The Business Behind Creating Unique Hotel Experiences for Guests
By Brian Johnson Managing Director, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort | November 17, 2013
In the world of hospitality, it's often said that you need to spend money to make money. As guests become less loyal to hotel brands and increasingly discerning about the uniqueness, the onsite amenities and the service levels of the hotels they patron, it's important for us as hotel leaders to be equally discerning in how to create exceptional, one-of-a-kind experiences that will incite guests to return again and again.
But with tightened budgets and the recession-era moniker of doing more with less, how can you create these unique experiences and still hit your numbers? And, how can you tell if they will really benefit the bottom line?
For the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz., finding that sweet spot required looking at our existing assets through a creative lens to find new ways to enhance them and build on the things that our guests already loved about us in such a way that would maximize impact at minimal cost.
The resulting solution was the creation of our new butterfly garden and desert tortoise exhibit, which both opened in August 2013, and now make us the first Arizona resort or hotel to feature certified butterfly and desert tortoise exhibits.
The 1,500-square-foot butterfly garden, certified by the National Butterfly Association as a national butterfly garden and a monarch flyway, features 20 types of plants to attract more than 60 species of butterflies. The resort partnered with the Southeast Arizona Butterfly Association to develop the garden and identify plant species such as Mojave milkweed, Arizona foldwing and Arizona milkweed that are most enticing to butterflies.
In addition to the garden, two desert tortoises now reside at the resort in the new 800-square-foot tortoise exhibit certified by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The exhibit, built by the resort landscaping staff in consultation with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, is part of the Desert Museum's Tortoise Adoption Program to benefit the welfare of captive and wild tortoises and turtles.