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Hotel Budget Season: Design Your Most Profitable Channel Mix Strategy in 2019

The Rainmaker Group 9h
Travel customers have an unprecedented number of options to shop and book hotels, with new competitors constantly jumping into the distribution channel pool. Determining what inventory to sell through which channels has become a critical component in operating a profitable hotel. The industry is seeing online travel agencies (OTAs) with market values higher than many hotel brands and commissions rising at twice the rate of revenue growth.1 Despite these intimidating numbers, intermediary distribution channels should not be looked upon with enmity, but rather as key players in your unique channel mix strategy - designed to bring you greater success and profitability in 2019.KNOW YOUR GUESTS & WHERE THEY SHOPBefore you can determine the optimal channel mix strategy for your hotel, you must identify your ideal business mix. Perform a thorough analysis of your current customer segments, including demographics, source markets, the purpose for visiting, length of stay, and of course, which channels they're using to shop for hotels. In particular, you want to understand the total guest value of each customer segment, moving beyond revenue per available room (RevPAR) or even net revenue per available room (NetRevPAR) - which accounts for acquisition costs. In addition, consider guest spend on ancillaries such as food & beverage, recreation, spa services, and merchandise. With this information at your fingertips, you can plan which higher-value customer segments you want to target in 2019, and through which channels you can best reach them.DO YOUR DATA & INSIGHTS MEASURE UP?With the current influx of big data, hotels are hit with a literal firehose of information to sort through. To create an intelligent channel mix strategy for 2019, you need more than just data - you need insights. The right technology and tools help you perform an accurate assessment of your performance in light of the overall business available in your market, allowing you to zero in on the actions necessary for achieving your channel optimization goal.Channel ProfitabilityAcquisition costs have risen to up to 25 percent of guest paid revenue,2 and include commissions, transaction fees, and loyalty program costs, as well as property-level or franchisor sales and marketing costs. It's important not only to evaluate each channel's top-line revenue but also track the costs necessary to secure the revenue. Additionally, evaluate your proprietary website (brand.com) just as you would a third-party partner. Finally, you need to clearly understand which channels your highest-value guests are booking through in order to adequately value the ROI of each channel.Attribution & Campaign TaggingIt's important to track visitor statistics, hotel website navigation paths, and sales transactions from your booking engine. However, a guest's purchase channel doesn't always correlate with their shopping channel.3 In China, for example, despite high shopping activity on brand.com websites, more hotel bookings occur through OTAs. More than 40 percent of travelers say they bounce back and forth4 between exploring the details for one destination and then zooming out to reconsider all their options again. To address the challenge of accurately attributing credit to the myriad actions that result in conversion, a newer tracking tool known as "campaign tagging" identifies website traffic by source as well as by the promotional campaign and distribution channel that triggered their visit.Ancillary SpendEach channel's ancillary revenue contribution must also be factored into the equation.5 On the surface, it may appear as if a specific hotel is gaining more business through a certain OTA versus direct. However, a deeper analysis may reveal that the brand.com customer is spending more than double in ancillary revenue and room rates than the OTA channel customer, while also maintaining longer lengths of stay and higher retention rates.Marketing ResultsEvaluate your marketing spend by channel6 to see if you're getting enough return on your investment. Some channels may bring in better results during specific weekdays or seasons. Analyze different combinations in order to allocate your marketing resources to the right channels at the right time.In-depth analysis of these factors, in light of your target business mix and KPIs will reveal your most profitable distribution channels in the truest sense. However, this is not a "one and done" scenario. Hotels must consistently monitor and reevaluate their channel strategy, determining ways to efficiently gain the optimal mix of traffic, and convert the traffic into the highest profitable transactions.OPTIMIZE