Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hickey

Mark Hickey

Senior Vice President of U.S. Hotel Operations, Destination Hotels & Resorts

Mark Hickey is senior vice president of U.S. hotel operations for Destination Hotels & Resorts, the third largest hospitality management company in the United States. Mr. Hickey is responsible for the overall operating performance of Destination Hotels & Resorts' portfolio of more than 35 independent and branded, luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and golf clubs. He also provides oversight and coordinates portfolio-wide initiatives in the areas of organizational development and associate training, customer service, and risk management. Mr. Hickey is primarily responsible for the vision, the goals, the implementation and the leadership of the Destination Earth sustainability program on a corporate level. The Destination Earth program was launched in 2008 and represents the portfolio-wide commitment to implement sustainability practices at each Destination property across the country. Mr. Hickey has worked in close partnership with an environmental consultant and leaders of the hospitality group to accomplish the mission to introduce uniform environmental standards company-wide while encouraging individual property adoption of specific initiatives through property “Green Teams”, which has become a significant and defining element of the program. Mr. Hickey is the steward for the company's commitment to unique, authentic culinary experiences at each hotel and resort. He oversees the corporate food and beverage efforts to develop, define and execute innovative and memorable food and beverage offerings across the country, in conjunction with a vice president of food and beverage and culinary director of food and beverage operations. A father of two young girls, Mr. Hickey is also the catalyst behind the company's commitment to healthy and delicious children friendly offerings, the Destination Kids Cafe™, at all Destination restaurants and dining outlets. Mark Hickey joined Destination Hotels & Resorts in 1995, as vice president and general manager of Destination's Inverness Hotel and Conference Center near Denver, Colorado. An industry leader in conference center management, he has provided oversight and support of the integration of over seven IACC-certified conference centers into the Destination Conference Collection. In 1997, he assumed the position of senior vice president of operations for the western United States and his role expanded to include oversight for all North American operations of the company in 2002. Further, he developed a core leadership team of managing directors to continue to support the portfolio. Prior to joining Destination, Mr. Hickey held various positions in the hospitality industry, including property positions of general manager, regional manager of management services for AIRCOA (now Richfield) and vice president of operations for Metro Hotels in Dallas, TX.

Mr. Hickey can be contacted at 303-268-6868 or mhickey@destinationhotels.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.