Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Arest

Justin Arest

Co-Owner & Managing Partner, Kixby Hotel

If you visited a certain Murray Hill hotel in Manhattan in the mid-1980s, you may have been greeted by a six-year-old boy who cheerfully welcomed guests at the front desk of his family's hotel.

Justin Arest is still making guests feel at home. As managing partner and co-owner of the new Kixby hotel in Manhattan's Herald Square, Mr. Arest combines a genuine love of hospitality with broad experience and deep knowledge of the industry.

Through his decades-long career, Mr. Arest has worked in every role in hospitality, from engineering to housekeeping to sales. He wants to impress guests not only at his or her first impression but at all of them. "Operating a successful property is about narrating the guest experience at every touchpoint, and most importantly, exceeding expectations." Mr. Arest also serves as managing partner of Arest Associates, a real estate investment company whose portfolio includes Kixby.

After studying finance and international business at NYU's Stern School of Business, Mr. Arest earned his law degree from George Washington University Law School. But his passion for the real estate industry, the hospitality sector in particular, kept tugging at him through his time in the mergers & acquisitions department of a global law firm. In 2006 he joined the family business, eventually taking it over and expanding. He would also become managing partner of the Hotel Metro, a hugely popular Herald Square hotel.

As Mr. Arest and partner BD Hotels transform the Metro into the Kixby - a new kind of boutique hotel for Herald Square - one thing won't change: his office will remain on the hotel's second floor, where it has been for over ten years. Even if guests never meet him, they can get to know him through his personal touches to the hotel; many of Mr. Arest's choices for Kixby were inspired by his own travels.

Mr. Arest is the rare developer whose appreciation of aesthetics equals his grasp of technical and financial necessities for every project. He feels strongly about volunteerism and giving back to his community. Most recently, he has served as a Trustee of the Village of Scarsdale, an elected volunteer position, since 2018.

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

Mr. Arest can be contacted at +1 212-537-6255 or justin@arestassociates.com

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.