Hotel Online  Special Report

 
Sceptre Brings Personalized, Channel-Management
Expertise To Urban, Boutique Market
Boutique Hotel Management Group LLC teams with e-distribution expert for its two New York hotels:
Hotel 41 and Manhattan Seaport Suites

DENVER, COLO. — April 13, 2004 — Sceptre, a global reservations distribution and channel management/advisory services company for the vacation ownership and hotel/resort markets, has been tapped by Boutique Hotel Management Group LLC to provide e-distribution services to its Hotel 41 at Times Square and Manhattan Seaport Suites hotels.

“Connectivity is connectivity, but channel management is ‘cha-ching’,” said Manhattan Seaport Suites General Manager Rani Carr. ”Any number of suppliers can take care of distribution, but only Sceptre personalizes our e-distribution strategy to such an extent that they actually anticipate our needs before we even need to ask for assistance.”

With 56 guestrooms and suites at the Manhattan Seaport Suites property located in the downtown financial district and 47 units at Hotel 41 at Times Square in Midtown, Carr said she does not have the luxury to dedicate all her time to revenue management and e-distribution concerns. With Sceptre on board, however, her time previously spent in these areas is freed up, and she can now concentrate on doing the things she should be doing – namely taking care of guests.

“Before I have the opportunity to even second-guess if new rates need to be entered or a promotion needs to be posted, our dedicated Strategic Distribution Manager, Eric Gourdie, has already gone ahead and completed the task for me,” Carr said. “If we need something done, Sceptre does it with no lag time or multiple requests. They even do things before we ask. It’s like having a full-time revenue manager right on our property.”

Previously Carr worked at BHG’s corporate headquarters as a revenue manager.  While the management company’s portfolio was different at that time, representation among the global-distribution systems was still in need. Carr said in that role, she had the opportunity to work with several of Sceptre’s competitors. 

“It’s night and day,” she said. “Sceptre provides unparalleled channel management, customer support and marketing services. I knew we needed to partner with an e-distribution expert who could get us results and provide us with support when we needed it. Only Sceptre fit the bill.”

Consulting Is Key

Connie Rheams, Sceptre Managing Director, Business Development and Marketing, said Sceptre continues to grow its presence in urban markets among independent and branded hotels because of the properties’ need for revenue-management and channel-advisory assistance.  Staffing is an issue at these properties, she said, and the knowledge it takes to manage a complex e-distribution strategy is oftentimes lacking. There are so many components involved in an effective strategy that hotels have a difficult time keeping everything organized. In addition, having the right type of resources available also is a problem.  Hoteliers may have a revenue manager, but that person is focused on different priorities; he or she doesn’t have the time to keep up on the rapid changes that occur in the electronic distribution environment.

“Sceptre has been helping hotels maximize revenues, increase market share and improve profitability for many years – yet it is one of the industry’s best kept secrets,” Rheams said. “Until now, no one really understands fully what Sceptre brings to the table—from technology to consultancy. We match services to clients instead of forcing clients to conform to programs that may not meet their own unique needs. It is this point of difference that separates Sceptre from the myriad of other providers in the marketplace.  Our unique service approach is gaining market recognition and the decision by BHG to partner with us is a great testimony to this.”

Up and Coming Urban legend

BHG, a recognized leader in the boutique hotel market, provides hotel management, asset management, consulting and brokerage services for hospitality. The company is built on the unified vision of its employees: To deliver service, quality and value to its guests, as well as financial performance to its owners and clients. 

“To be successful in any business today, you need reliable business partners,” said William Howell, BHG Chairman. “When BHG began the process of looking for an e-distribution partner, we knew we needed more than just technology. What we wanted was seamless GDS connectivity, Internet travel site connections, bookings and call center representation. What we needed was greater visibility in the marketplace and improved inventory management. What we found was a partner that consults and advises on rates, which Web sites or channels to pursue, and generally on ‘revenue management’. We commend Rani Carr in selecting a partner who will help drive more top-line revenue for BHG, and for the owners of the hotels we manage.”

About BHG
Founded in 1999, Boutique Hotel Group LLC continues to focus on expansion through new management opportunities in select markets, specializing in three and four star properties with up to 300 guestrooms.  Their goal is to serve a select group of clients -- placing their interests above all else -- at all times, acting with discretion, integrity and an uncompromising sense of responsibility to owners.  The BHG management concept / formula is modeled after the fine European boutique hotels -- a classic building (often historic) in a prime location, offering highly personalized service, distinctive decor and a good value to customers.  The approach avoids excessive glitz and glamour, in favor of giving guests a little more than they expect, while remaining focused on the fundamentals.  BHG properties reflect the personal style and preferences of their guests.  Well-crafted furnishings, art and handsome fabrics, mingle with original elements like hardwood floors, balconies, exposed staircases and original details.  All have high quality amenities and services. For more information on BHG, visit www.boutiquehg.com.

About Sceptre
Since 1987, Sceptre has helped chains, management companies and independent hotels and resorts increase their sales and profits through GDS representation, private-label voice reservations and consulting services. Sceptre provides electronic distribution power and expertise previously reserved for branded or franchised hotels, with state-of-the-art reservations technology and a strong commitment to customer service and support. Sceptre is a division of SWAN Inc., a multi-service company focused on the hospitality industry. Sceptre’s sister division, Richfield Hospitality Inc., provides a full complement of successful management services to a broad range of limited-service, full-service and resort hotels. Swan Inc. is headquartered in Denver with approximately 1,000 employees. The company's shareholders include City e-Solutions Limited (CES) listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc, a U.K.-based company listed on the London Stock Exchange, operating 91 hotels worldwide.

Contact:

Connie Rheams
Managing Director
Sceptre
crheams@esceptre.com
940-497-5300
http://www.esceptre.com
http://www.Richfield.com

Rani Carr, General Manager
Manhattan Seaport Suites Hotel
rcarr@boutiquehg.com
212/742-0003

Barb Worcester, President
PRPRO
barbw@prproconsulting.com
440-930-5770

Also See: Sceptre Hotels Increase E-Bookings By More Than 130 Percent / April 2004
Sceptre’s Destination Resort and Vacation Ownership Portfolio Grows / September 2003
Sceptre Strengthens Positioning; Hires Connie Rheams To Lead Effort / September 2003
Resort Market Taps Sceptre For Its Proven Reservations Reach / April 2003
Sceptre Partners With Blizzard Internet To Strengthen Client Web Sites, Online Traffic / March 2003
Switch To Sceptre Has Hoteliers Reaping Revenue Rewards / Nov 2002
Switch to Sceptre Sees Soar in Reservations Bookings for Santa Fe Accommodations / July 2002
Mark Ozawa Named Vice President - SOLVE; Will Lead SWAN’s Application Service Provider Network / June 2001


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