Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Alton

Sharon Alton

Founder & Principal, GAIA Consulting Group, LLC

Sharon Alton, founder and principal of GAIA Consulting Group, LLC, an integrated consulting firm that helps hotels and hospitality management companies gain maximum value for their sustainable efforts. Ms. Alton offices with the U.S. Green Building Council in downtown Denver and has an esteemed client base including Destination Hotels & Resorts, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region 8 and the Downtown Denver Partnership. She prides herself on demonstrating to clients how they can integrate economic, environmental and social responsibility into their company's corporate strategy. Her firm specializes in assessment, design, implementation, reporting and optimization of sustainable business opportunities. A business-minded professional with a background in investment banking and hospitality management, Ms. Alton gained a deep appreciation for the intersection of business and the environment while completing Graduate course work in Economics. Fascinated by the perception that economic reality is mutually exclusive to environmental and social responsibility, Ms. Alton chose to focus her attention on resolving this common misperception. GAIA Consulting Group is the product of her focus. A consulting platform which helps companies to bridge this dynamic perceptual gap, Ms. Alton assists her clients in achieving concurrent positive results for both the environment and their balance sheet. Ms. Alton graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She employs sustainable practices in her personal life and frequently provides pro-bono counseling to individuals seeking to lessen their environment footprint while achieving economic savings. Demonstrating that economic and environmental success go hand in hand, GAIA Consulting Group donates a percentage of annual profit to environmental organizations.

Ms. Alton can be contacted at 720-934-6045 or sharon@thegaiagroup.net

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.