Editorial Board   

Mr. Ricketts

Mark Ricketts

President & Chief Operating Officer, McNeill Hotels

Mark Ricketts serves as President and COO of McNeill Hotels. Prior to joining McNeill Hotel Company, Mr. Ricketts spent the previous seven years serving as Vice President of Hotel Asset Management in the Realty Management Division for Goldman Sachs in Irving, TX.

In his capacity, Mr. Ricketts provided hotel asset management oversight for a portfolio of over 300 properties, spanning 10 brands and 27 flags while working with nearly twenty (20) management companies. Mr. Ricketts has nearly 35 years of experience in the hotel industry, starting as a Hotel General Manager at the age of 23 years old.

Mr. Ricketts previously worked as Vice President of Asset Management for Equity Inns, Inc., a publicly traded Hotel REIT based in Germantown, TN. At the time of its sale to Goldman Sachs, Equity Inns was the 3rd largest Hotel REIT in terms of number of hotels owned.

Prior to Equity Inns, Mr. Ricketts served as the Vice President of Hotel Operations for Memphis, TN based MASTER Hospitality Services. In his role, the company received the prestigious “Partnership Circle Award” from Marriott International in 2004. In addition, the company's Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Tupelo, MS won the Marriott “Courtyard of the Year” award for two consecutive years.

Mr. Ricketts was recently named to serve as a member of the Home 2 Suites by Hilton Owner Advisory Council (OAC). In addition, he has served on the Hampton Brand Operations Council since 2000 and was a past member of the Hyatt Place Operations Advisory Committee. He previously served on the Board of Directors for both the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association from 2000-2008.

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

Mr. Ricketts can be contacted at 901-322-4806 or mricketts@mcneillhotels.com

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.