SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (April 29, 2019) The 2019 My Place Hotels Convention held April 23-25 at The Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego saw record attendance comprised of several hundred current and prospective owners, operators, and partners. With Making Waves as the convention’s central theme, breakout sessions focused on impactful initiatives while general sessions gave insight into the brand’s direction and role in a rapidly changing environment.
Rewarding Guests and Owners
Confidently prescribing more than 60 open hotels by year end and a pipeline of 120 hotels to come, My Place Hotels President and CEO Ryan Rivett rolled back the curtain on the brand’s biggest development during the final hour of general session on Thursday, April 25. Now, with 7,000 pre-registered members, My Place is prepared to launch Stay RewardedSM at every hotel on June 3, 2019. Although a discount benefit to the guest has been inherent to My Place since the beginning, the brand continues its mission to recognize and reward loyal guests.
Attendees also received insight to the program’s development process from My Place Director of Brand Loyalty, Irene Roberts, who picked up the brand’s research and development upon her hire in 2017. Although several veterans from the Super 8 days already knew her as the loyalty powerhouse who grew the brand’s unique loyalty program to a multi-million membership base, Roberts told a general session audience that striking the balance of value to the guest and property was the most important objective to the team.
“I believe that Stay RewardedSM is a loyalty program that will balance the demands of today’s guests with the operational objectives of our hotels,” Roberts said. “As a points-based program with immediate perks, it’s sure to further our connection with loyal guests while enticing new guests to join and Stay RewardedSM wherever they find us along the way.”
Fixing What’s Not Broken
In addition to the heavy-hitting general sessions, owners and operators engaged in a number of educational breakout sessions focused on immediately and positively impacting their property, guests, and team members. One such session, Maintaining a Culture of Continual Improvement, gave attendees the first look at the brand’s Gen 2 Guest Room.
While balancing the product’s broadening appeal with the owner’s perspective, My Place unveiled its first prototype upgrade in 2017: The Gen 2 Lobby. Without seeing an increase in typical cost of a My Place Hotel’s brand FF&E package since the franchise launched, the brand unveiled its new Gen 2 implementation on the heels of its first. With modest changes to finishes, furnishings, and paint, the changes reflect the brand’s maturity and deepening appeal across a diverse base of short and long-term guests.
“The implementation of the Gen 2 Lobby was a huge success based on the cost to the property and value to the guest. We were working under some high expectations when we returned to the drawing board with the guest room,” said Corey Haaland, Director of Construction and Prototype Management.
“Michele White, our Director of Brand Management and I worked closely with Quest Hospitality Suppliers and The Richardson Design Partnership to rethink the product while every enhancement cost was explored with franchisees in mind,” Haaland said. “Improvements such as a multi-use, mobile desk, can-style lighting, and a modernized bathroom is sure to improve our great guest experience.”
Five Years of Franchising
Marking its fifth year since My Place began franchising in 2014, the brand expects to celebrate its 50th hotel opening this summer. For many reasons, Rivett expects the next 50 to move much quicker than the first.
“Seeing that our focus on internal growth has paid off by allowing us to facilitate every franchisee’s need from development to operations is affirmative of our direction,” Rivett said. “With construction times as short as five to six months when we started, we knew we had created a new-build brand that could grow faster than any other. By preparing the team and multi-property developers to move as quickly as our prototype allows, I expect to pick up the opening pace just as our franchise sales team picked up the pipeline last year.”
With a special focus on My Place’s position in a converging and popular space, some of the industry’s most familiar voices joined the conversation on April 24 which saw the All-Star Panel moderated by No Vacancy News Host Glenn Haussman as well as an expert’s session on Extended-Stay presented by Mark Skinner, Partner of The Highland Group.
While both sessions brought the changing landscape of extended-stay into clear view, Skinner’s study of the competitive inventory showed the age of My Place’s competitors as well as the gains the brand is set to make in the coming years. Out of the 200,000 rooms included in Skinner’s study, more than 25 percent are 15 to 19 years old while nearly 50 percent are a stunning 20 years and older. As for the estimated change in new rooms, My Place is slated to be the second fastest growing extended-stay brand in the U.S. Skinner said.
“My Place’s all new construction product, relatively low per hotel development costs, and strong brand support are key competitive strengths in making My Place one of the fastest growing extended-stay hotel brands in the country,” Skinner said.
