Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Howell

Rob Howell

General Manager, Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort

Rob Howell is the General Manager of The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. He has held leadership positions in the hospitality industry for nearly 30 years. Rob's specialties include increasing the sustainability of business, creating a culture of exceptional guest service, breaking the mold of typical business organizational structures, and auditing operations to focus on “what makes us successful; people and processes”. A graduate with a Master's Degree in Hotel Administration from Penn State University's Hospitality program, Mr. Howell has held responsibilities ranging from Vice President of Marketing and General Manager to Graduate Assistant and Sales Manager. Mr. Howell began his career at Allied Hospitality, later SB Yen, and finally arrived at The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort where he manages the 99 room property and 27-hole championship golf course among other amenities. Mr. Howell is a board member of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, President of the Sherman Theater, and Rotarian. He has been honored as the 2010 General Manager of the Year for the United States by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 2010 General Manager of the Year by the Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Association, and 2008 Outstanding Tourism Employee by the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau.

Mr. Howell can be contacted at 570-424-4050 x1409 or pr@shawneeinn.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.