Hotel Management: As the hotel industry shifts into 2015, in regard to the overall operations of hotels, what do you perceive to be your biggest opportunity?
VS: In 2015, the biggest opportunity for me will be working on multiple hotels with different brands. I am also working with a team towards delivering a new "lifestyle" brand to the market in the near future. It is extremely exciting to be a part of a team on the cutting edge of the industry.
HM: In regard to the operations of hotels, what do you perceive to be your biggest challenge?
VS: The hotel industry is certainly consumer led and it is critical for hotels to find the balance between the brand and consumer needs. The biggest challenge from an operations standpoint will be ensuring that the staff can deliver exceptional service in order to differentiate themselves from every other hotel in the market. Effective leadership and training is the key to a successful operation.
HM: As it relates to technology in 2015, what hotel service or amenity do you believe will most surprise and wow hotel guests?
VS: It is critical for hotels to be up to date as it relates to technology. The consumer wants a "residential" experience as it relates to television. Wow the guest with quality, size and functionality as it relates to the television. The age of renting a $15.99 movie on a hotel television will soon disappear. Guest want to sync their phones or devices to the television to watch movies.
HM: What goals has your hotel company set forth in 2015 to make sure it is improving the overall guest experience?
VS: PM Hospitality Strategies will improve the overall guest experience in 2015 by continuing to think strategically. We all stand by several basic strategies in order to continue to grow and be successful: Know our guests, attract and retain loyal associates who excel, understand and respond to our market, outperform our competition, use technology to our advantage and actively participate in the communities in which we do business.
HM: As it relates to technology and hotel operations, where will the majority of your attention be placed in 2015 and what will be your biggest cost?
VS: As the new hotel openings project manager for the company, I need to ensure that we are on the cutting edge of technology. Technology is ever changing. A new project can take a year or more to build, and it is important to not just focus on the current brand standards, but the future ones as well. For example, IP based televisions and green friendly applications can be a large cost at first, but the ROI far outweighs the cost in the long run.