Editorial Board   

Ms. Dickinson

Kristi Dickinson

Director of Spa & Wellness, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

Kristi Dickinson brings more than two decades of luxury hospitality experience, including her current role as the Director of Spa & Wellness at the Five-Star, Five Diamond Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa (North County San Diego, CA).

Rancho Valencia was hand selected by Forbes Travel Guide as one of the finest Five-Star hotels and spas in the world (2018) and was awarded the prestigious AAA Five Diamond award (2018), both for five consecutive years. The resort has also been ranked as the #1 resort in the country by U.S. News & World Report (2015) and was listed on Conde Nast Traveler's 2016 Reader's Choice Awards List.

Prior to joining Rancho Valencia, Ms. Dickinson held key executive positions at The Mayflower Inn & Spa (Washington, CT), Spa Montage at the Montage Deer Valley Resort (Park City, UT), and the Golden Door Spa at The Peaks Resort (Telluride, CO).

Ms. Dickinson has a very diverse background in the hospitality industry ranging from event production and VIP services to housekeeping and food and beverage. She currently serves as an executive board member for the Advanced Spa Therapy Education Certification Council (ASTECC) and a mentor for the Global Wellness Institute's mentorship program.

Ms. Dickinson is a WELL Accredited Professional, through the International WELL Building Institute and a Fitwel Ambassador through the Center for Active Design. She is passionate about exemplifying and inspiring the wellness lifestyle in others and developing the future leaders of the hospitality and experience industry.

Ms. Dickinson has expertise in revenue management and profit generation, KPIs, benchmarking, financial analysis, menu engineering, concepting and innovation. She holds a Masters degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a B.A. in Marketing and Management from the University of Iowa.

Please visit http://www.ranchovalencia.com for more information.

Ms. Dickinson can be contacted at +1 858-759-6486 or kdickinson@ranchovalencia.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.