Marcus Experience and Results
Marcus Hotels & Resorts is committed to performance excellence in all areas of hospitality operations.
We build on our knowledge of brand systems and operations of independent properties to deliver creative and profitable solutions. We invite you to learn more about our expertise in critical hospitality areas including but not limited to renovation, branding, sales, revenue management, food & beverage, and human resources. Click the plus (+) sign to read a short description.
The Three R's of Value-Add: Renovation, Repositioning and Rebranding
Modernizing Momentum: AC Hotel Chicago
In 2014-15, Marcus executed a multi-million dollar room renovation of its Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Chicago, rebranded and reopened the hotel in May 2015 as the fourth AC by Marriott, a modern, European-style select-service hotel in the U.S. The property is quickly ramping to underwriting, and performing strongly against its comp set.
Renovation & Rediscovery: Westin Atlanta Perimeter
With the takeover of operations of the un-renovated Westin Atlanta Perimeter in a high quality corporate submarket of Atlanta, Marcus planned and executed a renovation of $50K per room, with stellar actualized results achieving pro forma expectation, including more than doubling F&B revenues, driven by Marcus’ marketing and operations expertise. From an all-in investment of under $160k per key, today the hotel is approaching within three years the exit value modeled in the underwriting for five years.
Creating an Icon: The Garland
After operating for over 20 years a 255-room Holiday Inn near Universal Studios in Los Angeles named for the actress Beverly Garland and owned by her family, Marcus conceived and executed for the owners an extensive renovation and repositioning to a boutique, independent property to create asset value by meeting the modern day market opportunity. The Garland’s resulting performance reflects higher returns and a stellar ADR and RevPAR increase. The property now reflects the iconic nature of its namesake and its restaurant is a neighborhood gathering spot.
Transformation of a Legend: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Since the acquisition in 1993, Marcus has executed transformational renovations and additions to this former Playboy Club Resort. With extensive guest amenities and recreational experiences set on 1,300 pristine acres, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa has become a go-to destination experience for the greater Chicago market and beyond. Marcus’ attention to market-responsive reinvestment drives value here.
Re-creating a Community: Skirvin Hilton
Through a public-private partnership, Marcus and its partner executed a $50MM renovation of the Skirvin Hilton, a 225-room iconic, historically significant hotel that had been shuttered for 20+ years. The capital stack included new market tax credits, state and federal tax credits, TIF and a Section 118 grant. The property now proudly serves as the premier hotel in the market and as the social hub for the community.
Show Me the Money
Marcus has led or been involved in several successful deals with complex financing arrangements. For example, $32M in EB-5 financing was raised for our Capitol District Marriott project in Omaha, and Marcus negotiated a favorable ground lease and second mortgage with Oklahoma City and identified and received significant income tax credits for the Skirvin Hilton redevelopment.
Sales Strategy Superiority
At Heidel House Resort, a property ideally suited for social catering events, changing pricing and sales strategies drove year-over-year group room sales up 4,000+ room nights and increased weddings by 33%. With a focused strategy on driving total group spend, and not just group rate, the resulting revenue increase was nearly $500K in our first year in a property in need of renovation yet to occur, pleasing our client very much.
Peak Dollars in Off-Peak Periods
At Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, a property in high-demand for weddings, association & SMERF groups, and transient leisure guests, strategic shifts were made in pricing by season, event room, and revenue thresholds, to drive more business into low- and shoulder-seasons and off-peak days, resulting in over 100+ weddings per year and an additional $1MM in event revenues.
Leading in Share Leads
Internal creation of an automated, mobile-friendly Share Lead System called “SalesDash” to send leads to sales managers throughout the Marcus Hotels & Resorts portfolio. The system shows progress, leads, tracking and expected payout, as well as the ability to offer additional promotions over need/low demand periods, all communicated via an efficient and effective dashboard. Pace is on track to reach 500 shared in-system leads in 2016.