YOUR CHANNEL MIX FOR REVENUES AND ROIIn the past, when it came to managing channel mix, hotels rarely looked beyond revenues and occasionally costs. By only considering these metrics, you may believe it's in your best interests to fill your rooms purely through direct channels. However, the goal is not to eliminate intermediary channels, it's about creating your most profitable mix. And most hotels need a blend of demand from multiple channels.7With so many channel options available, sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. Just because a particular channel is popular,8 or is working well for a market leader, doesn't mean it's ideal for you. It's about strategy. Use your own data and be realistic in terms of your specific market demand drivers, location, and costs.Set clear goals by channel, by day of week, and by season. Build your strategy, which may involve reducing or eliminating participation in some channels, while stimulating greater flow into others. The channel mix that brings you the greatest profitability is going to be unique to your hotel, involving an effective balance between direct, indirect, online, and offline channels.Direct OnlineYour proprietary website and Internet booking engine, outshines the results of OTA bookings9 in terms of guest loyalty, rates, frequency, and length of stay.Optimize it: With 40 percent of U.S. travel site visits coming from mobile,10 make certain your website is mobile-friendly. Take advantage of upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and build relationships to gain lucrative repeat business. Use market intelligence to create targeted promotional campaigns that are likely to convert.Direct OfflineVoice is a particularly effective offline channel, with average rates and length of stay trending higher than many other channels,11 and even scoring points with Millennials.12 Optimize it: Like its online sister, offline direct channels also provide opportunities to upsell and offer revenue-maximizing add-ons. Make things easy for guests by incorporating seamless click-to-call capability.OTAs & MetasearchIn 2017, Phocuswright reported that approximately 22 percent of hotel gross bookings occur through OTAs.13 And while the Billboard Effect may be dead,14 clearly, OTAs and metasearch sites remain an important part of your distribution channel toolkit. Their advertising budget affords them a much larger reach into emerging markets individual hotels can never hope to duplicate. This creates exposure to your brand you wouldn't be able to achieve on your own. Optimize it: Develop a strategy to capture email addresses for OTA guests at check-in. Acquiring the email addresses of those who booked through an OTA will give you the ability to market to those guests in the future. Hopefully, you will be able to convert those customers from an OTA loyal customer to a "your brand" loyal customerGDSThe Global Distribution System exposes your hotel to millions of travel agents around the world. It is estimated that greater than 55% of the business that books via the GDS is managed business. However, with annual worldwide hotel room revenue production estimated at $8.5 billion dollars, there is still a significant amount of business you can influence.15Optimize it: Work with your GDS connectivity provider to make sure your listing is optimized. Consider GDS advertising or even possibly placement programs.Wholesalers (Offline & Online)While this business tends to be more influential in gateway cities and destination markets, it can bring valuable guests to hotels. These guests will likely be from markets many hotels do not have the ability to reach on their own. Additionally, this segment tends to have a longer length of stay which benefits the hotel's bottom line.Optimize it: Make sure your profiles are consistent and accurate, filled with engaging descriptions and images designed to attract your target audience.Competition is fierce in this hybrid-channel marketplace. And as the distribution landscape evolves in complexity, hotels must take a comprehensive approach to developing their channel optimization strategy. One that's rooted in a solid foundation of analytics combined with accurate tracking of the right performance metrics. Your channel mix is crucial to your property's ability to grow and achieve financial success. Once you've developed your strategy, you must continuously monitor and refine it - always keeping the goal of maximizing your profit potential top of mind. Hotels that create an optimal channel mix strategy, and pair it with the power of top-line technology, will find themselves well along the path to long-term profitability.Kristi White will be hosting a webinar on the topic of "Are You Ready for 2019?" on 10/30 at 2 PM EST. Click here to register.
