Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Linehan

Bill Linehan

Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Lion Hotels Corporation

Bill Linehan joined RLH Corporation in February 2014 as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. With him leading a national award-winning marketing team, the company has since launched an upscale brand, Hotel RL, and re-launched branding for Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, GuestHouse International and Settle Inn. In 2015, RLHC introduced Hello Rewards, an innovative guest recognition program that is disruptive to traditional loyalty schemes, yet more relevant to changing consumer dynamics; less costly and more rewarding with instant gratification. Hello Rewards grew by 50 percent in 2016, driving RevPar growth for RLH Corporation properties. Mr. Linehan also released RevPak, a guest delivery program of industry-leading technologies and integrations that helps optimize revenues through dynamic pricing, content management, CRM strategies, MA and digital marketing techniques. He has continued to develop new omni-channel marketing strategies consistently outperforming industry averages. Mr. Linehan has more than 25 years of hospitality experience, most recently as Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director at Richfield Hospitality and Sceptre Hospitality Resources, where he led the sales, marketing and resource management activities surrounding the company's portfolio of hotels and resorts. At Sceptre, Mr. Linehan repositioned the company to become a global leader of hotel revenue technologies. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Global Marketing for InterContinental Hotels Group, where he established the marketing to re-launch seven IHG brands to the development community. Mr. Linehan also previously served as Global Vice President of Marketing, Brand Alignment and Partnerships for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and held sales and marketing positions with both Hyatt and Sheraton.

Please visit www.redlion.com for more information.

Mr. Linehan can be contacted at 509-777-6393 or bill.linehan@redlion.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.