Croatian Returnee Buys Hotel to Provide Free Holidays for His Employees

By 13 March 2023

March the 13th, 2023 - One Croatian returnee from America has invested a huge sum of money into a hotel which will be used for free holidays for the employees of his three Sisak-based companies.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian returnee Darko Matt Sertic is breathing life back into an area in which the massif of Velebit plunges down into the sea. Jablanac, a place in which around fifty people live without a local school or a shop, but which does have a post office, a church, is home to a hotel like no other in Croatia. This hotel's guests, believe it or not, stay there for free.

Darko decided on making such a move way even before he bought it, and he had spent literal years looking for a facility where the workers from his three Sisak companies could come and spend their holidays without having to pay one single cent, tportal writes.

"I do it out of pure selfishness, if you like. If you want a good and prosperous company with happy employees, you have to provide them with some basic things - paid travel expenses, hot meals, and you can even throw in a nice holiday, too. You have to help them out with what is affecting their family budget a little more. That's how you keep hold of them. In addition, you'll attract new, smarter people than you to come and work for you. Then you can step aside a little and say - great, less obligations for me,'' 66-year-old Croatian returnee Sertic explained.

He bought the Ablana Hotel with its 26 rooms two years ago. It was built back during the second half of the 90s and was operational as a normal hotel until 2010, when it was left at the mercy of vandals and the cruel hands of time. It sadly turned into an abandoned, ghost hotel, joining a series of abandoned tourist facilities dotted along the Croatian coast that are decaying in silence as the years pass and the elements take their toll.

"The hotel was in a terrible state, I was simply blown away. It was overgrown with weeds and wild animals lived in it, and the rooms were toilets for the people swimming on the nearby beach. It was just awful! But in America they teach you that even that "awful" can be turned into something good. Everything can be fixed, except the location. When something is in an excellent location, then it makes sense for you to work hard on it,'' explained Sertic.

He learned his priceless American entrepreneurial wisdom during the last 40 years he spent living and working across the pond. As a young man, Sertic moved away from his native Sisak to the USA in the mid-80s. He got a job in Silicon Valley and founded Applied Ceramics back in 1994. Its main business is the production of components for the chip industry, and its clients are the world's largest manufacturers, such as Intel, Samsung, Philips and Taiwan's TSMC, just to name a few.

He opened a plant in Sisak back in 2008, in the institute building of the former Zeljezara (ironworks). Three years after that, he started the international culinary academy Kul In, and in 2014, Pisak, the first business incubator in all of Croatia created based on a private initiative. This doggedly determined Croatian returnee did not stop there, either, and in 2018, he started the production of solar modules in his company Sunceco.

Here in Croatia, Sertic employs around 200 people. With them in mind, as well as is desire to provide internships for the participants of his culinary school during the summer, he started looking for a hotel or resort by the sea, and that's how this extremely generous idea came to be.

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