Article by Kristi White

Why You Need to Take a Holistic Approach to Hotel Budgeting

The Rainmaker Group 9 October 2018
To develop an accurate and functional budget for 2019, hoteliers must take a holistic approach to the process. This involves starting with a big-picture view that includes your top company initiatives, along with a drill-down into the data to identify significant, sustainable cost-reduction opportunities in conjunction with hotel-wide profit optimization strategies. This is all then compiled into a neat package that guides you in capturing the greatest market share and revenue possible throughout the coming year.The Big Picture: Successes, Challenges, & Future ObjectivesThe first step in drafting your budget for 2019 requires an evaluation of your 2018 performance - an in-depth analysis of historical data concerning your successes and challenges. What trends, guest segments, channels, or tactics produced the highest revenues and drove the largest number of conversions? Don't simply make potentially costly assumptions or transfer line items from year to year simply because you've always done it that way.Consider your financial priorities and business goals for 2019, and the primary obstacles you'll encounter that impact them. Then thoroughly examine each area of your business - group sales, food and beverage (F&B), marketing - and explore how they contribute to your company revenue targets. Dig deep into the numbers and determine what exactly is required to meet your revenue goals. Your marketing budget should account for techniques to reach every area of your guest funnel, from those in the top-of-funnel inspiration phase, through research and planning, to building repeat business and loyalty.Complete your big-picture view by combining data with insights derived from discussions with your front-line staff. Conversations between hotel management, sales, marketing, and guest-facing staff provide invaluable information concerning what guests are looking for, happy with, or complaining about.Proactive vs. Reactive"I believe that everyone chooses how to approach life. If you're proactive, you focus on preparing. If you're reactive, you end up focusing on repairing." ~ John C. MaxwellWhen it comes to preparing your budget, it may be tempting to take the shortcut of simply using last year's budget and updating it. However, you'll likely end up with a flurry of short-term "tactical" fixes and fragmented marketing ideas designed to create isolated bursts of revenue. This is a reactive approach, with your budget based solely off what happened in the past and not at all representative of what your business truly needs to move forward.Your hotel budgeting plan should be a continuous, proactive process,1 not a reactive exercise. It should never be simply a Q4 event. Like a golfer who keeps score throughout the game, adjusting to improve performance after each hole, it's important for hotel management to proactively work on budgets year-round. To create the most accurate budget for the following year, evaluate business performance weekly and monthly. Regularly update rolling forecasts2 and measure your performance in relation to those forecasts.Long-term proactive budgets are driven from the top down. More strategic in nature, the proactive approach translates your company goals and objectives into action. It guides budget decisions in advance, and establishes how your hotel can expect to profit throughout the coming year. Further, proactive budget strategy includes accurate forecasting as an essential component.3 By utilizing a revenue management system (RMS) enhanced by the powerful analytics of a modern business intelligence platform, you can incorporate forecasting specifics such as occupancy, arrival and departure patterns, length of stay, and seasonality into your budget plan. These insights ensure you appropriately plan for labor costs and make the most of your hotel resources. You also zero in on which guest segments, ancillaries, and promotional campaigns produced the highest revenue. This places you in a much better position to allocate your resources in ways to help achieve your profit goals for 2019.Budget for Profit Not Just RevenueRevenue-generation strategy is a primary focus for hotel owners planning their 2019 budgets. It's important to remember, however, that revenue per available room (RevPAR) only tells part of the profitability story. For true budget-planning success, don't simply focus on increasing revenue, but profits.4 Is your hotel catering to the optimal mix of business to meet and exceed your financial expectations? Are you looking beyond room revenue to optimizing non-room revenue streams as well?Here again an RMS and forecasting functionality play a role allowing you to identify ways to target your highest-value guest segments in 2019. An accurate demand forecast includes unconstrained demand, stay patterns, and booking pace, which directly impact your bottom line. If your property is forecasted for a period of high occupancy due to high unconstrained demand, for example, then a revenue manager can plan to sell on low-cost/high-rate channels to maximize profits. Alternatively, forecasted low-occupancy periods could trigger an increase in promotional campaigns across all online channels - and customized promotions for off-line customers - in order to produce incremental demand. In addition, demand forecasts allow you to anticipate the additional revenue that will be generated from other departments that are proportional to room occupancy, such as F&B, spa, and other ancillary services.Take a Strategic Approach to Reducing CostsBudgeting for profit means analyzing your operational costs in relation to revenues, including purchases of perishable and non-perishable goods. As an illustration, during projected low occupancy, a hotel can plan to decrease food purchases for its buffet offerings, and reduce labor expenses by scheduling less staff in housekeeping and F&B services. In addition, you should accurately track acquisition costs5 - costs incurred to acquire reservations - for your individual property and the industry at large. By tracking both you obtain a more transparent indication of your customer acquisition efficiency, as well as the direction its trending.Many hotels will be deploying capital towards renovations in the coming year. Take a strategic approach to how you budget for your own hard and soft renovations. Projections