The Commercial Center give home-owners and visitors access to amenities within The Jolly Harbour Marina Village, such as a supermarket, banks, pharmacy, restaurants and small shops selling everything from water-sports products to hardware items to clothing and accessories. CDAL will be featuring tenants and business operators in our quarterly newsletters and in this issue we introduce “Horizon Yacht Charters”.
Horizon Yacht Charters was founded in 1988 by Andrew Thompson and Sylvia Driver. They first opened their doors to charter guests in Tortola, BVI and quickly became known as a top-tier charter company offering value for money, outstanding customer service and immaculately maintained yachts.
This base was followed by the opening of the Horizon Grenada base – with James and Jacqui Pascall at the helm. In 2003, the idea of opening a third base was born and Antigua was cited as the perfect location; beautiful beaches, consistent trade winds and the opportunity to sail blue water passages to other Caribbean islands as well as exploring the beauty of Antigua & Barbuda.
Alastair and Jackie Ashford are the operators of Horizon in Antigua. With a background in advertising and marketing, combined with a passion for racing one design yachts, Alastair and Jackie moved from their permanent home in the UK and Board positions with major Ad Agencies, to take on the challenge of a new business venture. They swapped their corporate suits for Horizon T-shirts and the venture began.
The base opened in November 2003 with just three boats and a full time team of three.
From those early days of start-up, the base grew to a fleet of 15 yachts in 2007/8 before the global financial crisis. Since then, they have maintained a fleet of 10/11 privately-owned charter yachts offering term charters to guests from as far afield as the US, Canada, South America, Russia, the UK and Europe. They operate year-round with all of their personnel out of Jolly Harbour Marina.
Their marketing dollars are channeled outside of Antigua through the use of digital marketing, press advertising, boat shows, PR and relationship marketing.
The team has grown to a full time team of six loyal personnel; covering roles as diverse as sales, marketing, reservations, technical and customer service. “Our team is dedicated to the provision of a quality charter experience for each of our guests. They bring professionalism and humour to every situation”. In addition, Horizon uses the services of quality craftsmen around the island for a number of services not covered in-house. “The support we have enjoyed over the years from suppliers and craftsmen around the island have been a major factor in being able to deliver high standards of service to our guests”.
As for the future, their ambition to grow the Antigua base remains as constant as ever whilst continuing to provide a rewarding working environment for the team. The Horizon Group continues to grow with other bases opened in St Martin, Annapolis (US) and further base openings in the US planned for 2012.