Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Beley

Jim Beley

General Manager, The Umstead Hotel & Spa

Hospitality veteran Jim Beley brings more than 40 years of luxury hotel and restaurant management to his role as General Manager of The Umstead Hotel & Spa, North Carolina's premier AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star-rated hotel property.

A dynamic leader, Mr. Beley directs day-to-day operations at the 150-room hotel and its signature amenities, serving as a valuable asset in elevating the guest experience. His distinctive approach to the hospitality industry is reflected in The Umstead's "Vision and Values," which he spearheaded to emphasize respect, personal and professional growth, and happiness in the workplace, ultimately outlining how these qualities translate into superior guest service.

In 2011, Mr. Beley received the prestigious Lodging Operator of the Year award from the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, and under his leadership, The Umstead has been named one of the Best Places to Work by the Triangle Business Journal.

Prior to joining The Umstead in January 2009, Mr. Beley served 17 years on management teams at AAA Five Diamond-rated luxury hotels, including his most recent role overseeing resort operations as General Manager of The Inn at Palmetto Bluff Resort in Bluffton, South Carolina.

Mr. Beley is also the former Director of Lodging Operations and Resort General Manager of The American Club and the Inn on Woodlake, sister properties owned by the Kohler Company in Kohler, Wisconsin.

From 1984 to 1996, Mr. Beley held various positions in management and food and beverage with the esteemed Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company at properties located in Laguna Niguel, California, Naples, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and Boston, Massachusetts. He ended his tenure with the highly regarded company as General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1991 to 1996.

Mr. Beley received his Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Florida International University and an Associate Degree of Occupational Science from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. During his tenure with The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia in 1992, the Company was recognized with a Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award for service, an accolade given annually to U.S. organizations that exemplify excellence in innovation and performance.

A native of New York State, Mr. Beley now calls Raleigh home with his wife and four children. He serves on the board of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the advisory board of North Carolina State's Poole College of Management, and is an active member of the United States Golf Association.

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

Mr. Beley can be contacted at +1 919-447-4001 or jim.beley@theumstead.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.