It is hard to believe we are well into October, my favorite time of year, and approaching the end of another amazing year of growth in our industry statewide. We’ve added new first-time brands in the state, are adding rooms to existing properties and local flare & innovation is all the rage.
Looking at the blogs of the past, there are certainly familiar themes that connect them all in some way. Lifestyle brands, creative marketing, leaders challenging the status quo and the importance of your service culture.
Now, more than ever, OHLA focus’ on empowering our upcoming leaders through education and workforce development opportunities. Many of the commonalities will be addressed at our upcoming Annual Conference this November to help prepare our industry for the future.
What is behind the mass emergence of the Lifestyle Brands?
Multiple major lifestyle brand developments are happening essentially simultaneously in Columbus, within just a few miles of each other. It is a major BOOM for the area!
AC Hotel by Marriott (Park St.)
Aloft by Marriott (Olentangy River Rd.)
Aloft by Marriott (Easton Town Center, Alston St.)
Canopy by Hilton (Arena District – Nationwide Blvd.)
Moxy by Marriott (Short North Arts District – High St.)
In the Northwest region of our state development of a Tru by Hilton and a proposed AVID by IHG is in the pipeline. In Northeast, another Tru and near Cincinnati an Aloft. Best Western is also at the forefront with brands like Glo & Vib.
What questions do you have about these brands? Brand longevity? Differences between them? Hear from our Lifestyle Brand Panelists: Jenny Aboudou,Senior Brand Manager, Canopy by Hilton; Michael VanAkkeren, Senior Director – Marriott Global Operations Design & Development, Distinctive Brands; Michael Morton, Vice President of Owner Relations, Best Western; Kip Vreeland, Chief Officer of Full Service Franchising, Marriott International.
Brands like these are trying to give the ultimate local, fresh, new vibe that our younger and up and coming travelers yearn for. Our Unique Lodging of Ohio (ULO) properties are truly already hitting the nail on the head. From a one bedroom guest house, to cabins in the Hocking Hills area, to a 200-room independent hotel. Each of these properties present a unique experience for their guest. Some of our properties have renowned restaurants, excellent spas, all encompassed within a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We will be presenting our ULO Property of the year award at our annual Gala to pay tribute to a very special ULO. Last year, The Welsh Hills in was our winner. This award-winning Bed & Breakfast is nestled in the historic Granville’s Welsh Hills Equestrian Countryside. It is complete with perfectly appointed guest rooms, a complete signature breakfast each morning and picturesque courtyard with a heated pool. (If you have stayed at, work in or have worked with a ULO property; we want to hear about it! Submit a ULO Property of the Year nomination!)
Industry progression is marked with innovation and technology. The Westin & Marriott brands are embracing this through Amazon Alexa Echo, to offer a voice activated hotel butler of sorts. Need more towels? Ask Alexa! We are driven on warm, fuzzy hospitality. Are you as curious as I am on how integrations such as this may work and affect our clientele? We’ll be hearing from Greg Pappas from Evolve Controls, who will walk us through what the hotel integration looks like. Evolve Controls works with Volara to integrate solutions such as those listed above: voice activated thermostats with Honeywell and concierge services with Amazon Alexa.
There is A LOT happening in our state and industry and we are here to help you manage it. I hope to see you at our annual conference this November to learn, network and toast to our future!
Until Next Time,