Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gabrielsen

Rick Gabrielsen

President, Kupuna Hospitality, LLC

Passionate involvement and infinite horizons are what defines Rick Gabrielsen — be it as an industry leader admired by his peers for a reputation of peak performance, a trusted advisor and loyal business partner, or a compassionate community volunteer. With 35 years experience in hospitality management for a variety of corporate, independent and bank owned hotels, he is one of the foremost experts in asset management and operations of boutique hotels and limited service properties. Prior to forming Kupuna Hospitality, Mr. Gabrielsen held the position of Area Vice President for Hilton Worldwide, managing company-owned and or managed brands of Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites hotels in the Mountain — West region and Mexico. He has opened 12 hotels and has transitioned 15 new hotels in the past ten years, and was responsible for a combined portfolio of 60 locations, with consistent recognition for team results in RevPAR, IBFC growth, Guest Service and Team Member Loyalty. Kupuna Hospitality's vision is to provide guidance and strength for dynamic growth to hotel owners and dedicated individuals able to implement sound strategic plans that yield optimum profits at hotels we manage. Mr. Gabrielsen is a C.H.O (Certified Hotel Owner) AAHOA Class of 2010-2011. He actively participates within various groups of sustainability and Green awareness and was recently awarded the EnergyStar certification for the Homewood Suites by Hilton, Oakland - Waterfront, a hotel within the portfolio of Kupuna. Passionate about the community and making a difference for others, Mr. Gabrielsen actively participates in Meals on Wheels and the Boulder Rotary Club. He has held Board positions in each and has been recognized as a “Silent Hero” and “Humanitarian of the Year” for his contributions in the community.

Mr. Gabrielsen can be contacted at 303-376-6313 or rick@kupunahospitality.com

Coming up in April 2020...

Guest Service: First Impressions Matter

Hotels spend large amounts of money on marketing their operation and brand, but sometimes they fail to remember that guest service is the lifeblood of their business. It is outstanding guest service that allows a hotel to create an amazing and lasting impression, one that will remain with guests far beyond the duration of their stay. In pre-internet days, first impressions were formed the moment a guest walked through a hotel's front door. These days, first impressions are created long before a guest arrives at a hotel property. They begin when a customer visits a hotel's website or social media pages for the first time. When a guest connects with a property online, they immediately form an opinion of the hotel. First impressions matter and because of that, a hotel website should be mobile-friendly with blistering fast speed; it should be graphically appealing; and it should provide visual representation of the kind of experience a guest can expect. It is also vital to engage the customer; to actively solicit and respond to guest feedback. When a hotel personally engages with someone, it is demonstrating to other customers that guest opinions matter, and that management is willing to go the extra mile to provide superior guest service. Similarly, when a hotel sends out personalized emails with satisfaction surveys attached, it demonstrates that management values guest feedback, so that service can be improved at every level. Additionally, social media messages can be sent out prior to a guest's arrival to learn more about them, so their visit can be personalized. It's the small touches and details that are most remembered and appreciated. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate excellent guest service in their operations.