Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Brashear

Katie Brashear

Complex Director of Public Relations, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel

As complex director of public relations for Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, the premier convention hotel in Arizona, and The Westin Phoenix Downtown, Katie Brashear is responsible for overseeing the public relations initiatives, media and community outreach efforts, social media strategies, advertising plans, content creation, and marketing initiatives for the hotels. She is also the sustainability champion for Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel where she manages and guides the property's “green” initiatives. With more than 10 years of professional experience in public relations, marketing, advertising and branding, Ms. Brashear's strong vision and professional leadership helped shape the two downtown Phoenix hotels into unparalleled and flourishing, urban destinations. Ms. Brashear joined Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel as director of public relations. Shortly, she assumed the public relations efforts for Sheraton Crescent and the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, later in 2012, she assumed The Westin Phoenix Downtown. Prior to Ms. Brashear's experience with the Sheraton and Westin brands, she held the marketing manager position and the sustainability champion at W Scottsdale. Ms. Brashear began her hospitality career with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in 2007 with W Scottsdale - the hotel opened on September 30, 2008. Before the hospitality industry, Ms. Brashear worked in public relations for luxury retailer, Neiman Marcus Scottsdale. Ms. Brashear graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Barrett Honors College and the Walker Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications with a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in business.

Ms. Brashear can be contacted at 602-817-5323 or katie.brashear@sheraton.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.