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Hotel Group Sees Uptick in Occupancy with Analytical Tool
By Ed Schwitzky, senior vice president of sales & marketing, Coastal Hotel Group
In today’s fast-paced, interconnected business environment, one of the challenges hoteliers face is being able to quickly and intelligently react to various market conditions in order to capitalize on consumer behavior. Given its small team and award-winning reputation, this is especially important for Coastal Hotel Group (www.coastalhotels.com), which provides strategic direction and oversight to multiple properties in the Coastal portfolio.
Coastal Hotel Group is a privately-held, Seattle-based hospitality management company that manages four independent lodging properties — Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle, WA, Hotel Fifty in Portland, OR, The Resort at The Mountain in Welches (Mt. Hood), OR, and Lodge on the Desert in Tucson, AZ. In 2011, Cedarbrook Lodge was named the number one hotel in the U.S. in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards and the number one hotel in the world on Expedia’s Insiders’ Select List.
In order to maintain speed and accuracy across revenue strategies, leaders at Coastal Hotel Group realized that by automating the revenue management process, a significant impact could be made not only on the bottom line but in labor savings as well. Until this point, Coastal Hotel Group’s corporate director of revenue management was spending about four to five hours daily collecting, evaluating and calculating data via Excel spreadsheets. This tedious and slow process is also susceptible to error and missed opportunities which can contribute to lost revenue. In addition, a lot of time was spent making sure the hotels’ rates were in parity (offering the same price across all public channels) and manually entering the rates into each hotel’s property management system (PMS), where they were then pushed to Coastal Hotel Group’s distribution and Internet marketing platform.
An automated solution for increased efficiency
In order to simplify and expedite the revenue management process, Coastal Hotel Group implemented the IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS) from IDeaS Revenue Solutions (www.ideas.com). The system’s software provides reliable, up-to-date market information quickly and easily, enabling Coastal’s corporate director of revenue management to spend less time identifying market trends for multiple properties and allowing more time for analyzing trends and capitalizing on consumer behavior.
Equipped with forecasting capabilities, the Best Available Rate (BAR) module and the Group Pricing module, the IDeaS RMS was implemented at three of Coastal Hotel Group’s four properties. The deployment gave Coastal’s director of revenue management the ability to quickly access real-time data for each property from the company’s Seattle headquarters. Because the system automatically assesses each hotel’s performance on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis, the Coastal management team can quickly compare rooms sold and revenue against data at the market segment and total hotel level. It also cut the director’s workload in half, freeing up time for analyzing trends and making more strategic revenue decisions.
Numbers tell the story
Since implementing the IDeaS RMS, Coastal Hotel Group has realized significant increases in occupancy and Average Daily Rate (ADR) across its properties. Cedarbrook Lodge, Hotel Fifty and The Resort at The Mountain all saw increased occupancy with upticks of 28, 15 and 11 percent respectively in 2011. In addition, ADR jumped 18 percent at Cedarbrook Lodge and four percent at Hotel Fifty.
Although the system doesn’t replace human insight, its complex algorithms and ability to pull data multiple times a day provides Coastal Hotel Group with a clear vision of hotel data, making it easier to book the right guest at the right time for the right rate. In addition, the IDeaS RMS automatically uploads rate shopping reports from vendors and uses competitors’ data to create the best available rate decisions. This valuable insight provides Coastal Hotel Group properties with a strong competitive edge.
Ed Schwitzky is Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Coastal Hotel Group, a privately held, Seattle-based hotel hospitality management company specializing in distinctive luxury hotels, resorts, inns, and lodges.
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