Sun City's retail operations manager Crawford Day has worked for 5-star properties around the world. Picture: supplied.
Sun City's retail operations manager Crawford Day has worked for 5-star properties around the world. Picture: supplied.

Sun City's Crawford Day gets candid on shooting ’Blended’ movie and that 2018 storm

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Oct 22, 2021

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Crawford Day, Sun City's retail operations manager, has worked for 5-star properties around the world, including New York, London, and Bermuda.

He returned to South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup to help with a new hotel. He quickly became the food beverage manager at The Palace of the Lost City in Sun City.

During his career with the famed attraction, he worked as the Sun Central and Valley of Waves operations manager and now oversees the operation of tenants, retail and the Valley of Waves.

The qualified scuba dive master fondly remembers how it felt shooting the acclaimed movie Blended, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

“We filmed the movie Blended over three months. The hotel was still fully operational during this time. We would serve dinner in the Crystal Court until 11pm and turn the restaurant into a movie set from midnight until 5am.

“After 5am, we would reset for breakfast for our normal guests at 6am and start all over again. This went on for three weeks. It was a great insight into how movies are made," he said.

He also recollected the hail/snowstorm Sun City experienced in December 2018. The storm flooded the entire Sun Central and associated properties and caused enormous damage.

"Another movie set? No, this one was real-life drama," he said.

Day has a busy day as he juggles meetings with tenants and managing activities at Valley of Waves.

He fell in love with the hospitality industry when he worked as a barman in East London at the age of 16.

“I attended hotel school and worked as a part-time student at Fish River Sun in 1991. I was drawn to the food and beverage department for its wide range of products and the creativity of the chefs and bartenders.

“Working long hours under extreme pressure created work relationships that you do not find in other industries. Serving the last dessert at the end of dinner service or a gala dinner for a thousand people has an instant feeling of reward and accomplishment. Every day is different and presents new challenges and goals," he said.

Day is a hands-on leader and involves members in operational decisions. “I have always had an open-door policy for all my team members and do not believe in micromanaging, but I do enjoy having a ‘hands on’ approach in the operation

"Seeing team members grow and flourish in this decade at Sun City has been among my most rewarding experiences," he added.

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