They say that while the iron is hot, strike, and yet so many still throw water on it. Business is in some aspects doing very well, especially in the luxury sector. It is also a fact that some properties are doing better than others. Why may you ask? How come the hotel down the street does better than (my) property? What do they do that I don't do? Have you asked yourself that?
Competition is still very strong and there is no sign of let up. If memory serves me right, since 2008 or so the hotel industry in order to get more business was in the habit of giving the store away (bad move). The industry was used to the high occupancy and great rate of 2007. Then the bottom fell out of the economy, and we were left scratching our heads. Most blame the economy, for they could not blame themselves could they? But look at what we did in the hay years; we built like there was no end in sight - new hotels and not just any hotels, we built huge hotels. We over supplied rooms to the nation, and had not enough people to fill them. So we the industry could not take the blame, we had to blame the economy. Sound familiar people? Business is still off, but it is gaining ground, and not like 2007, but better. Sales people were out in droves generating new business, and at a great discount, a discount that actually hurt business. This did very little for the industry, you see, it was a buyers' market, and they took full advantage of it.
Sure enough, as history will bear us out, the industry will soon have a new batch of rooms coming at us like a tsunami. Have you read the rapid development of hotels around the world? NYC being a prime example, what do you suppose will happen if the demand for rooms falls by 6% in NYC? Give away time again? Am I being cautious? Well yes I am, I would rather come in last as a winner, and not first as a loser (economically speaking). I just hope that the current hoteliers have a good idea where their business is coming from, and that the old business is not lost. Advice to the wise: Have a good sales action plan for your property, for if you don't you won't be the solution, you will be the problem. We tend to forget the bad years when good years are booming, and don't see the forest for the trees. We already have seen what effect a government shutdown has had on the industry. How many tourist dollars has the National Parks shut down cost us? That money will never be recovered. Tread lightly hoteliers, for an unforeseen event can trigger a new decline in your plans.
About the Author
Alan Campbell has been in Las Vegas for over 30 years and has worked for the major strip hotels. He has spent some time in California, Los Angeles where he worked for the Radisson and Sheraton hotels. Alan considers the hospitality industry the best job in the world - it is the only place that both king's and Paupers will visit you.