The Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas Allen & Watters Creek Convention Center is the perfect spot for Managing Director Stacy Thaler Martin, who said she loves the Dallas area and convention hotels.
ALLEN, Texas—Stacy Thaler Martin is back to what she calls home in her role as managing director of the Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas Allen & Watters Creek Convention Center.
Martin grew up in upstate New York and at 17 years old landed her first hotel job as a front-desk associate at a hotel owned by her family.
“I didn’t know I wanted to be in the hotel business, but I ended up in it, and it just so happens the college I chose had a hotel school, so I transferred into it and I graduated with a hotel degree, which is kind of rare these days,” she said.
From there, Martin worked her way up through the hotel industry from department-head level to executive level to executive committee level. She lived in Dallas earlier in her career for 14 years, but moved to Seattle for her first shot at being a general manager.
“When (the Delta Dallas Allen hotel) came up as a potential for Benchmark, they had known that I had wanted to move back here because I’d been rattling the cage a long time,” Martin said. “Even though I’m from upstate New York, I consider Dallas my home.”
The Delta Dallas Allen hotel opened up in January, but Martin was brought on board when the site of the hotel was just dust in November 2017, she said. The area the hotel is located in sees a lot of business travel, and so far, the property has seen a lot of corporate-negotiated rates through Marriott International, which she expects to continue.
Indie vs. brand
Martin has worked in many hotels during her career, most of which were independent hotels.
The biggest difference between working for a brand and working for an independent is working for two entities under a brand instead of one under an independent, she said.
“You have to marry with the management company’s standards (and the brand’s standards),” she said. “I serve two masters here, whereas in an independent hotel you usually just have your management company that you’re working with as far as the standards.”
Before coming to the Delta Dallas Allen hotel, Martin worked in other hotels that focused on conventions and group business, such as the Adolphus in downtown Dallas which has around 430 rooms, three different ballrooms and “a lot of breakout space,” she said.
Martin also managed The Heldrich Hotel & Conference Center in New Jersey, which has 235 rooms and 25,000 square feet of meeting space.
Out of all of the hotels she’s worked in, Martin said managing convention hotels is her “favorite of all the things I’ve done.”
“I’ve worked in every kind of hotel except an airport hotel, but my favorite thing about meeting and convention hotels is you get the opportunity to work with a planner and work on what that dream is that they want to deliver to their constituents,” she said. “And you get to guide them so they create a memorable experience for their entire group. I love that, because it gives you an opportunity to express their creativity for their groups and then it’s on us to deliver that dream. I love that.”