From Product to Community: A Brand’s Evolution
Counting several hundred more attendees at the closing reception than its opening, AAHOA Young Professionals joined the party to close out #MyPlaceCon on the evening of April 25. The energetic gathering also celebrated the 30th Anniversary AAHOA Convention and Trade Show, convening more than 8,000 hoteliers in the San Diego Convention Center April 24-27.
Rachel Humphrey, Interim President and CEO of AAHOA, joined the outgoing AAHOA Chairman Hitesh “HP” Patel on the My Place Convention stage on April 24 to present the brand’s founders with an award of recognition from the world’s largest hotel owner’s association.
“AAHOA is excited about our partnership with My Place. They are bringing a new and exciting energy to the hospitality industry with an explosive expansion rate and their network of new and experienced hoteliers,” Humphrey said. “AAHOA’s members eagerly anticipate the opportunity to work with the team at My Place because of their vision for scaling up the brand over the next five years. We appreciate their support of AAHOA, our members, and our advocacy efforts, and look forward to a lasting partnership.”
As another familiar face of the industry and friend of My Place stated on the All-Star Panel, San Diego was host to a history-making week in hospitality.
“I can remember sitting down with HP when I was leading AAHOA to discuss where we were going to celebrate our 30th anniversary and we could find no better place than San Diego,” said Chip Rogers, now President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “Then when I learned My Place was going to be here as well, it’s really become the epicenter of the entire lodging industry this week.”
From its loyalty program to the tremendous amount of valuable impressions made throughout an epic week in San Diego, the brand’s community is certain to grow and evolve in the short term. The final chord of the convention however, was a celebration of its current community, a close, passionate, and engaged group of participants. The following awards and recipients were announced during the closing general session of the My Place Convention:
- Go-Getter: Awarded to My Place Hotel – Rock Springs, WY GM Diana Hernandez for demonstrated excellence in sales leading to improved hotel performance.
- Top Dollar: Awarded to My Place Hotel – Ketchikan, AK GM Carol Domme for positioning the property appropriately in market to achieve great success.
- Community Cultivator: Awarded to My Place Hotel – Twin Falls, ID GM Stacey Bell and owner Spencer Smith for successfully impacting the community’s needs.
- Rising Star: Awarded to My Place Hotel – Bozeman, MT GM Alexandra Reichert for their desire to learn, grow, and never stop improving.
- Ambassador of the Year: Awarded to My Place Hotel (Meridian, ID and Greenville, SC) owners Aaron Lawson and Daniel Pretorius for their outstanding efforts in growing the brand’s recognition throughout their communities.
- Spirit of Hospitality: Awarded to KAMP Hotels, Inc., for their unrivaled character and memorable approach to serving guests.
Lastly, the Property of the Year award named the property with the most consistent successes across the board. The pinnacle award was given to My Place Hotel – Marquette, MI and received by Lee Brown, who’s been the sole GM since the days before the property even opened.
“I could tell from the opening speech to the closing awards, every person at the convention truly cares about each other and about taking care of guests, making all of our properties the best they can be,” Brown said.
“As for the surprise, I knew we worked hard in Marquette to give every guest an amazing experience, but I didn’t expect to be named Property of the Year! It feels not just good or great but satisfying to have all the work, all those hours, and all the innovation noticed,” Brown admitted. “On behalf of my team, my coworkers, my owners, thank you My Place Hotels of America, for recognizing us and giving us this amazing opportunity to continue our outreach to all those future guests out there.”
About My Place Hotels
All My Place Hotels locations offer modern amenities at an affordable price including nightly, weekly and monthly rate options. Each guest room features a My Kitchen, complete with a cooktop, a microwave and a full refrigerator. My Place Hotels offer pet friendly accommodations, include on-site laundry facilities, complimentary high-speed internet service and a 24-hour My Store, located in the hotel lobby and stocked with an array of supplies for the guests’ convenience. Additionally, guests are invited to enjoy the new Breakfast in Bed option for a minimal cost.
My Place Hotels of America is a franchise company that focuses on providing a clean and comfortable facility, with modern amenities, and great customer service, all at an affordable price. The company is based out of Aberdeen, SD, and offers franchisees a new construction brand, designed to ensure quality, consistency and the highest of standards for delivering marketplace value. The brand currently has 45 hotels open across 21 states with over 120 hotels in the pipeline. To book your stay at My Place, please call the toll-free reservation line at: (855) 200-5685, or visit myplacehotels.com. Guests are invited to register for Stay RewardedSM, the brand’s upcoming loyalty program, at myplacehotels.com/stayrewarded.
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