Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Uhrin

Rob Uhrin

Principal, Cooper Carry

Rob Uhrin is a leader in the thriving Hospitality Studio in Cooper Carry’s Washington, DC office, where he combines resources from the firm’s national practice to complete projects nationwide. During a decade in Atlanta working on multiple building types, Mr. Uhrin settled on hospitality. This varied architectural experience gives him the particular ability to integrate hospitality projects into the mixed-use environments that are fundamental to Cooper Carry’s design philosophy. Mr. Uhrin’s favorite projects include urban infill that revitalize an existing urban area and represent investment in the surrounding neighborhoods. He leads the design of projects ranging from massive urban scale developments to small boutique hotels, while also acting as a thought leader as the hospitality industry continually redefines itself. He is currently leading the design of diverse hospitality projects including the Notre Dame Embassy Suites hotel in South Bend, IN, the NC State Centennial Campus Conference Center & Hotel, in Raleigh, NC and a Hyatt Centric hotel located in the shopping district of historic Alexandria, Virginia. Beyond his hospitality and conference center expertise, Uhrin leverages Cooper Carry’s emphasis on mixed-use design to create truly livable, authentic places. He is regularly on the road, pitching a greater vision of the 21st-century hotel as a gathering place surrounded by restaurants, shops, offices and townhouses, wrapped into a truly spectacular place. Mr. Uhrin has held a leadership design position on nearly 30 hotels and 6,000 keys, more than half of which have been in an urban setting, where the building is expected to catalyze its urban environment. Please visit http://www.coopercarry.com for more information.

Mr. Uhrin can be contacted at 703-519-6152 or robuhrin@coopercarry.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.