Revenue Management Results
Revenue for One, Revenue for All
Our focus at Marcus Hotels & Resorts is on revenue management of all operations – rooms, food & beverage, and all additional outlets. At Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, for example, where the lowest demand period is mid-week in the winter months, our strategy to sacrifice some rate to drive occupancy, which is followed by guest spend in the resort’s various outlets (spa, golf, ski, and more) and resulted in the best winter performance in the property’s history. From 2013 to 2015, we grew our gross RevPOR by 14% and GOP by 16%.
Turning Charm into Cash
At times we encounter clients who choose to minimize reinvestment in their property, which requires creative strategies to increase revenue performance. Through new distribution channels new audiences were captured, who could be marketed to directly for direct-booking return stays. Through our robust Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) database, we are able to specifically target our marketing to different guest demographics and psychographics.
Food and Beverage Flow-Through
Going Against the Grain
At the turn of the economy in 2008, Marcus’ added a leadership position to focus on re-igniting catering & event business through new markets and channels; increasing visibility of Marcus’ unique restaurant brands through the creation of Marcus Rewards, award-winning websites, creative social media engagement, and local sourcing through a “Straight to Your Plate” program.
Relishing in the Recovery
Starting in 2012, with the appointment of a VP of F&B, Marcus created a corporate food and beverage department and expanded our concepts with the Savor restaurant brand, implemented our corporate beverage program, began participating in the Avendra purchasing program to focus on better pricing at higher volumes, and improved labor and expense management through disciplined financial rigor. Between 2012 and 2015, Marcus Hotels & Resorts’ F&B profitability grew 18%.
Reviews & Rankings From Service & Culture
Training & Teamwork
As a focused training effort, Marcus created and introduced the 52 weeks of Huddles Play Card in our Hilton Milwaukee City Center hotel, in addition to our job skills training. A single topic is discussed during daily line-ups, such as: Teamwork, Knowing Your Hotel, Service Recovery, WOWing the Guest, and Engagement. Using regression analysis, we identified the biggest influences on overall service scores are cleanliness of the guest room, arrival experience, and noise complaints. Quality teams comprised of staff members address the top causes of guest issues, with tracking done via compelling department scoreboards, thus successfully and proactively improving guest service scores. Further, fun team “competitions” put departments head-to-head to beat one another in service scores. The property was most recently ranked 80 of 279 Hilton hotels in overall service, achieved multiple Hilton service and improvement awards in 2013, and has received the AAA 4-diamond rating for five consecutive years.
Culture & Community
Creation of our Artist in Residence program in 2009 at the Pfister Hotel, then expanded to the Skirvin Hilton and Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker due to its success, has supported both the arts and our connection to community in select Marcus Hotels & Resorts properties. Tying the art to local flavor or the style of the hotel, each Artist in Residence has evolved the program further, such as the addition of the Marketplace at The Pfister Hotel where the artist can display and sell their works. Further, in 2010 we introduced a Narrator to select Marcus Hotels & Resorts to capture guest stories and connection to the hotel over the years, and shared via a blog, which is especially valuable in the historic hotels that we operate. And as an extension, we incubated an Augmented Reality app where guest can access additional information and stories about art and history within our hotels. Creating such enhanced experiences within our hotels, such as The Pfister where these programs were launched and tested, helps support our high rankings – consistently within the Top 5 on TripAdvisor over the last five years. Such rankings directly translate to revenues. According to Cornell Hospitality Research, using data from STR and Travelocity, “For every 1 point increase in a hotel’s rating, it’s booking opportunity increases by 14.2%, and can increase its price up to 11.2% without impacting its market share.”
Seize The Profits: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
In early 2016, we embarked on an in-depth, multi-departmental expense initiative with step change performance improvement experts at one of our properties, with the purpose of increasing productive work time, as well as find dollar savings. Processes were improved, systems developed or revised, and behavior was modified, resulting in a six-month improvement projection by department of 9.7% in Rooms (per occupied room), 18.3% in Food & Beverage (per cover), 17.3% in Spa (per revenue dollar), 5.9% in Grounds & Engineering (total spend). The total impact, thus far, is estimated to be a savings of over $600K. The expense savings trends have continued to improve in the second half of the year, and we expect to recognize additional improvement. This expense initiative exercise is a periodic process for Marcus-operated hotels.