Chesapeake Hospitality Chief Commercial Officer Chris Green spoke with HNN on video to discuss his company’s 2019 highlights, hiring employees in a tight labor market and preparing for a downturn.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee—Whatever the next year or two brings, Chesapeake Hospitality is set up to not only weather a downturn but thrive in one.
Chief Commercial Officer Chris Green spoke with Hotel News Now at the 2019 Hotel Data Conference about staff hiring and retention strategies, operating business as usual in a recession and managing the company’s portfolio of brands and independents. In fact, Green said 2019 has been a great year for Chesapeake.
“We’ve been building over the years into some great growth in our portfolio,” Green said. “We’ve added a couple full-service hotels, and we have four more deals pending to close for the remainder of the year. We’ve always seen that as times get tight, Chesapeake’s long history of solid, firm management has been sought-after in times when things start to slow down a bit.”
One of the management company’s newest properties is the Hyde Hollywood Resort & Residences, a 363-room condohotel in Hollywood Beach, Florida, that features one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. Green said Chesapeake operates in specific markets and focuses on full-service, upper-upscale hotels with a heavy focus on food and beverage and sales and marketing, “because that’s what we’re built to do.”
“We’ve always been (in) secondary or tertiary markets; we haven’t done a ton in primary markets,” he said. “We’re in Houston, Philadelphia and Atlanta, but really we’re talking about cities like Wilmington, North Carolina; Tampa, Florida; Pittsburgh; those markets where our expertise that’s been honed over all these years and doing that type of hotel is really valuable. We know our niche and how to play in it.”
While Chesapeake’s portfolio includes both brand-affiliated and independent properties, Green said with the exception of marketing efforts, the company’s management approach doesn’t really differ.
“Really the big difference between the branded and independent is the level you have to go to either on the e-commerce side or digital marketing or direct sales side,” he said, “because you’re not going to get brand contribution on the independent side, so you have got to be more aggressive in the e-commerce space making sure that you’re present where the brands have all that horsepower behind them with the loyalty stays—we’ve got to generate those stays on our own.”