Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Halfmann

Keith Halfmann

Vice President of Operations, Marcus Hotels

Keith Halfmann is vice president of operations for Marcus Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Halfmann oversees the day-to-day operational responsibilities for several hotels in the Marcus Hotels & Resorts portfolio including the Hilton Madison, Wis.; Sheraton Madison, Wis.; Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, Mo.; Hilton Garden Inn, Houston, Texas; Bloomington Hilton, Bloomington, Minn.; Crowne Plaza - Northstar, Minneapolis, Minn. and the Westin Columbus, Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Halfmann is responsible for managing revenues, sales, financial performance, guest satisfaction and operational excellence for each hotel, as well as managing product and service quality standards for a variety of hotel brands. He also remains involved with the operation of the Mason Street Grill restaurant located in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wis., which he successfully opened in 2006. Mr. Halfmann has been with Marcus Hotels & Resorts for 12 years and has previously had a key role in developing the company's food and beverage operations. He served as director of food and beverage at the Pfister Hotel where he concepted and opened Celia, a four-star restaurant, and Blu, a nationally-recognized cocktail lounge. Mr. Halfmann served as assistant general manager of the Hilton Milwaukee, where he concepted and opened the Milwaukee ChopHouse - one of the city's top rated steakhouses. He also served as director of operations at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wis., where he implemented strategic revenue and profit contingencies and successfully re-concepted the restaurants, spa, ski chalet, retail areas and public space. More recently, he served as general manager of the Pfister Hotel, where he led a $20 million renovation of the hotel, including guest rooms, lobby areas, the WELL Spa and the Mason Street Grill. Prior to joining Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Halfmann worked at the Copper Mountain Resort, an Intrawest Resort in Copper Mountain, Colo. where he served on the repositioning and branding team after Intrawest purchased the resort from its previous owner. He also worked at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in several food and beverage roles. In addition to his work at Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Halfmann serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Feed My Sheep and sits on the Waukesha County Technical College Student Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) and is involved with the United Performing Arts Fund Emerging Leaders organization. In his free time, he enjoys endurance training, triathlons and in 2010 successfully completed the Ford Ironman Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.

Mr. Halfmann can be contacted at 414-905-1200 or keithhalfmann@marcushotels.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.