Chelan, Washington, United States
I am the general manager and owner of the twenty-seven-room Obertal Inn and three townhomes located in Leavenworth, WA. Our company, Chelan Hospitality, Inc., purchased the hotel in 2010, and in three years we doubled the revenue from about $530,000 to well over $1,000,000. Obertal Inn is an independent, non-flagged hotel. We added the three 2BR/2.5BA townhouses to our inventory in August 2013. The hotel and townhouses are operated with about 14 employees, most of whom have been here since I took over.
Here’s a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet session(s):
• Financial management of your hotel.
• Online presence management.
• Marketing plan development
• Overall operations – including front office, housekeeping, food & beverage, operations and other ancillary services associated with a hotel operation
• Setting up your own bookkeeping and payroll - you can then maintain it yourself or hire a clerk who does data entry.
• Property management selection and implementation.
• Preparation of a multi-year capital plan based on property needs and capital available.
I love having my own business. I never really enjoyed being an "employee." I have too many ideas outside of corporate America's comfort zone. I truly enjoy working with and for our guests. All my employees know that making the guest happy is our number one priority. We are very visible on Google and other search engines as well as Facebook through a very concerted effort in website SEO and social marketing.
I have lived on three continents and in seven different countries. I have been in the U.S. since 1984. I have been in the hotel business my entire career – more than 35 years and I have done a multitude of jobs – dishwasher, waiter, cook, purchasing manager, restaurant manager, banquet director, director of catering, director of food and beverage, director of sales and marketing and general manager. These jobs have been held with some of the most well known hotel brands in the world, such as Westin Hotels & Resorts, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Noble House Hotels & Resorts. Horst Shulze, the founder of Ritz Carlton, has helped me tremendously in guiding my personal beliefs as to how hotels should be run. I have consulted on several projects, in places as diverse as Williston, ND and Sedona, AZ. I will travel wherever my client needs me.
My strengths are concentrated in sales and marketing, food and beverage and restaurant management. I do my own bookkeeping. I've found it keeps my finger on the financial pulse much better. I am a strong believer in employee bonus programs and have become somewhat of an expert in these programs. I am convinced that employees who participate in the financial well-being of a business will perform much better than employees who don’t. I have developed bonus programs for reservations, front desk operations, housekeeping, restaurant service, sales and catering.
I am very proud of my ability to grow a small independent hotel from a decent performing property into a “cash cow”. Ultimately, it's easy to make profit, but there is a delicate balance between profitability and customer/employee satisfaction. You can't sacrifice one for the other in the interest of higher profits.