Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Scott

Lester Scott

Managing Director, Carillon Miami Beach

International hotelier Lester Scott refuses to settle for anything less than extraordinary. Which is perfect, because that's exactly what Carillon Miami Beach needs - a leader who can extract every ounce of potential from an untapped North Beach property and create an unexpectedly exceptional product that rivals any on Miami Beach. Before arriving in Miami, a place that he says truly feels like home to him, Mr. Scott spent the last 10 years with Capella Hotel Group, the luxury hotel management group founded by Mr. Scott's mentor and dear friend, Mr. Hortz Schulze (the former President and CEO of Ritz-Carlton). Most recently, he oversaw $1 billion in hotel assets across five properties in China, while simultaneously assisting in the opening and development of new projects. Now, as Managing Director of the 110 all-suite Carillon Miami Beach hotel and its 580 residences, Mr. Scott has taken the reigns to rebrand and reignite the fire underneath an iconic landmark that has populated Miami's sands since 1958. He's ready to re-define the meaning of “luxury,” a word that to him, has become ubiquitous with false exaggerations or sterile atmospheres. “Luxury,” he says, “should be intuitive, personalized and whatever the customer wants it to be. Anything else is not true luxury.” Mr. Scott says that he was always destined for the hospitality business. Even as an inner-city kid from Missouri starting out in the housekeeping department at the Hyatt Regency, Kansas City, MO, he knew that this was his calling. Now, with a championed belt of Five-Star, Four-Diamond, top-rated properties on his resume, there's no sign of slowing him down. Maybe only to catch a game of golf or to watch The Royals or Chiefs play. Otherwise, it's full speed ahead as he carefully crafts his poised, emotion-evoking Carillon brand that, in due time, he'll be replicating globally. Never a dull moment for Lester Scott.

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

Mr. Scott can be contacted at 866-800-3858 or lester.scott@carillon.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.