Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Pohl

Ron Pohl

Vice President Brand Management, Best Western Hotels and Resorts

Ron Pohl is senior vice president of brand management for Best Western® Hotels and Resorts and serves on the company's executive committee. Mr. Pohl oversees North American and Asia Operations and Development. In addition, he directs other key departments, including: Customer Care, Owner Relations, Revenue Management, Education and Training, Design and Supply, Member Services, and International Quality Assurance. Mr. Pohl joined Best Western in 2007 as vice president of operations. In that role, the 30-year hospitality industry veteran significantly improved revenue management systems, implemented new and innovative education and training resources, restructured departments to improve efficiency and enhance hotel support, and launched the industry-leading Best Western I Care® program. These positive changes have significantly contributed to record-high brand performance in the areas of RevPAR index and customer and owner satisfaction. Prior to joining Best Western, Mr. Pohl spent more than 20 years with Boykin Management Company, a respected hotel management firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. During his tenure with Boykin, Mr. Pohl spent 10 years as a full-service hotel general manager and earned awards for sales leadership, website development and outstanding customer service. He served in a number of senior-level positions in the areas of marketing, sales and revenue management, working his way up to regional vice president, and ultimately senior vice president of operations. Mr. Pohl's diverse hotel background comes from working with an array of hotel brands, including Choice, Hilton, Marriott and Radisson, and independent resorts and condo hotels. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and previously served on the board of directors for the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, as well as advisory committees for Marriott and Doubletree hotels.

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

Mr. Pohl can be contacted at 602-957-4200 or ron.pohl@bestwestern.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.