Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Walker

Robb Walker

Chief Operating Officer, Pacific Hospitality Group

As Chief Operating Officer at Pacific Hospitality Group (PHG), Robb Walker oversees the operational aspects of the company's 12 hospitality assets, which include the Meritage Collection, a portfolio of lifestyle and luxury properties, and branded properties under the AC Hotels by Marriott®, DoubleTree by Hilton® and Wyndham flags. With more than 30 years of hotel and resort experience leading first-class operations throughout the U.S. and Canada, Mr. Walker served as senior vice president of operations at Pacific Hospitality Group for a year, but before joining the company, he held a senior vice president of operations position at SilverBirch Hotels and Resorts where he provided strategic leadership to a portfolio of branded and independent properties while also spearheading several high-impact development and repositioning projects. His experience also includes five years with Dolce International as regional vice president overseeing the resort and hotel operations in the U.S. Southwest and five years with Benchmark Hospitality as resident and general manager in resort destinations in Oahu, Hawaii and Lake Tahoe, California. As a Canadian-born hotelier, a graduate of Western University in London, Ontario where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and presently holds the designation as a Certified Board Director from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Established in 1987, Pacific Hospitality Group is a growing hospitality company with 12 hotels, resorts, and club assets across the United States.

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

Mr. Walker can be contacted at 949-861-4700 or info@pacifichospitality.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.