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 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.