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 June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.