NATIONAL REPORT—Whether it’s celebrating an anniversary, receiving an award, earning a certification, debuting a new product or expanding the business, hotel companies and vendors achieve new milestones on a daily basis. Here’s a look at recent accomplishments:
Sbe Expands West Coast Office
Sbe has expanded its Los Angeles offices to accommodate the rapid growth of its Disruptive Group and Dakota Development divisions. The new office will be located in the technology and entertainment hub of Beverly Hills, on Alden Dr.
As the West Coast base to Disruptive Group, the office will serve as home to the fully equipped Culinary Lab where Chief Culinary Officer Martin Heierling and his team will continue innovation for the culinary concepts across the portfolio and focus on Quick Service Restaurant Initiatives.
“I am thrilled to establish our new Los Angeles office in the prestigious city of Beverly Hills where I grew up and went to school,” said Sam Nazarian, founder/CEO, Sbe. “I want to thank Mayor John Mirisch and council member Lilli Bosse for their tireless efforts in improving the city of Beverly Hills, making the move a natural next step for my lifestyle hospitality company and our continued growth. This move comes as a result of the ongoing expansion of our brands, Disruptive Group and Dakota Development, and home to Sbe’s Culinary Innovation Lab—where our culinary team will continue to develop new menus and concepts for the evolving palate of the Sbe guest.”
The two-story, Art Deco-style office with an open mezzanine was built by Los Angeles architect Henry L. Gogerty in the 1930s.
In addition to the Culinary Lab, Sbe is partnering with Sprint Corporation to outfit the new office with technologies and solutions, including high-speed wireless connectivity and a cloud-based telecommunications platform with their partner Dialpad. The office also features Sbe partner LG’s latest technologically advanced displays and OLED TV, one of the thinnest screens on the market.
As an ongoing creative partner, internationally acclaimed artist Ara Starck has been commissioned to produce a custom mural installation unique to the space.
Fuel Enhances Owner Portal for the Condotel Property Market
Fuel, a provider of hotel software and digital marketing solutions for the global hospitality industry, has revealed a significant upgrade to its owner portal, a fully customizable property dashboard that provides condotels with precise control over owner visibility and enables streamlined communications. The newly released update includes a completely redeveloped user interface that adds mobile-responsive functionality, allowing the portal to be easily accessed from any mobile phone or desktop device. In addition, expanded document management features have been added to give owners more visibility and control over their units.
Fuel’s newly enhanced mobile-friendly tool is designed to improve owner retention and streamline communication for condotel and other multiple ownership properties, according to the company. “For any property, the management and accessibility of information is key,” said Stuart Butler, COO of Fuel. “That is particularly true in the condotel market, due to the number of owners that need access to the data. Our updated dashboard is an easy-to-use, mobile-friendly tool that is designed to help properties improve their relationship with owners because it allows for better communication and provides the owner with more transparency.”
With the new features, owners can ensure that they are sending the correct contracts, owner documents and event notifications to the right owner. The flexible dashboard integrates with the property PMS, allowing for real-time data syncing, including work orders, financial statements and reservation activity. It also provides itemized information related to any work orders, completed repairs and upcoming maintenance. Monthly financial statements are visible within the dashboard, and automated emails can notify owners when they are available. The reservation window allows owners to view upcoming reservations of their unit and make future reservations for themselves or for a friend or family member.
In addition to the UI enhancements, the updated Fuel Owner Portal allows for customized branding, so each property can embed the entire dashboard into their own domain for a seamless look and feel. With advanced permission controls, management can select the precise information that each owner is allowed to access, using the newly improved profile management system.
Wyndham Destinations to Add 140 jobs in Expansion
Wyndham Destinations is adding 140 jobs to its South Orlando, FL, call center operations as part of an expansion to support the ongoing growth of its vacation club business.
The company’s two largest vacation clubs, Club Wyndham and WorldMark by Wyndham, are experiencing strong growth as they expand marketing partnerships with popular consumer brands, driving new interest in their timeshare products, according to the company.
The company is nearly doubling the size of its leased offices at 8403 South Park Circle to 42,000 sq. ft., expanding into space previously occupied by other hospitality companies. It is investing $4.5 million to upgrade office spaces, add new furniture and invest in technology.
“Orlando is our home, and we continue to invest in our growth here as we look to put the world on vacation,” said Geoff Richards, COO, Wyndham Vacation Clubs. “The timeshare industry is growing in the U.S. and globally, and because of the concentration of experienced talent in Orlando, this is the right place for us to expand.”
There are currently 40 marketing executive positions open at the call center, with an additional 100 jobs to be filled during the first quarter of 2020. Construction of the new office space will be completed in April 2020.
Pestana Hotel Group Partners with TransPerfect
TransPerfect, provider of language and technology solutions, revealed that its client Pestana Hotel Group has seen online revenues increase more than 75% in key international markets. These gains are directly related to its efforts to localize sites into the preferred languages of their customers.
Pestana engaged TransPerfect to provide localization services through the GlobalLink translation management system, which simplifies the creation, deployment and maintenance of multilingual content. To help guide overall strategy, TransPerfect analyzed Pestana’s site users, performed ROI projections, and worked to identify the best languages that would maximize new opportunities for each individual property. TransPerfect’s research highlighted three new focus languages for Pestana: Dutch, Italian and Russian—direct bookings increased significantly in these markets.
“Growing direct bookings from international visitors to our hotels has been a key part of our strategy,” said Luis Monteiro, executive board member for digital, product, marketing and CRM, Pestana Hotel Group. “TransPerfect provided a clear and data-driven approach that helped us maximize our digital ROI. We selected them based on their extensive experience in the hospitality sector and the results have produced significant growth in the markets selected for localization.”
Phil Shawe, president/CEO, TransPerfect, said, “The data and research our team provided shows a clear correlation between Pestana’s efforts to reach customers in their own languages and an increase in revenue. We’re pleased to play a role in helping the company achieve growth in international markets.”
ProfitSword Named as Central Florida Top Workplace
ProfitSword has been named by the Orlando Sentinel as one of Central Florida’s Top Workplaces in 2019. An annual listing that analyzes a company’s ability to motivate employees, encourage new ideas, inspire cooperation and provide confidence in leadership, this year’s awards saw ProfitSword earn a top 35 position out of 826 employers throughout the region.
Partnering for the first time with Philadelphia-based Energage for the 2019 listing, the Orlando Sentinel selected winning companies based on a scientific employee survey process. A total of 25,431 employees responded to questionnaires seeking details on company values, efficiency, engagement and employee development, to name a few requested fields. Winning companies were ranked by comparing organizations of similar size, with those attaining the highest scores earning recognition as a Top Workplace.
“A business cannot succeed without creating an environment where employees feel invested and where they feel that what they accomplish is worthwhile and valued by those around them,” said Maureen Allen, president, ProfitSword. “This is especially true for any technology-based company where employee ideas and contributions toward innovation are critical in continuing to meet fast-changing industry needs. ProfitSword is therefore extremely honored to have been selected as a Top Workplace, and we are fully confident that our ability to provide employees with a positive environment will continue to lead to even greater value for those using our solutions.”