Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Connolly

Patrick Connolly

Chief Customer Officer, Orange Lake Resorts

Patrick Connolly provides strategic vision and leadership for Orange Lake Resorts' operations, guest services and the company's Holiday Inn Club product, managing its development, growth and delivery to more than 125,000 Club members throughout the world.

In his role, Mr. Connolly also manages inventory and operations for the growing resort portfolio, as well as customer service and product engagement for more than 340,000 owners and Club members.

Mr. Connolly's strategic leadership and initiatives were instrumental in the growth of the company from a single-site timeshare property in 2006 to 28 resort properties located in 14 states today.

In 2009, he also helped to conceptualize and launch the company's first luxury villa product, the Signature Collection, which is has expanded from its launch at Orange Lake Resort in Orlando, FL to ten resorts across the country. His teams have been honored with numerous industry and national hospitality awards for guest service and operations.

Mr. Connolly's career encompasses 30 years in customer service and manufacturing roles, including extensive experience in the mortgage and timeshare industries. For nearly a decade prior to joining Orange Lake Resorts in 2006, he was engaged in the member servicing divisions as Senior Vice President of Membership for RCI® North America, the largest timeshare exchange company in the world, and oversaw many of their relationships with numerous member clubs throughout the industry. He also held previous management positions with PHH Mortgage and General Electric.

Mr. Connolly holds a B.S. from Notre Dame University and an Executive M.B.A from the University of South Florida.

Please visit http://corporate.orangelake.com for more information.

Mr. Connolly can be contacted at 4073956876 or pconnolly@holidayinnclub.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.