Some of the distinctive features of this property include: a fitness center, business center, a 500 square foot meeting room, Express Start complimentary breakfast, free wireless internet, complimentary local shuttle, free parking, and valet dry cleaning services. The HIE is located at the intersection of three cities (Duluth, Alpharetta, and Suwannee) and is directly in the center of the Johns Creek business district. We were told that 90% of their business is from business travelers and the majority of occupants are men. The typical room rate for a standard room during the week, which is considered to be Sunday through Thursday, is $104.
95. This rate is reduced to $84. 95 on the weekends, which include Friday and Saturday only. The hotel is franchised and therefore follows the strict guidelines of Intercontinental Hotels Group. They are ranked monthly and scored on a number of different categories and this is how they benchmark themselves against other hotels. Next we talked to the General Manager, Amanda Anderson, about the structure of their staffing. Being that this is a small property the staffing of the hotel is quite simplistic and looks like this: Owner General Manager Director of Sales
Front Desk Housekeeping Maintenance The owner is named Aashay Patel and he franchises the hotel from IHG hotels. He has an office at the property and is more involved than most owners typically tend to be. Although he is not necessarily involved in the entire daily decision making he does have a hand in different issues that arise. Mr. Patel also generally attends the monthly staff meetings with the front desk, which we found interesting as most owners are not directly involved. Next there is the position of General Manager which is held by Amanda Anderson.
Her responsibilities encompass running the daily operations of this property. She is responsible for the staffing of employees, guest relations, and dealing with vendors and anyone else involved in the hotel business. She explained to us that her position is very hands on and that it is not uncommon for her to have to roll up her sleeves and clean a room. She also said that because there are only six front desk agents there have been many times where she has had to cover the front desk as well. It was explained to us that because this is a smaller property it is run much different than the larger hotels.
Mrs. Anderson stated that employees are empowered to make decisions they feel necessary and are involved in all aspects of the way the hotel is run. Her job description is vague and as she put it is simply to make sure the hotel runs smoothly day to day, even if that means getting a call at four in the morning and having to go up to the hotel. The director of Sales is Don Woodfork and his responsibilities simply are to sell the hotel. HE deals with group arrangements, selling the meeting room, and going on sales calls to local businesses to try and negotiate rates.
The next department is the front desk and they are the ones who see the guest the most and are therefore the heart of the hotels operations. Like I stated earlier there are only six front desk employees to cover the twenty-one shifts per week. They are empowered to do whatever they feel is necessary to leave the guest feeling very satisfied with his or her stay. There is also a housekeeping staff that consists of five housekeepers. They are held to very high standards and clean on average sixteen rooms a day. They also recently hired an executive housekeeper to make sure that all rooms are above and beyond clean.
Lastly they have a maintenance man who works Monday through Friday. He has a very busy job and is responsible for all maintenance issues of the hotel. Mrs. Anderson finished the walk thorough of the hotel by explaining to us that since the hotel is so small the staff is like a family and are all empowered and trusted to satisfy each and every guest above their expectations. Everyone has preferences when traveling, and the IHG is using highly personalized statements to satisfy guests needs and retain long-term relationships along after checkout.
In 2006, the company conducted the largest marketing research study in the hotel industry. They surveyed 14,000 travelers in the U. S. , Europe, and Asia. The finding suggested that consumers perceived the hospitality category as sameness. Thus, the company began to engage consumers by increasing degree of personalization. For example, the company decided to recast Holiday Inn Select to meet the needs of the brand-conscious, peer-focused, tech- savvy Generation X traveler.
InterContinental Hotels Group hopes to begin construction on the first of these new Holiday Inn Select properties in Atlanta in 2006 and grow the brand to a total of 200 properties in airport, urban, and secondary markets by 2010. Holiday Inn Select hotels already offer brand-savvy guests items like Garden Botanika bath amenities, Wolfgang Puck coffee, Moen showerheads, and FedEx/Kinkos Online DocStores. With the additions of free high-speed Internet access, free Wi-Fi, and new iHome MP3 clock radios in every room, Select Inn will satisfy the Gen-X need for technology and convenience.
Elements of Feng Shui will be applied throughout the buildings architecture and room design to tailor the hotels interiors to the Gen X lifestyle and create a balanced stay experience. Another great example of personalization is Hotel Indigo. The IHG allows owners of its hotels to interpret what Hotel Indigo is all about, so the hotel looks and feels different from city to city. To capture the attention of younger generation travelers, Holiday Inn Hotels announced the introduction of a line of vintage tees inspired by the brands iconic heritage.
The shirts tap into hotel lingo with catchphrase like Do Not Disturb, and Sleep with the Best. The company believes that the vintage tees are a way for them to take their current guests down memory lane, while introducing its brand to new fashion forward travelers in an engaging and fun way. Another trend of IHG is Priority Club Rewards, the guest loyalty program of IHG. It offers the greatest ease of use and features more sought-after benefits, including Points Transfer, Points Purchase, no blackout dates on Reward Nights, and no point expiration.
Additionally, members have the option to stay at virtually any hotel, even competitors properties, with Any Hotel, Anywhere reward. Members can also redeem points for airline miles on more than 40 partner airlines, for auto rentals, on hundreds of products and for dining and retail gift certificates. Priority Club Rewards is also the only guest loyalty program that offers members a Personal Shopper, a program that allows members to exchange their points for items not found in the Reward catalog, including hart to get or exclusive gifts for friends and family.