The Bipolar World of Hotel Marketing
Front-desk manager Lucia Pernot was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer as saying, "If a couple here for their anniversary is checking in and they say, 'This is the first time we've been away from our kids,' you don't have to ask about upgrading them to a suite. You just do it."
As a result of this can-do corporate culture, the Rittenhouse gets huge repeat business. Celebrities that come to Philly stay at the Rittenhouse. Among them: Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Mary Tyler Moore, George Bush, Gerald Ford and Luciano Pavarotti. Benton's personal welcome note to conductor Ricardo Muti was in Italian.
European business moguls from Paris, London, Frankfurt, Madrid or Milan will find that morning's edition of their hometown newspaper under the door of their room when they wake up.
When Mary Tyler Moore arrived with her dog, she found flowers and a sumptuous gift basket. Her hound was presented with its own gift basket of doggie treats and a water bowl personalized with its name.
Does this TLC pay off? In 2004, the Rittenhouse placed second among urban hotels with sales per room of $166,091.
Takeaway Points to Consider
- In the mid-1980s, consultant Axel Andersson used to visit us in Stamford, Conn., to go through our direct mail archive and talk marketing. For his first visit he stayed at Stamford's premier hotel, the Marriott. On his next visit, he asked me to make a reservation for him at the Marriott. When I called, the telephone rep started asking me how to spell Axel's name and the details of his address and phone number. I said, "Wait a minute, Mr. Andersson stayed with you four months ago. You have all of his information in your computer." "No we don't," she replied. "We don't keep records of our guests." I was stunned.