Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Baldassari

Robert Baldassari

General Manager, The Lodge at Woodloch

Robert Baldassari is a tenured hospitality professional with over 28 years in the service industry. While Mr. Baldassari's extended family was in hospitality (one might say it runs in the blood), he naturally was drawn to the excitement of something new each day.

Mr. Baldassari began his career on the high seas. As a cruise employee, he was able to explore the world and learn the ins and outs of providing exceptional service.  As his career expanded, so did his expertise in sales, marketing and hotel management, at both large brand and independent properties. Mr. Baldassari is known by his team to be a big presence (standing at over 6'6") with an even bigger heart. He genuinely cares about each of his team members and values his personal relationships.

One of Mr. Baldassari's passions is to mentor young upcoming hospitality students. He has been a guest speaker and presenter at The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and the Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism School at East Stroudsburg University.  He has also mentored students while President of The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Northeast PA Chapter.

Mr. Baldassari joined the team at The Lodge at Woodloch as General Manager in 2013 after spending time at Skytop Lodge among other major resorts in northeast Pennsylvania.

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

Mr. Baldassari can be contacted at +1 800-966-3562 or rbaldassari@thelodgeatwoodloch.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.