posted on June 16, 2014 20:13
The following article appeared on HospitalityNet.com on June 15, 2014:
At the year's half-way point, hotel management industry leader Kerry Ranson, president of New Orleans-based Expotel Hospitality Services, said his company is now forecasting steady, continued gains in sales, revenues and profits throughout the balance of 2014, following a strong, if not "off the chart" spectacular, 2013. Expotel operates 17 select and full service properties in seven states across the country.
"Our forecasts for 2014 show continued steady incline in all the key growth indices in our business," Ranson commented. "If 2013 can be described as a relatively strong year, I'd hold to that word again for 2014 based on all of our analyses. I put it this way – we're in a growth trend cycle, not a spike."
Ranson based his comments recently after a review of Expotel business on the books now for future months in 2014, which indicates sustained increases over the same period in 2013 and the first third of 2014.
The reasons are essentially two-fold, Ranson explained.
"Pacing is at a much greater level over the last two years. In previous years, we saw very tight booking windows, whereas now it is extending, and pacing is showing us this reality. This is reflected in our future group and transient business currently on the books for the third and fourth quarters, which are trending above budget and previous year numbers.
"Second, our Expotel selling model emphasizes cross-selling from market to-market with clients who've developed a trust and relationship with us. We place a big emphasis on relationship marketing and sales, and it's been very rewarding."
Ranson and his company's strongest performing assets are Hampton Inn/Metairie, LA (outside New Orleans), Sheraton/Phoenix North and Embassy Suites/Schaumburg, IL.
In tourism heavy markets like New Orleans, where Expotel operates seven properties, Ranson said soft summer months present special challenges. "In those cases, we do a lot of consumer directed marketing programs for loyal guests with customized packaging experiences," he explained.
Looking ahead for the rest of 2014? Ranson is optimistic:"We see limited to no new inventory in our current markets to impact existing demand levels," he explained.
"Also, as long as we keep matching the right business mix on the right days in the right rooms, we'll get the best yields to take advantage of the demands at the right time."