Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Marino

James Marino

General Manager, The Lexington New York City

James Marino is the General Manager of The Lexington New York City. With more than two decades in luxury hospitality and experience in major metropolitan markets such as New York and Chicago, Marino successfully guided the Manhattan hotel through a multi-million dollar transformation. Mr. Marino joined The Lexington New York City from the Hyatt Arlington in Arlington, Virginia where he served as general manager for three years. His strong background in finance, sales and marketing drove the successful operation of the 318-room hotel; Mr. Marino exceeded Hyatt Arlington's annual budgeted revenue goal for two consecutive years while also increasing the overall RevPar (Revenue per Available Room) by more than 20%. Under his guidance, the Hyatt Arlington also improved its standing on the international travel review forum, Trip Advisor - jumping from #31 to #9. Prior to the Hyatt Arlington, Mr. Marino spent two years with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. As general manager of the Wyndham Glenview Suites in Glenview, Illinois, he placed an emphasis on delivering above-average guest experiences. Mr. Marino's efforts helped position the hotel among Wyndham Hotels & Resorts top three properties for overall guest satisfaction. His work also earned him recognition within the industry as a nominee for “Illinois Hotelier of the Year” in 2008. Mr. Marino's success at the Wyndham Glenview Suites secured him a position as the task force general manager for the brand. As the lead trouble shooting general manager, he was assigned to improve operating results at the Wyndham Princeton Forrestal Hotel and Conference Center in Princeton, New Jersey and the Wyndham Virginia Crossings Resort in Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Marino's highly developed management expertise is rooted in his varied experience throughout the country. In addition to his work with globally recognized brands such as Hyatt and Wyndham, Mr. Marino has also lead operations for hotels within the Hilton, Omni and Kimpton portfolios. His exceptional track record for managing distinctive Four Diamond boutique properties is defined by accomplishments that include consistently leading all Kimpton Hotels in their Chicago region in average daily rates, occupancy, guest comment card scores and employee surveys while acting as general manager of Hotel Monaco in Chicago; and earning the AAA Four Diamond Award for Chicago's Omni Ambassador East in 2004 and 2005, a first in the hotel's more than 80 year history. His innovative and creative approaches to management resulted in his hotel, the Hotel Monaco Chicago, to appear on the Travel Channel's “Great Hotels” with Samantha Brown, with its own dedicated 30-minute segment. Mr. Marino attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook and continued his education at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration where he earned his Masters in Professional Studies.

Mr. Marino can be contacted at 212-755-4400 or jmarino@lexingtonnyc.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.