Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Salapka

Drew Salapka

Vice President of Sales and Revenue Generation, Hotel Equities

Drew Salapka serves as Vice President of Sales and Revenue Generation for Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based, full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. Mr. Salapka's responsibilities include leading the firm's sales and revenue organization which is responsible for setting top line strategy and managing the total inventory for all the firm's hotels. His team analyzes the demand for all markets, evaluates market strengths and weaknesses, and reports key statistics that impact the industry and individual hotels. The team also manages sales processes and directs the ongoing training of all key sales and revenue staff members. Beginning his hospitality career at the age of sixteen, Mr. Salapka worked as a housekeeper at the Residence Inn Alpharetta, GA while still attending high school. After his graduation from college, Mr. Salapka joined Hotel Equities in 1999 as an intern at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Perimeter Center. He moved quickly to the position of Bench Manager, covering various positions at several of the company's hotels. He served as Operations Manager at the Fairfield Inn Midtown Atlanta before his promotion in 2000 to General Manager at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Macon, Georgia where he served for three years. In 2004, the company promoted Mr. Salapka to manage the TownePlace Suites in Kennesaw, Georgia. Marriott named him the General Manager of the Year for the brand two years later. In 2006, he accepted the challenge and responsibility of part-time Revenue Manager for the company and quickly expanded the work into a full-time position. Mr. Salapka is a graduate of Clemson University with a B.B.A. in Business Management. He and his wife reside in Cumming, GA. Active in his church, he leads a weekly small group study and serves as a Money Wise mentor. His interests include hiking, camping, waterskiing and traveling.

Mr. Salapka can be contacted at 678-578-4444 or dsalapka@hotelequities.com

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.