Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hobbs

Harry Hobbs

Area Director of Engineering, InterContinental Hotels of San Francisco

Harry Hobbs, Area Director of Engineering for the InterContinental San Francisco and InterContinental Mark Hopkins, brings more than thirty years of experience to the hotels, leading building operations, environmental efficiency, capital improvements, waste diversion, water and energy conservation, and renewable power. After arriving in California, Mr. Hobbs held a number of executive positions with Marriot Hotels and Resorts including Chief Engineer and Director of Engineering. Within these roles, he managed all facets of maintenance, including direct project management of capital improvements, budgeting, security, and energy consumption. He also helped to develop the computerized maintenance management system that Marriott relied on for the twelve subsequent years. He was also responsible for installing several digital building automation systems. After sixteen years with Marriot Hotels and Resorts, Mr. Hobbs accepted a position with Johnson Controls at Sun Microsystems as the Facility Manager for the Menlo Park Campus. Later, he transitioned to the development team at the Santa Clara Campus. This eighty acre facility was the new corporate headquarters for the then booming Sun Microsystems. As the result of delivering a very successful campus opening, he was promoted to Senior Facilities Manager for the Western Region of the Sun account. Before joining the InterContinental Hotels of San Francisco, Mr. Hobbs also held positions at Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Marvell Semiconductor, and Able Building Maintenance. As Area Director of Engineering for the hotels, Mr. Hobbs is responsible for maintaining the day-to-day operations, general improvements, and energy conservation for both InterContinental properties in San Francisco. Since joining the team, he has been a leading force in sustainability efforts at the InterContinental San Francisco, which recently achieved U.S. Green Building Council LEED EBOM Gold certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance). Mr. Hobbs is also a credentialed “Certified Facilities Manager” through the International Facilities Management Association.

Mr. Hobbs can be contacted at 888-811-4273 or harry.hobbs@ihg.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.