The well-known Hotel Numbi & Garden Suites in Hazyview, Mpumalanga celebrates its fiftieth year of existence in 2013.

Built and opened by the Fick family in 1963, this country-style three star establishment today has 22 rooms, 38 garden suites and accommodates 40 caravans in its luxury caravan park.

Its conference venue can accommodate up to 200 delegates and the large, modern chapel on the property was opened in 2008.

Owner Willem Fick says the property is situated on a farm that was bought by his family. When it opened its doors it was called the Numbi Motel, a popular stop within 10 minutes from the Kruger National Park. Renovations and extensions led to the opening of the hotel in 1968.

Today the hotel caters for international and local guests, individual travellers and groups, and special events.

Fick says the Numbi, which never left the hands of his family in the five decades of its operations, has done business under a series of different bylaws, laws and industry regulations over the years.

“We remember the days when liquor licences played a fundamental part in a hotel’s operations, where one had to have a so-called ladies’ bar and a separate public bar. Also, it was only in 1969 that one could apply for international status, which meant ‘non-white’ guests were welcome, albeit on very specific terms!”

He says he believes the success of the Numbi can be attributed, to a large extent, to its particularly low staff turnover. “We have a number of employees who have been with us for more than 20 years, and one for 40. In many cases, the children of retired employees now work for the Numbi.”

Fick has called on similar businesses to contact him. “Our intention is to form the ‘Hospitality Golden Circle’ – an association of any type of hospitality business that has been owned and managed by the same family for fifty years or more. We believe we have a lot of experiences to share and much to learn from one another. Such properties have unique characteristics, on which we should build.

“We intend to formalise the golden circle over the next couple of months and to convene regularly thereafter to assist new family businesses, but also to explore joint marketing avenues.”