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 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.