Maybe, Maybe Not
David M. Brudney, ISHC, May 2002
All across America, operators are becoming more and more interested in group business. Why? Because far too many hotels and resorts have seen their core business - - commercial transient and leisure - - nearly disappear.
The past 18-month decline in commercial transient and leisure room nights has caused more and more hotels and resorts to take a new look at groups as a new and perhaps even safer core business.
Whether right or wrong, there appears to be a growing perception amongst hoteliers that group business is a more stable, recession-proof market segment, and given the current business cycle together with the ever-present threat of a 9/11 repeat, now’s the time to replace past dependency on business and leisure travelers.
Historically, groups account for nearly one-third of U.S. hotel and resort captured room nights but business mix numbers are changing today as more and more smaller, limited service hotels look to “group up” by becoming more proactive in the group market.
Good Reasons for Contemplating Groups
There are valid reasons behind this change in business mix shift. After all, haven’t we seen enough over the past 12 months of significant declines in weekday business travelers and weekend leisure guests? Innkeepers from Maine to Malibu and Savannah to Seattle have done everything possible to build back those two critical market segments. Everything’s been tried: discounting to adding value, e.g., breakfast included, last night free, complimentary shuttle/limo service, upgrades, special promotions and more giveaways. Frustrated, concerned over future demand, hungry to return to better days, operators are looking seriously now at trying their luck with groups.
Group business, the bread-and-butter of which being the 25 to 35 people, 15 to 20 room, 30 to 40 room night, midweek corporate groups, properly marketed and well-serviced, represent attractive benefits to be realized almost immediately:
A word of caution here is necessary. Before owners and operators add that 5,000 square foot conference center, join the local convention & visitors bureau or run an expensive ad in one of the meetings trade publications, here are some things to consider first:
In order to make a successful, seamless transition from a commercial transient and leisure-dependent hotel to a more group-dependent hotel, much more will be required.
David M. Brudney, ISHC, Principal
David Brudney & Associates
Carlsbad, CA 92009
760-476-0830 Fax 760-476-0860
Web Site: www.DavidBrudney.com
|Also See||America’s Front Desk Fights Back! / January 2002|
|Front Desk Fails To Catch America’s Hospitality Spirit / David Brudney ISHC / November 2001|
|A Very Good Time For That Sales Audit / David Brudney ISHC / Sept 2001|
|More Theater, Less Zombies / David Brudney ISHC / Dec 2000|
|It’s The Experience, Stupid! / David Brudney ISHC / Nov 2000|
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