A few weeks ago we posted an article on traveling while plus. And, we got such an amazing response from folks telling us about their struggles. In fact, we were chatting with our own Aby Deal this week about the perils of traveling on airlines other than Southwest. It’s super important to be aware of your best options. We’ll be discussing weight discrimination in consumer markets during the Living Large Chicago event this weekend! But, we thought it might be a good idea to chat about some solutions, not just the problems. Have you heard of “The Resort?” The Resort is the only plus positive resort in the world where plus peeps are specifically catered to. We sat down with the owner, James, to discuss the resort. And, as you may have guessed, we’re already planning an excursion after our plus positive cruise! Unfortunately (well fortunately for The Resort), they are booked SOLID for the next year, which is amazing! You can find out more information about them HERE. Let’s chat with James about how this all came about!
Bold Magazine: James, your videos and advertising for “The Resort” are fantastic. But, if we don’t have the time to watch that amazing documentary, can you give us a brief few line advert for your resort?
James: There are two videos. One is a full length documentary and the other is a very short TV clip. We have created a safe haven for people of size, and others, to be free of any outside judgments and be able to be completely ‘ ‘normal’ in some cases for the first time in their life.
Bold Magazine: We recently found you on Facebook. How else are you getting the word out to the plus uinvierse about The Resort?
James: The Resort has been featured in two major TV documentaries. One shown in the United States and the other aired in Europe. The Resort has also been featured in over 150 major international publications including CNN Travel, People, BET, New York Post and others.
Bold Magazine: Wow! Amazing! We noticed there’s a ton of self discovery and growth going on during the evening activities. What do you focus on?
James: Most of what you saw in the documentary was what happens naturally at The Resort. They just choose to film some of it in the evening after dinner. I have never found the need to organize anything specific as it just happens.
Bold Magazine: Very cool! Does an a vacationer have to participate in that?
James: They are free to do as they please at The Resort.
James: The Resort in the Bahamas only does small groups for a 6 day stay. The new The Resort Foundation, Inc. will focus on couples and individuals with no stay limits or requirements. In the Bahamas the rate per person usually works out less than a cruise but depends on the size of your group.
Bold Magazine: We love the story on why you began this resort. Tell us about it.
James: The idea started 17 years ago when I saw a resort guest go right through a beach chair in front of God and everyone else.
I knew we in the hospitality industry could do better. I spent my life savings over about 14 years developing all the fixtures and fittings to create a resort suitable for people of size that did not look like a fat farm institution.
Countless banks, friends and possible investors all refused to provide any support whatsoever. So I did it with my wife’s blessings.
Bold Magazine: Love the tenacity! We’ve seen some recent news about some big projects you’re working on. Can you give us a little preview?
James: I am doing some consulting work with a cruise line, major hotel/casino and a few others.
I also established a nonprofit Foundation to raise the funds to open another one here in the States. [Editor’s Note: The Facebook page for that new foundation can be found HERE.]
Bold Magazine: Super cool! What’s your grand vision for your impact in the Plus Universe?
James: My grand vision is to get the hospitality industry, and others, to recognize the needs of over 40% of the American population without judgment. Seems the only way to do this is to lead by example and hope they follow.
Bold Magazine: Tell us a positive story. We love those!
James: One thing I never get tired of is watching someone take their shirt off, in so many cases for the first time in their life, and do a cannonball.
Bold Magazine: Yes! Lastly, James, what makes you and the resort BOLD?
James: The people. Listening to individual stories and watching them do things they never thought would be possible. That is The Resort.