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 February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.