The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for setting goals and determining the best way to achieve those objectives. Members of HOTEL MANAGEMENT’s newest Thirty Under 30 class shared with us what their priorities are in 2017 and how they plan on hitting those targets.
That is what hospitality is all about, and that is the kind of positive experience that I want to provide to my guests every single day of the year, even if it’s only for one person. It’s one person that won’t forget what you did for them long after they’ve checked out.
Jacob Lebowitz, director of design & construction, DelMonte Hotel Group: The urbanization of the suburbs through the development of mixed-use lifestyle centers is an attractive trend for hotel developers and brands alike. These projects demand a hotel product that is relevant to a specific demographic and uniquely positioned to take advantage of a variety of offerings from the community.
My 2017 hospitality resolution is to integrate an existing urban-focused lifestyle brand into a suburban development. Brands such as AC Hotels, Aloft, Canopy and Moxy already fit seamlessly into many urban centers but could naturally adapt to a suburban development that can match their progressive values and stylish aesthetics.
Pavel Sandoval, guest experience manager-leadership, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Orlando: My resolution is to frame my decision-making around the guest experience more through the lens of a destination-based experience. Especially in a market where supply in the luxury sector is growing, differentiation solely on amenities is no longer the end all be all.
This past year I’ve seen the continued surge of alternative home-sharing options and the push to be closer to the community and experiences that make a trip memorable. Convenience to the experiences that matter in a luxurious setting is my focus, underscoring not only the vast array of experiential offerings already available, but the ease at which they can seamlessly come together.
Better Business Intelligence
Expanding the Conversation
Davonne Reaves, asset management associate, CHMWarnick: 2017 resolution: Elevate the discussion of industry health to include revenue and expense growth. As an industry, we continue to focus on [revenue per available room] as a leading the barometer of performance. As an asset manager, a discussion of revenue absent expenses tells you nothing about the health of the industry nor the profit potential of a given hotel. I plan to accomplish this by continued collaboration with our asset management and property teams and highlighting the balance between revenue growth and the need to implement changes to the operating model today, to optimize performance in the new year.
Angela Wu, director of revenue management, W New York – Downtown: My 2017 hospitality resolution is to learn to use Tableau and also to learn Python, a programming language often used for data analysis. Having the ability to leverage big data and using data-visualization tools to deliver business insights are two key skills that will make me a more valuable contributor to the hospitality industry and will better my practice of revenue management.
Justin Grimes, director of operations, Kennebunkport Resort Collection: My hospitality resolution is to find thoughtful and effective ways for our hotel company to give back to our community. It is just as important to be an industry leader as it is to be a community leader. We’re in the business of delivering extraordinary experiences to our guests—so we should take this same approach with those who are in need.
Hospitality brings people together and I believe that service is something that we all possess intrinsically. We can provide meals to those who are hungry, vacation-like experiences to those in despair and a helping hand to those dealing with life’s burdens. I plan to connect with local organizations whose goals are aligned with ours and find ways that we can use our collective manpower to make a difference. HM
Capitalizing on rapid growth on Dream Hotels’ agenda
Giving guests what they want is a priority for Dream Hotels, according to Rachel Feit, the company's director of digital marketing.
“My hospitality marketing resolutions are to identify new ways to introduce the growing Dream Hotels brand to prospective guests around the world and build our suite of guest-experience-management tools,” she said. “Dream Hotels is rapidly growing—both domestically and internationally. Therefore, in 2017, audience development and acquisition will be at the forefront of our marketing strategy. Through new distribution channels, digital platforms, off-site activations and original content, we will reach new people in new markets and cultivate strong relationships—which then helps create brand loyalty, the bread and butter of our business.”
Exceeding guests’ expectations is another item on the company’s to-do list in 2017.
“At Dream Hotels, we will continue to stay nimble, adapt and listen to our guests,” Feit said. “As a lifestyle brand, we know that our guests want more than a comfortable mattress, and that’s exactly what we’re going to give them in 2017.”