Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Carrier

Lou Carrier

President, Distinctive Hospitality Group

Lou Carrier is President of Distinctive Hospitality Management (DHM), a Massachusetts based hotel and restaurant management and consulting company as well as President of Distinctive Hospitality Group (DHG), a hospitality ownership alliance. Prior to forming DHG, Mr. Carrier was Chief Operating Officer of theWit hotel brand in Chicago, IL. In this role Lou was responsible for all branding initiatives, sales and marketing strategies and organizational structure. The hotel has been widely considered one of the most successful new hotel concepts in the US since it launched in 2009 and was the fastest hotel in North America to achieve AAA Four Diamond status. Prior to the opening of theWit hotel Mr. Carrier created the BOKX 109 American Prime restaurant concept in Newton, MA in 2008. The restaurant has won numerous awards and accolades during its first years and remains one of the highest grossing restaurants residing in an Intercontinental Hotel Group property in the Americas. Prior to returning to Massachusetts in in early 2008 Mr. Carrier spent nearly eight years in senior developmental and organizational leadership roles in the creation of the upscale Hard Rock Hotel brand. As opening General Manager of the Hard Rock Hotel @ Universal Orlando, FL Mr. Carrier delivered AAA Four Diamond status to the 650-room resort within its first six months, and for four years it was the top performing hotel in the brand. From there he was chosen as Managing Director in charge of developing the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, CA before being selected to coordinate the extensive expansion and upgrade to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV in 2005 as Executive Vice President. Mr. Carrier spent a total of 8 years with Loews Hotels in Washington, DC and Florida in the roles of General Manager, Regional Director of Food and Beverage and Corporate Task Force leader. Prior to joining Loews Lou spent 9 years with Stouffer Hotels and Renaissance Hotels at their flagship property, the AAA Five Diamond Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC where he held 8 progressive management positions. Mr. Carriers desire for DHG is to build a portfolio of 15-20 unique hotels in the New England area over the next five years.

Mr. Carrier can be contacted at 508-651-8300 or lcarrier@distinctivehospitalitygroup.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.