It’s more moderately priced, but luxury still requires a higher level of service and amenities, says Linda Burley, national sales manager of Red Rock Resort and a member of Financial & Insurance Conference Planners‘ Hospitality Advisory Council. She shared her thoughts with us in this interview.
Q: Have you noticed a change in the definition of luxury over the past year?
A: I think previously we all associated luxury with a price point and, possibly, a brand. The new luxury, available at a more moderately priced property, still offers a high level of service and guest amenities, yet it is not “over the top” or under scrutiny by corporate executives, meeting stakeholders and public opinion. Planners looking for today’s luxury need only do some research to find the best options at a competitive price, and at a property that will meet everyone’s expectations.
Q: How can cost-conscious planners add a sense of luxury to meetings and incentives?
A: Meeting attendees will feel a sense of luxury if they are at a hotel or resort where they experience a high level of service and the staff acknowledges and understands the value of the group business.
At Red Rock Resort, we are considered a “group hotel,” as about 90 percent of all our guests are here for meetings and conferences. Our team understands the value of group business and they operate the resort with the group guest experience at the forefront of their minds. This includes early guest room check-in when available, guest rooms that are comfortable for doing business when the attendees are not in meetings, and a variety of activities available for guests on evenings when events are not scheduled.
Q: Do you offer any services or amenities that increase ROI or ROE for planners?
A: There are a number of resources we offer that do not increase the cost of the program. As ROI and ROE are so dependent upon the environment, we offer a large number of meeting rooms with natural lighting and spectacular views. This enhances the experience of the attendees and increases their ability to focus on the material being presented. In addition, healthy and beautifully presented food and beverages are a key factor in the overall attendee experience.
Our culinary staff work diligently to create unique presentations while preparing healthy options for meals. The overall guest experience helps to determine the success of meetings and events. Guest rooms must be relaxing and comfortable, as well as efficient for the business traveler. Most importantly, the level of service and friendliness of staff must be exceptional.
There is no price associated with this – it simply requires a planner to do their research on the properties that are under consideration for future programs.