Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Linehan

Bill Linehan

Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Lion Hotels Corporation

Bill Linehan joined RLH Corporation in February 2014 as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. With him leading a national award-winning marketing team, the company has since launched an upscale brand, Hotel RL, and re-launched branding for Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, GuestHouse International and Settle Inn. In 2015, RLHC introduced Hello Rewards, an innovative guest recognition program that is disruptive to traditional loyalty schemes, yet more relevant to changing consumer dynamics; less costly and more rewarding with instant gratification. Hello Rewards grew by 50 percent in 2016, driving RevPar growth for RLH Corporation properties. Mr. Linehan also released RevPak, a guest delivery program of industry-leading technologies and integrations that helps optimize revenues through dynamic pricing, content management, CRM strategies, MA and digital marketing techniques. He has continued to develop new omni-channel marketing strategies consistently outperforming industry averages. Mr. Linehan has more than 25 years of hospitality experience, most recently as Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director at Richfield Hospitality and Sceptre Hospitality Resources, where he led the sales, marketing and resource management activities surrounding the company's portfolio of hotels and resorts. At Sceptre, Mr. Linehan repositioned the company to become a global leader of hotel revenue technologies. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Global Marketing for InterContinental Hotels Group, where he established the marketing to re-launch seven IHG brands to the development community. Mr. Linehan also previously served as Global Vice President of Marketing, Brand Alignment and Partnerships for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and held sales and marketing positions with both Hyatt and Sheraton.

Please visit www.redlion.com for more information.

Mr. Linehan can be contacted at 509-777-6393 or bill.linehan@redlion.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.