of consistently high unconstrained demand may lead management to decide a major hotel expansion is called for. And in terms of soft renovations, a close examination of your guest segment trends and preferences will pay dividends in your budget planning success.First Forecast of the YearYour budget is truly your first forecast of the year, but no one sees into the future with 100 percent clarity. The twists and turns of this dynamic, competitive marketplace may make what seems crystal clear today, appear quite different tomorrow. A holistic budget strategy anticipates change. For optimal results invest in a flexible and robust technology solution6 that not only helps account for the multiple "what if" scenarios that will arise, but provides a distinct path toward creating operational efficiencies, improving performance, and increasing your profits - always guiding you in the direction of selling the right product, to the right customer, at the right time, at the right price, via the right channel.For more on the topic of taking a holistic approach to your 2019 plans, join Kristi White for a webinar assessing "Are You Ready for 2019?" on 10/30 at 2PM EST. Click here to register.SOURCES:1Braun, Robert, and Global Hospitality Group. "Hotel Lawyer: Tips on Negotiating Your Annual Hotel Budget." Hotel Law Blog, Global Hospitality Group, 12 Oct. 2017, hotellaw.jmbm.com/hotel-budget-tips.html.2Mest, Elliott. "10 Ways to Manage Expenses in 2018." Hotel Management, 14 Feb. 2018, www.hotelmanagement.net/operate/10-ways-to-manage-expenses-2018.3Aghazadeh, Seved-Mahmoud, "Revenue Forecasting Models for Hotel Management." The Journal of Business Forecasting, Flushing, Vol. 26. Issue 3 (Fall 2007): 33-37. https://search.proquest.com/openview/3f34c7f72d098b825231f99aed460ae8/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=281444Enz, Cathy, et al. "Study Highlights Growth of Strategic Hotel Profit Management." Admissions Statistics | Undergraduate Program | Cornell SHA, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, 18 Apr. 2017, sha.cornell.edu/centers-institutes/chr/blog/2017/04/18/study-highlights-growth-of-strategic-hotel-profit-management/.5Starkov, Max, and Mariana Safer. "Whitepaper Available: The Smart Hotelier's Guide To 2018 Digital Marketing & Technology Budget Planning." Hotel Internet Marketing | HeBS Digital | Hotel Website Design, HeBS Digital, 15 Sept. 2017, www.hebsdigital.com/blog/must-read-whitepaper-available-the-smart-hoteliers-guide-to-2018-digital-marketing-technology-budget-planning/.6Winata, Lanita, and Lokman Mia. "Information Technology and the Performance Effect of Managers' Participation in Budgeting: Evidence from the Hotel Industry." International Journal of Hospitality Management, Academic Press, 25 July 2004, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278431904000362.
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Okada Manila Selects Rainmaker Solution Suite to Drive Guest Bookings, Outperform Competitors and Increase Profitability

The Rainmaker Group 9 October 2018
The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue management software, today announced that Okada Manila has selected a comprehensive solution suite, including guestrev, grouprev, revcaster and revintel, to optimize hotel revenue and drive competitive advantage at the 993-room world-class luxury property. The agreement marks Rainmaker's expansion in the Asia-Pacific hospitality market.Okada Manila, the largest casino resort in the Philippines, is a popular destination for entertainment seeking, leisure and business travelers. The hotel's management team wanted an integrated cloud-based revenue management suite that would streamline operations, enhance revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance, and drive guest bookings. After a lengthy review process, they selected the Rainmaker solutions, citing factors such as features, functionality, and ease of implementation."The Rainmaker revenue management suite meets our requirement for a comprehensive cloud-based solution that's both powerful and easy to use," said Julius Santos, Director of Sales and Marketing at Okada Manila. "Revenue optimization technology is critical to success in today's hotel market, and Rainmaker's suite will help us improve pricing decisions, drive conversion rates, and maximize group business potential. The solutions are also easy for staff to understand and use, with a minimal learning curve. We are excited to implement the suite and start reaping the benefits of more efficient operations and increased profitability."Okada Manila has selected the following revenue management software solutions from Rainmaker:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management application that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;grouprev, an innovative group pricing solution that streamlines the process of responding to group RFPs by analyzing historical data, future demand, and price sensitivity to recommend the best pricing for group business;revcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape; andrevintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level."Hotels, casinos and other hospitality venues that want to achieve a competitive advantage must employ state-of-the-art revenue management technology," said Mike Cowles, CEO of The Rainmaker Group. "Our portfolio of revenue optimization and analytic solutions will help Okada Manila distill the most complex data from numerous sources and turn it into actionable insights, resulting in increased guest bookings and profitability. We are thrilled to deliver our comprehensive revenue management suite to this world-class property and to expand our footprint in the Asia-Pacific hospitality market."Located in the heart of Manila's Entertainment City gaming strip, Okada Manila is the largest casino resort in the Philippines and the newest gaming and entertainment destination in Asia. The $2.4 billion development includes 993 luxury guest rooms and suites, more than 20 dining options, a collection of exclusive retail shops, a 90,000-square-foot indoor beach club, and a 284,000-square-foot casino. The centerpiece of the property is a large multicolor dancing fountain spanning more than 400,000 square feet and costing more than $30 million. Okada Manila is the flagship development of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc., a subsidiary of Japan's Universal Entertainment Corporation.
