Renovation is a State of Mind
By Rob Rush CEO, LRA Worldwide | October 28, 2008
Let's conduct a little experiment.
Go to the website of any hospitality industry trade publication - it could be this one or it could be the one for Fido Friendly Magazine: The Travel Magazine for you and Your Dog. (It exists - really.)
Type the word "renovate" into the search bar. Be overwhelmed at the results.
Hundreds upon hundreds of articles will bubble to the surface, documenting the overall financial health of the industry and the infusion of cash being reinvested back into properties for "renovations" of all flavors and sizes. Soft goods. Hard goods. Guest Rooms. Lobbies, spas, ice machines, pet-sitting facilities, you name it. (OK, so that last example may only show up in Fido Friendly, but let's not split hairs). Endless stories about facelift after facelift, all in the name of upgrading the guest experience. With enough cash, anything is possible, right?
So where are all of the stories about renovating the people required to upgrade the guest experience? It seems as if many operators look at an investment in the physical plant and surroundings as an end in and of itself, not as part of the equation of renovating the entire guest experience. Shouldn't a true renovation take into account the people?
According to the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the composite satisfaction score for the hotel industry dropped to 71-percent for the first quarter of 2007, down from 75-percent for all of 2006. And this drop is concurrent with the influx of flat-screen plasma TVs, communal lobby gathering spaces that look like Starbucks and 1,200 Thread Count Egyptian cotton sheets for every Tom, Dick and Hampton.. I mean Harry.