Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Spurr

Jay Spurr

Market Director of Sales & Marketing, JW Marriott Austin

JW Marriott Austin welcomed Jay Spurr back to Austin as the Market Director of Sales and Marketing in spring 2017. Mr. Spurr has nearly 30 years of hospitality experience and is responsible for leading the JW Marriott Austin sales and marketing team with expanded responsibilities supporting the new Austin Marriott Downtown, set to begin construction later this year. The return to Austin is a homecoming for Mr. Spurr, who previously served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for JW Marriott Austin from 2011-2015. The very first associate hired at the JW Marriott Austin in 2011, Mr. Spurr quickly made an impact as he built and led his preopening sales team to secure over a half million group rooms prior to the hotel's opening in February of 2015. Under his leadership, the hotel was named one of the world's top 9 new business hotels by Forbes magazine and received the Marriott International Full Service Hotel Opening of the Year Award in 2015. Mr. Spurr previously held the position of Director of Sales and Marketing for the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. During his time in San Francisco, Mr. Spurr successfully led his team to achieve their targeted sales goals and two-year crossover goals for the first time in five years. A graduate of the University of South Caroline-Columbia's Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Management program, Mr. Spurr has also served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Area Director of Sales for Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor, and Senior Account Executive for JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.

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

Mr. Spurr can be contacted at 512-608-4460 or jay.spurr@jwmarriottaustin.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.