in a New Business Environment
|by Brenda Fields, February 2004
During the past decade, dramatic changes have occurred on all levels in the hotel industry. Eight years of record occupancies, average rates, and profitability were followed by a dramatic drop in occupancy, rate and profitability. During that period, technology advanced to the stage that, now, business is conducted almost exclusively with computers, cell phones, and palm pilots, and can be orchestrated as effortlessly in the back seat of a cab-- anywhere in the world-- as in an office!
The cost effectiveness of technology, coupled with its global reach, has contributed to the new hotel environment. With the encouraging business outlook, hotels are now, more than ever, in a position to assess the new business environment and to establish a strategic business plan which incorporates these changes and are designed to grow and adapt to changing market conditions.
Technology has brought numerous advantages to conducting business, including servicing existing customers and in reaching new markets. But as a service industry, it is important to ensure that technology is used to enhance guest satisfaction, especially in the case of free-standing boutique hotels. One key factor that differentiates boutique hotels from large or chain affiliated hotels is its personalized service.
Therefore, in order to benefit from the many applications of technology
(i.e. reducing expenses, generating demand, and increasing guest satisfaction),
and to simultaneously maintain the personalized services characteristic
of boutique hotels, it is important for owners and managers to re-think
and evaluate the following key areas:
By fully exploiting the product distinctions of small boutique hotel and using technology wisely, owners and managers are well positioned to compete against the large chains to impact market share, minimize expenses, and generate profitability.
In her more than 20 years as a marketing and sales pro in the hospitality industry, Brenda G. Fields has emerged as the “go to” consultant for independent and/or privately owned hotels and resorts seeking real-world solutions for today’s market challenges.
From small boutique hotels to large convention properties, Brenda has created and implemented highly successful marketing and yield management programs that enable owners to achieve target results despite market conditions. Most notably, she helped a 1,400 mid-town Manhattan hotel realize 86% occupancy two years running in a depressed economy, resulting in the achievement of proforma and first place in market share out of 14 competitors. For a small, four-diamond property on Park Avenue, she helped turn-around declining sales resulting from increased competition from nearby chain-affiliated hotels through a restructuring of the sales department and effectively increased distribution channels to reach new markets.
With extensive expertise in pre-openings and repositionings, Brenda was responsible for the successful opening and stabilization of the Paramount Hotel in New York, for which she developed and executed a direct sales and yield management program in addition to a national and international marketing campaign. As a result, the strategies and structure she designed and implemented continue to be used as the prototype for new acquisitions by Ian Schrager Hotels.
With a “who’s who” roster of clients, Brenda has worked with a number of industry leaders and real estate investment companies including Starwood Lodging Corporation, Vornado Realty Trust and Planet Hollywood, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, Olympus Real Estate Corporation, Gotham Hotels and Apple Core Hotels, among others. Her growing consulting practice for independent properties includes clients such as The Kitano Hotel, New York; Founders Inn and Conference Center in Virginia Beach, VA; Woodlands Resort and Inn, Summerville, South Carolina; Bel Age Hotel, Los Angeles, CA; Mondrian Hotel, West Hollywood, CA; and many others, including international clients.
A native of Kentucky, Brenda holds a B.S. in Psychology and English from Murray State University. She lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and enjoys cooking and entertaining in her cottage in upstate New York.
This article is the property of Brenda G. Fields and cannot be reprinted or copied in part or whole without the written consent of Brenda G. Fields.
1011 Smithfield Road,
Millerton, NY 12546
|Also See:||Room Configuration - Are Your Rooms Configured for the Best and Highest Use? / Brenda Fields / January 2004|
|Direct Sales - What to Expect from Your Hotel Sales People and How to Get Results / Brenda Fields / August 2003|
|Boutique Hotels: How to Survive in a Down Market - Getting Back to Basics / Brenda Fields / May 2003|
|Industry Marketing Pro Brenda Fields Opens Consultancy Focusing on Independent Properties / January 2003|