Editorial Board   

Mr. Morrissey

Bill Morrissey

President, Morrissey Hospitality Companies

Bill Morrissey believes that the key to success in the hospitality industry is a well-defined vision and a passion for innovation, quality and business growth. He has brought this formula for success to a wide variety of efforts throughout his career as a leader, developer, marketer and manager hotels, restaurants, resorts and entertainment brands. Bill Morrissey entered the hospitality business at age 14 and after receiving a degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Minnesota, he began his professional career in the event and conference business at the Twin Cities' largest convention hotel. He rapidly excelled, rose through the ranks, and was recruited by Hyatt Hotel Corporation to be the opening Director of Convention Services at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis in 1980. Bill was encouraged by Hyatt leadership to move into sales and quickly rose to distinction. Based on increased sales and recognition at the Hyatt Regency, Lincoln Hotels recruited Bill to become Director of Sales at The Saint Paul Hotel, which had completed an extensive $24 million renovation and reopened in December of 1982 as the state's most luxurious hotel. The Saint Paul Hotel had faced bad positioning, inconsistent public relations, and a poor sales effort. Bill turned the key sales indicators around in a short amount of time and repositioned the hotel to appeal to the Twin Cities market. After three successful years at The Saint Paul Hotel, Bill was recruited by Intercontinental Hotels Group to be the opening Director of Sales and Marketing at the new $42 million Scanticon Executive Conference Center and Hotel in Plymouth, Minnesota. Bill was responsible for the successful positioning and branding of the premier conference center, which at the time was a new niche in the Twin Cities marketplace and an emerging concept nationally. During his three years at Scanticon, Bill also assumed the responsibilities of the conferencing department and the General Manager position. Tax law changes and an economic recession challenged the Scanticon model and he was recruited back to The Saint Paul Hotel by the Fortune 500 Company that had acquired the hotel. Bill again led the team that completely renovated the hotel and added the critically acclaimed and successful St. Paul Grill in 1990. Since his arrival both The Saint Paul Hotel and The St. Paul Grill have been consistently recognized as "Best in the Class," not only in the Twin Cities but throughout the State of Minnesota and in the Midwest. During this period, Saint Paul as a city had achieved its lowest point and Bill played a very prominent role in Saint Paul's reinvention and growth to what it is today through his involvement and leadership within the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Explore Minnesota, Hospitality Minnesota, Minnesota Tourism, the Historic Hotels Association of America, and local and state governments. Bill's passion for innovation, quality, and business growth led him to establish Morrissey Hospitality Companies (MHC) in 1995 based on his belief that there was a void in the marketplace for professional hospitality companies that excelled at not only the traditional skills operations, but who also could maximize investment opportunities of individual characteristics and marketplace conditions. Bill has led MHC to become the Midwest leader in management, development and creation of hospitality brands through comprehensive development and management programs to quality hospitality businesses. Morrissey Hospitality Companies uniquely specializes in bringing recognition and profitability to each business by focusing on market positioning, new product development, and employee team building, resulting in superior execution of operational plans. At the time of MHC's creation, hotel companies were abandoning any serious efforts toward quality in food and beverage operations. Bill recognized the need to have high volume, successful, creative, and profitable food and beverage operations within lodging environments that increased their market position, their revenue, and resulting ROI. Bill has been responsible for the development of three of the Twin Cities most acclaimed restaurants: The St. Paul Grill, Pazzaluna Urban Trattoria and Bar, and Tria Restaurant, Bar and Market. Additionally, Bill was sought out by the owners of the Minnesota Wild Professional Hockey Team to develop a unique customer experience, by providing premium food services in the new Xcel Energy Center, which has been recognized by ESPN and Sports Illustrated as the Best NHL Arena. Wildside Caterers was created to operate premium food services in sports and entertainment venues and is locally and nationally acclaimed and recognized. Wildside Caterers' success has led to MHC managing the catering operations of the Saint Paul Rivercentre and its 250,000 sq. ft., 317 on Rice Park, Roy Wilkins Auditorium, and also actively pursing new and existing sports and entertainment venues in the upper Midwest. This collection of strong brands with common qualities of innovation, creativity, and financial success has resulted in numerous consulting projects. In the past three years alone, Morrissey Hospitality Companies has served a diverse list of clients in numerous projects from designing a food court for a new government building housing more than 1,100 employees, to redesigning the food service programs at performing arts centers and museums costing $100 million to build, our team of professionals have aided some of the regions top builders, developers, architects, organizations, and companies. We have repositioned existing conference centers, designed and built new hotels and resorts, and established best practices for existing clubs, restaurants and catering centers. In each instance, it is our unique approach, dedication to the customers' experience and the owners' desire for profitability, that make us an industry leader. Morrissey Hospitality Companies has provided consulting and management services to eight different historic properties ranging from 20 - 250 rooms, in Minnesota (2), Illinois (2), Iowa (3) and Kansas. This experience uniquely qualifies MHC as the Midwest authority on the unique nature of historic properties, whether they have been continuously operating, subject to restoration or 'new' hotels being put in structures of historic significance. Through his leadership and success, Bill and Morrissey Hospitality Companies have partnered as operator, managing partner, and equity partner in future billion dollar brands. KeyLime Cove Resort and Waterpark outside of Chicago, Illinois, the vision of David W. Anderson, founder of Famous Dave's, will be a tropical themed resort in Gurnee, Illinois - near to Chicago and Milwaukee that will revolutionize the way families vacation. This 500,000 sq. ft. resort offering outstanding accommodations in its two hotel wings of 400+ suites, a 65,000 sq. ft. tropical themed, indoor, fun-filled waterpark, spectacular food from one of its food outlets including DW Anderson's Eatery & Ice Cream Parlor or the Crazy Toucan Margarita Grille, a rejuvenating, refreshing, and relaxing experience at The Paradise Mist Spa, a 6,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art arcade, specialty shops carrying mementos and latest resort fashion, and 12,000 sq. ft. of technology-forward meeting space and celebratory facilities. Construction is in progress and will open in the Spring of 2008. MHC continues to grow its recognition and success in the Twin Cities by developing, branding and managing the most important and impressive address in the metropolitan area. The Hotel Minneapolis will meld the charm and warmth of a one-hundred year old bank building with a contemporary style and energy that will appeal to the savvy business traveler of today. At 224 rooms, the hotel offers personal touches and service along with a large fitness area, Lobby Bar, a unique ballroom for 300 people and "designed for business." Adjoining the Hotel will be Minneapolis's newest and most sensory Restaurant and Bar - inspired by the lifestyle of California's Wine Country - and will be recognized as the Twin Cities best restaurant and bar. Bill is very proud that Morrissey Hospitality Companies is recognized as the "Regional Leader in the Management of Quality Hospitality Brands."

Mr. Morrissey can be contacted at 651-221-0815 or bmorrissey@morrisseyhospitality.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.