Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Perks

Barrie Perks

Vice President Sales & Services, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau

Barrie M. Perks, an experienced sales and marketing professional who has held management positions with some of the nation's most recognized hotels in major cities around the world, joined the Cincinnati USA CVB as Vice President of Sales and Services in October 2006. Mr. Perkslived and worked in Cincinnati for 10 years while serving as Director of Marketing for the Westin Hotel in downtown Cincinnati from 1992 to 1997. Mr. Perks has led the strategic realignment of the CVB sales team to focus on specific vertical industry market segments rather than geographic regions, as had been done in the past. In 2007, Perks' first full year heading the CVB sales efforts, the team exceeded its room night goal by nearly ten percent. Throughout his tenure with the CVB, the Sales Team's room night production has consistently grown year over year, with nearly 220,000 rooms booked in 2013. Mr. Perks implements an aggressive strategic sales and marketing plan to promote the city as a vibrant convention and meetings destination. He works closely with area hotels and convention facilities, and serves as a liaison between the CVB's clients and these facilities. He also develops cooperative programs, familiarization visits and sales missions with the local hospitality industry to effectively market the region, as well as oversees the sales managers and sales budget. A primary focus area for Mr. Perks is creating a cohesive community and stronger relationship between the local hotels and the CVB, where the entities work collectively toward the goal of increased hotel room nights and attracting high volume, high value meetings and conventions to Cincinnati USA. He also has held sales, marketing and management positions with hotels including the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles; the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach; the Portofino Resort and Marina in Redondo Beach; the Biltmore in Los Angeles; Hyatt Hotels in Indianapolis and Chicago; Princess Hotels in Bermuda; and Loews Hotels International in London, England.

Mr. Perks can be contacted at 513-632-5394 or bperks@cincyusa.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.