HALIFAX, N.S., RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — New Castle Hotels & Resorts (NCH) is among countless small businesses across this nation and the world that have experienced a rapid and steep decline in business as a result of the health epidemic. The hospitality industry is among the most heavily impacted sectors in the global economy, with revenues declining over 70 in most major markets, constituting the largest decline on record.
In response to this unprecedented crisis, beginning two weeks ago, NCH took decisive action to reduce staffing levels on property and at their corporate offices, including a 20 wage cut across all and senior leadership positions. cost containment initiatives we have executed across our organization have been extremely painful” the and commitment demonstrated by our furloughed associates and remaining colleagues has been incredibly motivating. We are all in the same boat and we will survive this crisis because of how we look after one another and work as a team.”
NCH’s portfolio constitutes 18 properties (seven hotels in Canada and 11 in the United States), including the dual-brand Courtyard / Residence Inn currently under construction in Jekyll Island, Georgia and scheduled to open in Spring 2021. With the exception of the Westin Jekyll Island, which closed last week for the month of April, the balance of NCH’s portfolio remains open for business.
Sales teams get creative to source business
“Our sales teams have gotten very creative and tenacious to source business in this challenging environment” stated Don Urbahn, VP revenue management at NCH “We have adjusted our pricing models to meet the needs of the current traveller, which include
many first responders, healthcare providers, national guard s military other essential that require 14-day quarantines.” In addition, NCH’s sales effort focused on re-booking group blocks first half of 2021, as well as capturing , new wave of bookings emerging from alternate demand segments including manufacturing, education and ‘drivto’ destination travel. a
“The biggest wins the support and appreciation we are able to show the communities in which we operate”, emphasized Julian Buffam, partner at NCH “Our company is giving back wherever possible, including offering preferred rates to first responders and health
care providers portfolio-wide, housing in Saratoga Springsin Moncton, and space for the production of face masks that are in short supply”
Each NCH property has launched initiatives to support their local communities by providing those in need with care packages curb
side service bright the to support first responders and healthcare providers who are risking their lives to fight this epidemic on the front lines.
Over the past several years, NCH significant investment to upgrade technologies and build out additional service departments, including Revenue Management and Reservations. dividends during this crisis”new human resource
platform has freed up the time for our , who are nowmore than ever to ensure guest safety and carry the weight of several departments. s
Moreover, by full control over our platform of services, our properties have not been left without the necessary level of support due to brand furloughs.” Marriott International, along with most of the industry’s major franchisors have furloughed up to two-thirds of their corporate and above-property staff in the United States and in Canada.
Algonquin Autograph Collection increases conversion ratio
The results from NCH’s initiatives speak for themselves. Through the direct hiring and training of NCH increased the conversion ratio from 30 to nearly 70, while adding $C20 in ADR by upselling suite product and packages. “This infrastructure will be critical to support a more immediate ‘V-shaped’ recovery as individuals and corporations start traveling again”emphasized Kerpel “When they do, our partners will have the benefit of our in-house reservation service, which yields a higher conversion ratio and e at a lower cost than the brands can offer.”
With every crisis and challenge comes opportunity, and while the hotel and restaurant business model has been devastated by the strict measures taken to combat the novel coronavirus, innovation abounds. At NCH, full-service properties are offering curb
side pickup from their restaurants, with a recent ‘Easter on the Go’ over 100 bookings in Halifax. NCH’s in-house Digital Marketing & eCommerce team is identifying opportunities for targeted digital a in the wake of C-19 achieves far greater outreach and engagement at a lower cost.
“In a nutshell, there’s less digital noise now compared to p, making it easier and more affordable to be in this space” stated Denise McNeil, regional director of revenue at NCH. “We’re definitely seeing lower cost per impression, in addition to far greater reach then we would typically see otherwise.”
Employees are our “secret sauce”
Other key initiatives undertaken by NCH in ensuring furloughed associates continue to feel connected to and supported by the greater NCH community and their respective property teams. To achieve this, NCH is in the process of rolling out the communication tool Speakap companywide.
“We will be utilizing this social platform to encourage engagement throughout our organization and keep our furloughed associates fully informed of the latest developments concerning CD-19 and our hotel operations” stated Kerpel. “A key component to ensur our properties rebound quickly and successfully is care of our associates through this difficult period. They are and will always be the ‘secret sauce’ of our success.
“As we focus on the health and safety of our guests, associates and families, we also look towards a brighter future, one that is not dictated by fear of contagion but rather the joy travel, hospitality and human interaction brings” stated Julian Buffam. “When that day inevitably comes, we will be ready to welcome back our loyal associates and guests with tremendous gratitude and a newfound appreciation for the incredible resiliency of our industry and its people.
About New Castle Hotels & Resorts
is a fully integrated, industry-recognized hospitality investment, development and management company that has built its reputation executing complex operational turnarounds, historic redevelopments. consistently ranks among the top 100 US hotel management and development companies and is frequently recognized as a top employer in Canada. The company has earned preferred status and with the industry’s leading brands.