Above Property Services (APS) delivers intuitive, powerful, scalable, and flexible Hotel In A Box solution to create opportunities and improve outcomes for people with disabilities

NAPLES, FL (MAY 25, 2022)  The Shepherd Hotel is more than an up-and-coming hospitality brand. It’s an inspirational, purpose-driven company committed to providing exceptional guest experiences while changing the lives of an under-engaged portion of the population. The property has selected Above Property Services (APS™) as their technology partner to deliver an integrated, easy-to-use CRM and PMS designed to simplify hotel operations and create an empowered, inclusionary workplace.

The first hotel, which opens this Spring in Clemson, South Carolina, is expected to employ over 40 individuals with intellectual disabilities between the hotel and restaurant operations, constituting about 40 percent of the entire hospitality team.  The hotel is partnering with Clemson University’s LIFE program by providing hospitality training and gainful employment to students and alumni.  

Rick Hayduk, a seasoned luxury hotel leader with over 30 years of experience, was inspired to create The Shepherd Hotel brand in honor of his daughter, Jamison, who has Down syndrome. With the help of Rich Davies, a third-generation real estate developer and involved Clemson alum, The Shepherd Hotel was created to positively impact the lives of others, specifically, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who industries like hospitality have historically overlooked.

To bring this idea to life, The Shepherd Hotel needed to find a technology solution that not only offered a simple yet powerful user experience but could also offer seamless implementation during periods of growth. Powered by microservices architecture, Above Property’s Hotel In A Box solution is completely customizable, easy to use, and provides unlimited scalability, making APS the perfect partner to bring this new but extraordinary concept to the hospitality industry.

“The Shepherd Hotel is an extraordinary place,” shares Hayduk. “By working with local universities that have inclusionary post-secondary programs, we stand to have an incredible impact on the employment outcomes for people with disabilities. To make this concept a reality, we knew technology would be the key to success. By streamlining the operational tasks associated with hospitality roles, such as guest check-in at the front desk and minimizing keystrokes required to accomplish key tasks, we open up the industry to notoriously underserved members of the population that can be incredible additions to the workforce.”

When vetting prospective solutions, Hayduk noted that the focus was on selecting a vendor that could offer a long-term partnership and a truly seamless, cloud-based, and integrated user interface. “I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and legacy technology has always felt a bit like a house of cards,” explains Hayduk. “It’s negative technical equity, in a sense. You’re often playing with stacked technology that is anything but seamless and may act as a bottleneck to future growth. Everything is plug and play with APS – there is nothing fragmented about it, unlike many of the other platforms we considered. From a simplicity and integration standpoint, APS appears to be in a league of its own.”

Since APS cloud-based platforms run on a microservice architecture that consists of loosely-coupled services and applications, clients like The Shepherd Hotel are offered unparalleled flexibility and ease-of-use, without the vendor fees, upgrade fees, training fees, integration fees, and operational headaches commonly associated with legacy technology.

“The Shepherd Hotel is bringing a very unique and meaningful concept to life, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it,” shares Aaron Shepherd, CEO, and Co-Founder of APS. “Simplifying and streamlining hospitality processes that have historically been constrained by legacy infrastructure has always been our goal, but to partner with a brand that aims to positively impact so many lives is truly incredible. We look forward to the inevitable success of The Shepherd Hotel and the growth and evolution of the brand that will surely follow.”

Speaking to the upcoming launch and plans for the future, Hayduk explains that The Shepherd Hotel group plans to expand its training program to graduates with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “Hospitality is one of the hardest-hit industries coming out of the pandemic with regards to employment, and we can help to address this while also ushering in a new era of workplace inclusion,” says Hayduk. “Using APS technology, we can offer our staff complete ease of use from an operational standpoint and ensure continued brand consistency and excellence as we grow.”