doing my best to help our guests feel they are staying in a home away from home.
When you aren’t keeping all the guests comfortable and happy, what do you like to do with your free time?
I enjoy being outdoors in general, whether riding my bike or kayaking a local section of river.
Why do you like working at Zoar?
I truly love the area I live in. I enjoy the staff at Zoar and the many guests that come and stay here. I enjoy working with and for Karen and Bruce. I value what Zoar Outdoor stands for.
What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you in your current position as lodging manager?
Where to start? When people knock on my door, I believe many of them think that behind my door is an office or a front desk, rather than my apartment. The first summer I did not always lock my door. One night, around 12:45 am, I heard what I thought was a knock on my door. Before I could wake up, someone had walked into my apartment. I was still in bed. It was strange to have a person I had never met see me waking up! I said, “Pardon me, I need to wake up before I can help you.” They were as surprised as I was!
You’ve developed quite a reputation (a good one, that is) among Hawk Mountain Lodge guests. Any response to that?
I am a fun and happy bloke and enjoy helping people.
In the winter months when it snows I will get up early to clear the parking lot and driveway of snow. I will always clear the snow from the guests’ cars. I believe it’s about going that extra step. I truly enjoy seeing a happy customer.
You maintain a well-used guestbook, wherein you ask guests to review the local attractions. Now it’s your turn: what’s your favorite place to grab a bite to eat in the area?
The People’s Pint is as close as I have come to a pub in our area. The beer, food and cheer are local and real. The ginger ale is the best in the county.
Thanks for the interview, Philip! Tune in to the next newsletter for another edition of the Staff Spotlight.