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HB ON THE SCENE: Red Lion Hotels Targets National Presence

SPOKANE, WA—The dramatic changes that Red Lion Hotels Corporation (RLHC) has undergone in the past year were underscored at the company’s annual conference where its new leadership vowed to expand the Red Lion brand nationally and launch an entirely new brand in the fall, among other things.

Held at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park here with the theme of Vision 2020, President/CEO Greg Mount, who took over the helm of the company in January, insisted, “We have to make sure that our product and our brand is relevant.”

Mount talked about the expansion of the regional brand. “Our hope today is to really get out there and make Red Lion a reality from coast to coast. We’re not going to be just focused on the West or the Pacific Northwest,” he said, citing locations such as New York, Chicago and Miami as being on the company’s radar.

Meanwhile, Bill Linehan, who joined the company as EVP & chief marketing officer in February, told attendees that RLHC would be launching a new upscale, full-service brand at the Lodging Conference in Phoenix in the fall. He added the new flag will allow for adaptive reuse projects and conversions, as well as new construction. Mount touted the launch of the new brand and noted, “We’re going to put a stake in the ground.”

The company also unveiled its new RevPak guest satisfaction program, which is expected to be in place in the next 60 days. Linehan described the initiative as a “package of assembled technologies completely integrated with one another.” He noted the ultimate goal of RevPak, which incorporates functions such as CRM (customer relationship management), CRS (central reservation systems) and RMS (revenue management systems), is “to increase bookings and decrease costs.” Mount noted, “We have literally turned our technology upside down” over the past few months.” He further added, “We’re going to own digital marketing.”

RLHC has also reinvented its loyalty program. According to Linehan, the company recognized “there is a need for change.” He noted, the company is moving away from a points-based system that was “not hospitable” to a recognition-based system. The new program, which has not yet been named, will be rolled out in September. 

Dennis Nessler

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