Twenty years ago, most of us in the hospitality business had never heard of a Revenue Manager. Back in those days people made their reservations either by calling us, or having their travel agent call us. It was pretty simple. Establishing our pricing was a fairly straightforward exercise, taking into account supply and demand, which was relatively homogenous.
Fast forward to 2014 and you have the internet and a plethora of new ways to book a hotel room. Our puzzle includes guests who:
- Call direct
- Book on-line direct
- Have their travel agent use one of those two channels
- Use a wholesaler (a travel agent for travel agents) who does the same, or maybe books through the Global Distribution System (GDS) run by the airlines (Apollo, Sabre, Worldspan, etc.)
- Use one of two Central Reservation Systems in Vail (with or without a travel agent involved)
- Use one of the online travel agencies (OTA’s) such as Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com or more than a dozen others
There is also the question of how all those people who are booking on-line, whether direct or through a third-party, arrived at that particular website. The possibilities are literally endless. Attempting to track the demand from hundreds of such different channels is a full time job, to say the least. Each of those sources of business lends itself to complex analysis of pricing, discounting, restrictions, behavior, etc.
With this ever-growing complicated puzzle of “inbound traffic” the Antlers has taken the plunge of hiring a full time Revenue Manager. Ryan Kelsey comes to us with a good analytical background, as well as local hospitality experience at the Charter in Beaver Creek and Destination Resorts in Vail. We’re excited to welcome Ryan to the team, and love the fact that he can focus on this crazy puzzle of selling hotel rooms and providing the best possible return to our owners, while still maintaining great customer loyalty.
These days, when people ask me, “So how’s business?” My pat answer is, “Well, it’s pretty good, but it sure ain’t easy!” I realize that doesn’t make us special. Business everywhere is tougher than it used to be. Heck, it isn’t always easy being a consumer, either. Think of the travelers who have to deal with the same plethora of choices about where and how to book their rooms. We’d love to hear from any of you who have a favorite way to book hotel reservations. Naturally, we love it when you call us directly. That gives us the best chance of understanding all your preferences and satisfying all of your needs. But if you’ve found a preferable way to get a great Antlers suite with just a few online clicks, we’d love to know how and why. And we promise to share the info with Ryan.