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 May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.