Town & Country Resort & Convention Center, owned by Atlas Hotels and located in San Diego, is the largest privately-owned convention and meeting hotel on the West Coast. With groups and conventions driving more than 80 percent of revenue, it's critical that meeting planners have the tools necessary to execute events down to the last detail. But instead meeting planners encountered a process plagued by an antiquated group room reservations system.
Though online booking had been the method of choice for most of the hotel's regular guest base for nearly a decade, the group reservation process was stuck in an era of phone calls and hardcopy room grids. Meeting planners worked with the hotel's staff to block off rooms and manually pass guest information into reservation systems. This cumbersome model created challenges for guests booking rooms or making changes or special requests. Town & Country also spent more than five dollars to process each room reservation within a group block, a number that grew nearly threefold when adding travel agent commissions, external distribution system costs and manual data entry.
Web-based & Better
To streamline its group reservation process, Town & Country now works with Passkey (www.passkey.com), a provider of web-based group reservations. The Passkey solution allows Town & Country to control group blocks and sub-blocks online in real time. A SmartAlerts feature automates the reporting process internally and with planners, delivering event information and alerts when needed and allowing planners to maximize their room blocks. Passkey also lets attendees make and manage their hotel reservations online; the interface presents only the meeting's contracted room block while providing planners online access to real-time block pick-up information.
The system's RegLink feature lets planners link their preferred registration system with Passkey's online group reservations to create a one-step register-and-reserve process for event attendees. Town & Country can link any group's event registration website to the group's specific hotel booking site. As soon as an attendee registers for the event or conference, they are immediately linked to the hotel reservations website.
The system helps prevent reservations from being made outside the block and delivers more prompt booking. On average, 80 percent of the hotel's room blocks are booked 90 days prior to a group's arrival, with 98 percent or more of the rooms booked inside the group's block. The system has been implemented with all of Town & Country's hotel systems, and reservation costs have dropped by approximately 80 percent.