A Human-First Approach to Exceeding Guest Expectations
By Ken Lanigan Hotel General Manager, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia | April 2023
Growing up in Ireland, I became enamored with hotels and associated them with celebrations and glamour.
But it wasn't just the stately lobbies and elegant guest rooms; it was the team members who brought that feeling of celebration and grandeur to life.
From a young age, I knew that hospitality was my calling.
Today, as the Hotel General Manager of Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, I oversee a team of more than 50 who are deeply dedicated to the property's hotel operations. Our 208-room luxury hotel opened in February 2021, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through that challenging time, our steadfast commitment to an elevated guest experience-the same experience I enjoyed as a child and attracted me to this industry-propelled us to success. Our unwavering commitment has paid off, and we have been fortunate enough to earn the prestigious Tripadvisor's Traveler's Choice Award for Hottest New Hotel.
I like to tell my team that what we're doing is common sense, not rocket science. The spirit of any hotel comes from its team members. That spirit, especially in Philadelphia, must be authentic. Ensuring all interactions are genuine means that team members must be treated equally as well. As Hotel General Manager, I understand that the atmosphere I create at the top will be passed down to all. The team is a family, and we revel in creating a fun and familial atmosphere.
For example, this Valentine's Day we delivered flowers to our entire housekeeping team to remind them of how appreciated and valuable they are. Executing excellence takes a lot of energy, so as a leader I make sure to always have snacks and coffee available for team members to enjoy. It is my mission to create a feeling of hospitality for my team so they're aware of the hospitality we should be creating for our guests each and every day.