Hotel Online  Special Report

Graves 601 Hotel Empowers Consumers with First in Industry
“Place a Bid!” Room Rate Opportunity


Minneapolis, Minn. -- (May 26, 2009)-- In an effort to attract consumers and increase sales at the 255-room Graves 601 Hotel, the management team recently implemented an industry-leading initiative which allows patrons to directly utilize the hotel’s website to place an online bid price for the duration of their stay prior to making a reservation. “The economy is in flux and we recognize that people are spending less now than they have in the past. This online bidding system empowers consumers and positively engages them in choosing where to spend their dollars,” explained Ben Graves, president of Graves World Hospitality, the company that owns and manages the Graves 601 Hotel.

The “PLACE A BID!” option drives consumer traffic to the Graves 601 Hotel website by providing an opportunity to secure a room rate at a price that fits their budget. Patrons simply select their ideal dates of stay and then enter a bid amount for those nights. If the bid falls within the hotel’s predetermined range of acceptability, the reservation is automatically confirmed. “By offering this directly, we pass savings on directly to our guests. We allow the market to tell us where the room rate should be,” explained Scott Fischburg vice president, sales and marketing for GWH.

For the creation of the “PLACE A BID!” online feature, The Graves 601 Hotel teamed with Open Hospitality, an Internet marketing company. “When Graves approached us about this possibility, we immediately thought it made perfect sense and was well timed with the marketplace,” explained Chris Wichers, executive vice president of Open Hospitality. “This is an exciting solution for an independent hotel to implement. It is very innovative to personalize the booking transaction directly to consumers in this way,” he added. The Graves 601 Hotel sales team, in conjunction with Open Hospitality, plans to continuously hone and improve the online room bidding system in response to evolving consumer needs and expectations.

Consumer response supports the philosophy that fueled this sales initiative. Within the first seven days of a soft launching of the “PLACE A BID!” feature on the Graves 601 website, 73 reservation bids were placed and over 49% of those were accepted. Additional comments placed by one bidder regarding a family reunion led the sales team to secure a potential group sale including meeting space and food and beverage.

If the “PLACE A BID!” sales initiative continues on its anticipated path of success, Graves Hospitality plans to implement it on the websites of the other hotels it either owns or manages, including two projects under construction in Manhattan and Brooklyn and a newly opened hotel in the city of Celebration, FL.

About the Graves 601 Hotel
Since 2003, the 255-room Graves 601 Hotel Minneapolis has defined sophisticated modern luxury in the Twin Cities’ hotel market. This flagship hotel has earned the Graves World Hospitality organization many awards, including designation as one of the World’s Best Business Hotels by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, Best Roll Out Concept Hotel by Hospitality Design, the Gold List Reserve of Top Hotels in the World by Condé Nast Traveler, and three Gold Key awards from Interior Design and Hospitality Design. The Graves 601 Hotel Minneapolis and Cosmos Restaurant have each earned a Four-Diamond AAA rating, making Graves 601 the only establishment in the Upper Midwest (outside of Chicago) to receive two top ratings for both its luxury hotel accommodations and fine-dining experience.

About Graves World Hospitality
Graves World Hospitality (GWH) offers full-scale development and management services to luxury independent and branded upscale hotels and resorts. Their development skills and comprehensive package of sales, marketing, distribution, human relations and other related services are honed from 30 years of industry success. Recognized as an industry leader, GWH has experience developing and managing over 90 hotels and is passionate about providing guests, associates and owners with an unparalleled level of service and expertise. GWH is proud that their hotels achieve the highest ratings and are awarded the highest levels of recognition within their respective brands and markets.

GWH member hotels are currently operating or under development in Minneapolis, MN; St. Cloud, MN; Racine, WI; La Cross WI; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Brooklyn, NY; Orlando, FL and Roatan, Honduras.

About Open Hospitality

Open Hospitality delivers a wide array of strategic online marketing solutions and accommodation booking options. The award-winning Internet marketing company focuses exclusively on hotels and hospitality verticals. The company helps independent hotels, groups and chains to raise online visibility, build market share and increase online reservations. Open Hospitality designs websites optimized for major search engines and creates high-impact email marketing campaigns. Its diverse client base of over 600 hotels in 38 countries includes some of the most renowned names in the hotel industry, including Helmsley Hotels in New York, Empire Hotel Group, Blakes Hotel in London, Warwick Hotels International, Graves Hospitality, Rock Resorts, and Noble House Hotels among others. The company is headquartered in New York and has offices in major cities including London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Anaheim, Miami and Dallas.
Contact: (212) 989-7227

Media Contacts:
Scott Fischburg, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Graves World Hospitality

Also See: Graves Hospitality Corporation Rebranding the Le Méridien Minneapolis to the Graves 601 Hotel Minneapolis; First Hotel to Fly the Graves Hotels.Resorts. Flag / July 2005

Le Méridien Minneapolis, First Fully Integrated Art + Tech Hotel in the U.S.; 255 Rooms Feature 42-inch Plasma TV Screens, General Manager is Robert Bormes / Nov 2002

The 42-Inch Plasma TVs in Le Meridien Minneapolis Guestrooms Just Part of Whiz-bang Tech Package / April 2003

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