Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Baldassari

Robert Baldassari

General Manager, The Lodge at Woodloch

Robert Baldassari is a tenured hospitality professional with over 28 years in the service industry. While Mr. Baldassari's extended family was in hospitality (one might say it runs in the blood), he naturally was drawn to the excitement of something new each day.

Mr. Baldassari began his career on the high seas. As a cruise employee, he was able to explore the world and learn the ins and outs of providing exceptional service.  As his career expanded, so did his expertise in sales, marketing and hotel management, at both large brand and independent properties. Mr. Baldassari is known by his team to be a big presence (standing at over 6'6") with an even bigger heart. He genuinely cares about each of his team members and values his personal relationships.

One of Mr. Baldassari's passions is to mentor young upcoming hospitality students. He has been a guest speaker and presenter at The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and the Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism School at East Stroudsburg University.  He has also mentored students while President of The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Northeast PA Chapter.

Mr. Baldassari joined the team at The Lodge at Woodloch as General Manager in 2013 after spending time at Skytop Lodge among other major resorts in northeast Pennsylvania.

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

Mr. Baldassari can be contacted at +1 800-966-3562 or rbaldassari@thelodgeatwoodloch.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.