Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chastan, CMP

John Chastan, CMP

General Manager, Kalahari Resorts

John Chastan grew up surrounded by the hospitality business in a family that owned an independent restaurant. He followed this profession into college studying Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Wisconsin Stout. For six years in the 1990's Mr. Chastan held both operational and sales positions with Residence Inn by Marriott in several locations around the country. For several years he gained experience at convention properties with Hilton Hotels. Following this Mr. Chastan represented Monona Terrace Convention Center and Alliant Energy Center for the Greater Madison Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau. He joined the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells in 2003 and has held the positions of Director of Sales and General Manager. Mr. Chastan is a past board member and Vice President of Finance for Meeting Professional International - Wisconsin chapter. Currently he is the Chairman-Elect of the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association. He has also participated in the original creation of a two-year associate's degree program in meeting and event planning at Madison Area Technical College.

Mr. Chastan, CMP can be contacted at 608-254-3314 or wigroups@kalahariresorts.com

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.