By Peter Hopgood — Well, we made it!That’s what I said with a sigh of relief when all was done with the filming of the Travel Channel show “Sand Masters” at Outrigger on the Lagoon – Fiji in early February. It all started a month earlier when Nancy Daniels in the Outrigger Corporate Public Relations (PR) office emailed me an introduction to the producer of the show. They were looking for a unique and exotic spot to film an upcoming episode of this popular television show, and we thought this would be a unique and fun way to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Outrigger Hotels and Resorts while garnering publicity for the hotel and destination.
All went smoothly as the planning and arrangements were made, and then the crew arrived on island and “Mother Nature” decided to throw a few curveballs our way with the threat of a tropical cyclone, massive rain and probably the worst weather I have experienced in my two years in Fiji. But the Sand Masters persisted and prevailed, and at the end of the week-long visit, we had a wonderful celebration of the 65th anniversary of Outrigger Hotels and Resorts to share with our staff and guests – and now with the world with the recent broadcast of the show to nearly 80 million viewers in the US and Europe.
Because the show films a couple of months in advance, we were asked not to publicize their visit until after the initial broadcast. Our show – titled “Sand Masters -The Firewalkers of Fiji” – just aired on May 6 and will be rebroadcast throughout the season. If you missed it, I’ve included a number of photos from the “reveal.” You also can enjoy several segments from the show online at: http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/sand-masters/episodes/thefirewalkersoffiji.
An event of this magnitude cannot get done without the help and support of many. First of all, thank you to Nancy in the Corporate PR office for providing us this opportunity to work with the Sand Masters, and thank you to Kini Sarai, our Activities Manager! Not only was Kini the star of the show, but he also was the official tour guide, cultural advisor, recruitment manager and kava maker! Kini was ably assisted by Koroi Suguta and Basil Navori.