Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Salapka

Drew Salapka

Vice President of Sales and Revenue Generation, Hotel Equities

Drew Salapka serves as Vice President of Sales and Revenue Generation for Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based, full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. Mr. Salapka’s responsibilities include leading the firm’s sales and revenue organization which is responsible for setting top line strategy and managing the total inventory for all the firm’s hotels. His team analyzes the demand for all markets, evaluates market strengths and weaknesses, and reports key statistics that impact the industry and individual hotels. The team also manages sales processes and directs the ongoing training of all key sales and revenue staff members. Beginning his hospitality career at the age of sixteen, Mr. Salapka worked as a housekeeper at the Residence Inn Alpharetta, GA while still attending high school. After his graduation from college, Mr. Salapka joined Hotel Equities in 1999 as an intern at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Perimeter Center. He moved quickly to the position of Bench Manager, covering various positions at several of the company’s hotels. He served as Operations Manager at the Fairfield Inn Midtown Atlanta before his promotion in 2000 to General Manager at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Macon, Georgia where he served for three years. In 2004, the company promoted Mr. Salapka to manage the TownePlace Suites in Kennesaw, Georgia. Marriott named him the General Manager of the Year for the brand two years later. In 2006, he accepted the challenge and responsibility of part-time Revenue Manager for the company and quickly expanded the work into a full-time position. Mr. Salapka is a graduate of Clemson University with a B.B.A. in Business Management. He and his wife reside in Cumming, GA. Active in his church, he leads a weekly small group study and serves as a Money Wise mentor. His interests include hiking, camping, waterskiing and traveling.

Mr. Salapka can be contacted at 678-578-4444 or dsalapka@hotelequities.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.