Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Scott

Lester Scott

Managing Director, Carillon Miami Beach

International hotelier Lester Scott refuses to settle for anything less than extraordinary. Which is perfect, because that’s exactly what Carillon Miami Beach needs – a leader who can extract every ounce of potential from an untapped North Beach property and create an unexpectedly exceptional product that rivals any on Miami Beach. Before arriving in Miami, a place that he says truly feels like home to him, Mr. Scott spent the last 10 years with Capella Hotel Group, the luxury hotel management group founded by Mr. Scott’s mentor and dear friend, Mr. Hortz Schulze (the former President and CEO of Ritz-Carlton). Most recently, he oversaw $1 billion in hotel assets across five properties in China, while simultaneously assisting in the opening and development of new projects. Now, as Managing Director of the 110 all-suite Carillon Miami Beach hotel and its 580 residences, Mr. Scott has taken the reigns to rebrand and reignite the fire underneath an iconic landmark that has populated Miami’s sands since 1958. He’s ready to re-define the meaning of “luxury,” a word that to him, has become ubiquitous with false exaggerations or sterile atmospheres. “Luxury,” he says, “should be intuitive, personalized and whatever the customer wants it to be. Anything else is not true luxury.” Mr. Scott says that he was always destined for the hospitality business. Even as an inner-city kid from Missouri starting out in the housekeeping department at the Hyatt Regency, Kansas City, MO, he knew that this was his calling. Now, with a championed belt of Five-Star, Four-Diamond, top-rated properties on his resume, there’s no sign of slowing him down. Maybe only to catch a game of golf or to watch The Royals or Chiefs play. Otherwise, it’s full speed ahead as he carefully crafts his poised, emotion-evoking Carillon brand that, in due time, he’ll be replicating globally. Never a dull moment for Lester Scott. Please visit http://www.carillon.com for more information.

Mr. Scott can be contacted at 866-800-3858 or lester.scott@carillon.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.