Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Carrier

Lou Carrier

President, Distinctive Hospitality Group

Lou Carrier is President of Distinctive Hospitality Management (DHM), a Massachusetts based hotel and restaurant management and consulting company as well as President of Distinctive Hospitality Group (DHG), a hospitality ownership alliance. Prior to forming DHG, Mr. Carrier was Chief Operating Officer of theWit hotel brand in Chicago, IL. In this role Lou was responsible for all branding initiatives, sales and marketing strategies and organizational structure. The hotel has been widely considered one of the most successful new hotel concepts in the US since it launched in 2009 and was the fastest hotel in North America to achieve AAA Four Diamond status. Prior to the opening of theWit hotel Mr. Carrier created the BOKX 109 American Prime restaurant concept in Newton, MA in 2008. The restaurant has won numerous awards and accolades during its first years and remains one of the highest grossing restaurants residing in an Intercontinental Hotel Group property in the Americas. Prior to returning to Massachusetts in in early 2008 Mr. Carrier spent nearly eight years in senior developmental and organizational leadership roles in the creation of the upscale Hard Rock Hotel brand. As opening General Manager of the Hard Rock Hotel @ Universal Orlando, FL Mr. Carrier delivered AAA Four Diamond status to the 650-room resort within its first six months, and for four years it was the top performing hotel in the brand. From there he was chosen as Managing Director in charge of developing the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, CA before being selected to coordinate the extensive expansion and upgrade to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV in 2005 as Executive Vice President. Mr. Carrier spent a total of 8 years with Loews Hotels in Washington, DC and Florida in the roles of General Manager, Regional Director of Food and Beverage and Corporate Task Force leader. Prior to joining Loews Lou spent 9 years with Stouffer Hotels and Renaissance Hotels at their flagship property, the AAA Five Diamond Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC where he held 8 progressive management positions. Mr. Carrier's desire for DHG is to build a portfolio of 15-20 unique hotels in the New England area over the next five years.

Mr. Carrier can be contacted at 508-651-8300 or lcarrier@distinctivehospitalitygroup.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.