Tag Archives: Marriott International

hospitality trends

Greg Miller will lead new Destination Hotels property in Phoenix

Destination Hotels announced the promotion of Greg Miller to vice president, managing director of the newest independent luxury lifestyle hotel in Phoenix set to open in December. A hospitality veteran for 34 years, Miller will be instrumental in launching Phoenix’s soon-to-be most engaging, creative and elegant urban hotel. The former Ritz-Carlton Phoenix will reopen after a multi-million dollar renovation as part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection – the first in Arizona – owned by Host Hotels & Resorts.

“Greg is a recognized leader in the tourism industry and Phoenix market who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in rebranding, renovating and opening high-end properties across the country and in the Caribbean,” said Kevin Regan, senior vice president of operations, Western region, for Destination Hotels. “His tenure with Destination Hotels and proven results managing multiple properties made him the ideal candidate for this expanded role. With Greg’s vision and leadership, we look forward to introducing travelers to a completely new and engaging luxury guest experience in Arizona.”

In this role, Miller will be responsible for leading the comprehensive renovation and opening of the yet-to-be-named hotel located at 2401 East Camelback Road in Phoenix. The former Ritz-Carlton Phoenix, located in the heart of the city’s humming business and entertainment district, closed in July 2015 to undergo extensive renovations that will align with the property’s new identity and guest experience blending imagination, sophistication, and statement-making designs. The hotel will introduce 277 luxury revamped rooms, a new restaurant and two bars, a fresh pool experience, the addition of a boutique spa, an expanded contemporary fitness center, and more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space. Leisure and business guests will enjoy convenient access to the city’s best in local dining, shopping, and cultural attractions.

In addition to overseeing the day-to-day management of the hotel’s operations team, Miller will maintain his current role as the vice president, managing director for the Destination Hotels Southwest properties including Tempe Mission Palms Hotel & Conference Center in Tempe, Ariz.; Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix; and The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz.;. Over the course of his career, Miller served as the general manager of the Royal Palms Resort; The Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley, Ariz.; and in various executive positions with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in the United States and Caribbean spanning 15 years. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA), Visit Phoenix, and is past chairman of Valley Hotel & Resort Association. In 2011, Miller was appointed to the AzLTA Hall of Fame. Other accolades include AzLTA’s Hotelier of the Year in 2002 and Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s General Manager of the Year that same year. Miller received his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

From left to right: NDSC Executive Director, David Tolleson, Area VP and JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort GM, Steve Hart and NDSC Board President, Marilyn Tolbert
(Photo credit: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort)

Marriott earns Employer of the Year Award

The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) presented the 2015 Employer of the Year Award to Marriott International during the NDSC’s annual awards banquet at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort on Saturday, June 27. Marriott was honored with the same award in 1989 for the company’s commitment to training and hiring individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities. This is only the second time in NDSC’s 43-year history to recognize a company for the second time as an Employer of the Year.

The recent accolade was given to Marriott International for its continued focus on providing meaningful work for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. Area Vice President and JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort General Manager, Steve Hart, accepted the award on behalf of Marriott International.

“Marriott’s commitment to positive internal measures, as well as its ongoing work with the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities should be points of pride for the organization’s associates worldwide,” said David C. Tolleson, Executive Director to NDSC.

The Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities is a not-for-profit organization established in 1989 by the family of J. Willard Marriott, founder of Marriott International. The foundation’s mission is to foster the employment of young people with disabilities. A program was created to pair recent high school graduates with jobs of local employers and then continues to work with the youth after placement to help them grow and advance within their career.


ASU Center becomes a resource to teach service

Customer service was once viewed as the cost of doing business.

“Across almost every industry, leaders are focusing on service as a way to compete in today’s competitive marketplace,” says Mary Jo Bitner, academic director for the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

But times have changed. Companies that are in search of new revenue streams are finding that in addition to providing great customer service, offering value-added services to their product lines are helping their bottom lines. And the help them make the most of the opportunities, many are seeking help from the ASU Center, which focuses on research and executive education in managing and marketing services.

“Customer demand and the competitive challenges posed by the commoditization of many products has pushed many goods-based companies to take another look at services as a source of revenue and profit,” says Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Services Leadership, who has spent the past 20 years tracking the growing importance of services as a product. “Many are following market leaders to become goods-and-services companies.”

