Editorial Board

Mr. Hirko

Rhett Hirko

Executive Director, Preferred Hotels and Resorts

Rhett Hirko serves as Executive Director of Revenue Account Management for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, responsible for supporting the revenue activities across all of the company’s member hotels in the Americas and working directly with Sabre to support the reservation needs for all member hotels globally. A Certified Revenue Management Executive, Mr. Hirko has practiced revenue management for more than 20 years, spending the majority of his time in various roles with Hyatt. He designed and implemented the single-image inventory reservations process for Hyatt Hotels Corporation in North America and oversaw revenue management in a regional capacity for seven years. For the next 14 years, he worked with Hyatt International where he designed both the CRS-RM interface and the RM training program and directed the RM process. From there, he was transferred to Zurich to head revenue management for all Hyatt hotels in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, a position he held for the two years prior to joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Hirko received his B.A. in Business, with a major in Hotel & Restaurant Management, from Michigan State University. He lives in the Chicago area with his spouse and two dogs and enjoys spending his spare time running or cheering for his alma mater, Michigan State. Please visit www.preferredhotels.com for more information.

Mr. Hirko can be contacted at 312-542-9245 or rhirko@preferredhotels.com

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.