Dream Hotel Group Appoints Matthew Whiteheart as General Manager for Unscripted Durham

USA, Durham, North Carolina. September 09, 2019

Renowned hotel brand and management company Dream Hotel Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Whiteheart as General Manager for Unscripted Durham, the flagship location for its lifestyle brand and hospitality concept Unscripted Hotels.

With nearly 15 years of hospitality experience, including a decade serving in various senior management roles at AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star property The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Whiteheart is an award-winning executive with a passion for delivering excellence. His strategic leadership, attention to detail and dedication to staff training and stellar customer service will be vital in the continued success of Unscripted Durham, which opened its doors in July 2017 following a $19.5 million revitalization.

"We are thrilled to bring aboard someone as passionate about service and the customer experience as Matthew Whiteheart is," said Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein. "As a North Carolina native with vast hospitality experience in the state, Matthew brings an amazing knowledge of the region, as well as a proven record of superior skills and professionalism that we're certain will support our goals for the property."

As General Manager, Whiteheart is responsible for the day-to-day management and operations of the 74-room hotel and its food and beverage outlets, including executive oversight, recruitment and development of staff, annual hotel budgets and assuring guest satisfaction. Whiteheart most recently served as director of rooms at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, and also previously held roles at the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club in Durham, Sebasco Harbor Resort in Maine and Corolla Light Resort in the Outer Banks. In 2014, Whiteheart received The Horizon Award from the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, which acknowledges future leaders in the hospitality industry.

"It is an honor to join Unscripted Durham, a property that celebrates the area's culture and focuses on its guests as much as I do," said Matthew Whiteheart, General Manager, Unscripted Durham. "Hospitality begins with a welcoming ambiance, and that is hard to miss walking through the doors of Unscripted Durham, with vibrant music playing, collaborative conversations happening and captivating décor expertly placed at every turn. I believe this will be an incredible fit and am looking forward to helping the property continue its growth!"

Unscripted Durham, a 1960s icon formerly known as the Jack Tar Motor Lodge, features 74 well- appointed guest rooms and studios, and five locally inspired restaurants and bars, including an expansive rooftop pool deck and lounge and three restaurants flanking the street level. Maintaining its original architecture and signature mid-century modern façade, the building's long glass windows, split-levels and minimalist lines are now accented by bright, bold colors, geometric patterns and custom murals. Each space is full of distinct character, just like the city of Durham.

Located at 202 N. Corcoran Street, Unscripted Durham is situated in the heart of historic downtown Durham and walking distance from the American Tobacco Campus, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, DPAC and some of the city's finest restaurants and bars.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.