Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Suggs

Jim Suggs

Associate Vice President, CallisonRTKL

Jim Suggs began his architectural career in 1978. He has amassed extensive experience in architectural design, interior design, historic preservation and master planning for private and public, commercial and institutional clients. His experience includes substantial work in the design and planning of courtrooms and courthouses including federal and county facilities, both newly built and historical properties. Highlights include the restoration of the 120 year old Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas incorporating cutting-edge courtroom technology while preserving the historical integrity of the interior, the design of courtroom facilities dedicated to child and family law as well as the St. Mary's University Moot Court Facility. Another area of expertise is in the planning and design of video, television and audio production facilities. Highlights include the design of Maverick Video Production Company headquarters including a full sound stage and two television studios as well as various university Radio/Television & Film facilities. But, Mr. Suggs' true passion, the planning and design of hotels has developed over the last 15 years. His work has included everything from roll-out programs for limited-service hotels, renovations, historic adaptive use, full service and upscale boutique properties. Highlights include full-service, independent high-rise boutique hotels in San Antonio, Texas and San Jose, California as well as Westin and Sheraton resorts in Maryland and the Bahamas respectively. Since joining RTKL in 2007 Mr. Suggs' experience has been focused on large scale hospitality and mixed-use projects expanding his expertise in the planning of hotels and hotel-driven environments. Recent projects include expansion of the Omaha Hilton Convention Center hotel, Lone Star Court (a boutique property) in Austin, TX and the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner in Tysons Corner, VA. Please visit www.rtkl.com for more information.

Mr. Suggs can be contacted at 214-468-7698 or jsuggs@RTKL.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.