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 June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.