For example, Boeing has broadened its offerings by adding the lucrative market of services to its aircraft manufacturing. The Hewlett Packard and Compaq merger created a new company whose major product is services. IBM’s impressive financials over the past decade — in shining contrast to its competitors — were largely the result of its service businesses.

“In 2001, we were launching our first fee-based service business,” says Steve Church, president of Avnet Integrated and chief corporate business development and planning officer. “We wanted to offer more services and solutions. We knew a lot, but there was a lot we didn’t know.”

Church says Avnet’s membership in the center — which concentrates on expanding service innovation by combining the latest scientific insights from the academic world with the best of business strategy in the real world — allowed the company to “build a culture of service excellence that focuses on the customer and gives each a great customer experience.”

The Center, which was created in 1985, remains the only one of its kind in the United States, devoted to research and education in the services field.  Its research findings form the foundation of the Center’s executive education program, attended by managers and executives of leading firms.  Member companies include AT&T, Charles Schwab and Co., Ford Motor Company, IBM, Mayo Clinic and others, who sponsor research, fund scholarships, host MBA student teams and participate in executive education.

Many member companies sponsor research that is published in academic journals, and shared at the Center’s executive education forums. Bitner, for example, has been studying the effects of self-service technologies (SST), working with Ford and a major pharmaceutical benefits management company.

“The Center is really a tremendous resource for any company that has a strategy to to improve customer serve or add services to augment its products,” Church says. “We learned that by getting our employees engaged in customer service, we built customer loyalty, it helped us compete, and it enhanced our financial performance.”


Marriott To Open Courtyard Hotel In Scottsdale

Courtyard by Marriott is rolling out its new lobby and room design in Scottsdale, featuring the “refreshing business” makeover.

The 158-room Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River is scheduled to open this month. Located at 5201 N. Pima Rd., the hotel is owned by Salt River Devco and managed by Marriott International.

The Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River is a unique property in numerous ways. First, for its contributions in making the environment a healthier place by reducing waste, conserving energy and water, the hotel is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designed and is the first hotel in the Marriott family built using Marriott LEED volume certification. Also, it is the first Marriott branded property built on U.S. tribal land and thus has incorporated Pima and Maricopa Indian culture into the hotel. And finally it is the only Courtyard property in Arizona with more than  6,000 SF of functional meeting space.

Located in the Scottsdale 101 Corridor and 13 miles from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River offers guests convenient access to Old Town Scottsdale, West World of Scottsdale and Salt River Fields – spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.

Courtyard by Marriott was the first lodging brand exclusively designed for business travel by business travelers. And now it has completely redefined the hotel lobby experience. This Marriott International “power brand” is fast-tracking its lobby makeover.

From day one, Courtyard has prided itself as a brand that listens to what business travelers want from a hotel,” said Janis Milham, vice president, Global Brand Manager, Courtyard by Marriott. “Guests want more control and choice with services and amenities that create a healthy balance between working and relaxing. We redefined the Courtyard lobby so it invites guests to get out of their rooms to work, socialize or for entertainment, whether traveling alone or with colleagues.”

The open, bright and contemporary new Courtyard hotel lobby welcomes guests with vivid colors. The traditional front desk is replaced with separate welcome pedestals to create more personal and private interactions when guests check in. This will allow staff to move about to show guests the lobby features and provide assistance. Flexible seating options range from communal tables in the middle of the action, to more private media booths with high-definition televisions, to a more intimate, semi-enclosed lounge area.

A signature element of the new lobby is the exclusive GoBoard® technology, a 55-inch LCD touch screen packed with local information, maps, weather, and news, business and sports headlines. Guests can navigate using the touch screen to find restaurants, local attractions and directions.

Guests can connect to free WiFi and there are ample electrical outlets throughout the lobby to power digital devices. The enlarged business library features several complimentary computer terminals along with a free printer and separate computer stations dedicated to printing airline boarding passes and checking flight status.

Dining has been completely redesigned with The Bistro – Eat. Drink. Connect.; offering casual, flexible seating; easier access to food and higher quality, healthier menu options for breakfast; and light evening fare, including snacks, wine and beer so guests can unwind. The MarketTM, a 24/7 shop for snacks, beverages and sundries, is always open for late-night cravings or the toothpaste you forgot to pack.

The four-story hotel features The Bistro restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a Bistro Plus offering sit-down dinner service with an upgraded menu, an outdoor swimming pool with whirlpool spa, fitness center, guest laundry and business center.

For more information on Courtyard by Marriott, visit Courtyard by Marriott’s website at marriott.com/courtyard.