MANAGING A GREAT HOTEL OPENING IS PURE INSTINCT PLUS PERFECT TIMING.
Anyone who has had the fortune to effectively and seemlessly open a hotel or resort successfully knows that instinct, luck and timing play an integral part. Once those three things have come together a couple of times, you then add in experience.
However, no two openings are alike.
What do we mean by instinct? There are five big 'characters' that have a major role in the opening and all of them at one time or another, or even at the same time, think they are in charge or at least act as if they were. We speak of the Project Manager, the Owner, the General Contractor, the Chain and the Architect. By virtue of their nature, these are not usually team players. As time goes by and the opening day approaches, the Manager has the responsibility to gradually assume or seize the reins from all five, without them feeling it. This is not done by a memo, an announcement, a confrontation or a screaming match.......it is done very gradually by instinct.
It is in fact done by walking around.
What do we mean by timing? There are six major drivers in the decision as to the Opening Day and they include the Owner, the General Contractor, the Banker, the Convention organiser or Tour Operator and the Project Manager all of whom demand that the property opens before it is completely ready or even complete. And the Manager's task is to calculate the best date for the opening several weeks (or even months) in advance because there is some million dollars a week at risk and perhaps several tens of thousands a month in addition if middle management and marketing start too early.
Oh indeed, the reasons for opening seem to make sense!
- The Owner wants to get the business going and to star at the fabulous Opening Party planned by his wife & start making money.
- The General Contractor wants to pull his workmen, transfer utilities costs to the operation and get on to the next project.
- The Banker wants to kick-start the Mortgage.
- The Project Manager wants to avoid late penalties.
- The Chain wants to start earning fees.
And when most is done and the five major drivers have gone home, the Manager is left to explain,
- Why does the hotel not make money like the Feasibility Study indicates?
- Why are maintenance costs so high?
- Why the Pre-Opening Expenses for training went an extra week?
- Why the half a million dollar Opening Party did not bring in business?
- Why does employee morale go down after an opening?
For more information or assistance in an opening, contact email@example.com