Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Stormont

Jim Stormont

President, Stormont Hospitality Group, LLC

Jim Stormont co-founded Stormont Hospitality Group, LLC in 2001 after the sale of Stormont Trice Corporation, a full service hotel management firm in which Mr. Stormont was a principal and the Chief Financial Officer. In 2012 Mr. Stormont re-launched Stormont Hospitality Group as a hotel developer, financial advisor, and asset manager in addition to his ongoing partnership at Grove Street Partners, a real estate firm where Mr. Stormont lead the hotel development and finance practice until 2015 when he resigned from Grove Street to focus solely on Stormont Hospitality. Mr. Stormont's 30 year career in hotel development and finance began at Marriott International and has included positions as CFO of Stormont Trice Corporation., Executive Vice President of Noble Investment Group LLC, Partner at Grove Street Partners, LLC and President at Stormont Hospitality Group, LLC. Throughout his hotel career, Mr. Stormont has gained invaluable experience in all aspects of the development, operation and ownership of hotels, conference centers and resorts. He has played an instrumental lead role in the successful structuring, financing and development of hotels, conference centers and resort properties totaling more than $1 billion. A majority of these hospitality projects have involved structuring economically challenging and complex public/private partnerships requiring extensive legal and financial negotiations with multiple parties. Mr. Stormont has gained a national reputation for public/private hotel development expertise. An Atlanta, Georgia resident, Mr. Stormont and his wife of over 33 years, Beth, have three children, Sarah, Mac and Andy, ages 28, 25, and 23. Sarah attends graduate school in Austin TX, Mac is a consultant with Deloitte in Boston, MA, and Andy is a Financial Analyst in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Stormont is a graduate of Middlebury College (B.A. in Economics) and Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management (M.B.A. in Finance) and is involved in numerous community activities. Mr. Stormont is a Member at the Rotary Club of Atlanta, a Member of the Livable Communities Council of the Urban Land Institute, the past President of his Homeowner's Association, and a former Board Member (Finance Committee Chairman) at Atlanta Country Club where he plays to a scratch handicap. He is a recent golf Club Champion and has qualified and played in both the US Senior Open and the US Senior Amateur golf tournaments. Please visit http://www.stormonthospitality.com for more information.

Mr. Stormont can be contacted at 770-818-4198 or jstormont@stormonthospitality.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.