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 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.