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The Rainmaker Group Now Integrates with Central Reservation System, Windsurfer CRS, to Provide a More Streamlined Interface for Customers

The Rainmaker Group 20 September 2018
The Rainmaker Group announces a full integration between Rainmaker's premier revenue management system, guestrev, and SHR, Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a pioneer of advanced hotel distribution technologies and developer of Windsurfer CRS.This integration allows guestrev to send pricing recommendations directly to Windsurfer CRS, giving properties the ability to access strategic information as they make pricing decisions. Hotel properties that utilize both guestrev and Windsurfer will be able to see Daily Rates, overbooking (at the property level or room type level), and Open/Close to Stay-Through within the CRS, instead of waiting for their PMS to relay the same data."We are excited to partner with SHR on a streamlined technology integration between Windsurfer CRS and Rainmaker's guestrev profit optimization solution. This real-time integration will provide SHR and Rainmaker customers with increased profitability through dynamic pricing capabilities," said Mike Cowles, CEO of Rainmaker. "We understand the importance of working with best in class companies to provide quality experiences for our customers and we are proud to have Windsurfer CRS as a new integration partner."Nicole Adair, Corporate Director of Revenue Management for SHR agrees. "At SHR, we recognize the importance of a data-driven revenue management strategy and are looking forward to bringing the power of our Windsurfer CRS distribution platform to Rainmaker RMS clients," she said. "This integration will allow our mutual clients to more seamlessly deploy their revenue strategy across distribution channels, and significantly reduce their manual processes."About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue management and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts, and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, demand forecasting, business intelligence and market analysis are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations and revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta.' Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Dubai. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue management and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.About SHRHeadquartered in Houston, Texas, with offices in Europe and Asia-Pacific, SHR is a leading provider of advanced tools and services that help hotels execute their best distribution strategy while delighting guests and optimizing profitability. The technical maturity of SHR--having built not one but two Central Reservations Systems (CRS)--is second to none. In addition to serving thousands of properties around the globe with Windsurfer CRS and Booking Engine, the company also provides Revenue Management for Hire to brands, chains, and management companies. SHR brings hoteliers nimble technology, intelligently supported by tested industry experts--keeping hotels competitive. For more information, please visit www.shr.global. SHR is the trade name for Sceptre Hospitality Resources, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company.
Article by Dan Skodol

Beyond RevPAR: Understanding Total Group Revenue for Hotels

The Rainmaker Group 11 September 2018
Once upon a time, group business was essentially a filler for the guest rooms that transient business didn't occupy. In today's world of all-time occupancy highs,1 group business tells a different tale. When hotel owners examine their full profit picture, many now understand that group business and the revenue it generates is a major player in their overall revenue management (RM) strategy. However, groups are a challenge to revenue manage, as they're made up of many moving parts. To be successful in the group arena, hotels need to have the appropriate tools and strategies in place, as well as a thorough understanding of group value. And that often begins with analyzing the right metrics.RevPAR Matters, But... When looking to increase your share of group business, revenue per available room, or RevPAR, is a critical performance metric that often takes center stage when it comes to developing your group business RM strategy. That's because the RevPAR index is the most popular metric for driving major capital expenditures and RM decisions.Case in point, the 2015 Hotel Sales Incentive Practice Research survey by the HSMAI Foundation2 recorded the compensation structure of hotel RM teams and revealed that 52 percent of revenue managers and 36 percent of sales leaders use RevPAR or room revenue as their primary performance metric. But there are drawbacks to relying solely on guestroom bookings or RevPAR when it comes to evaluating group business profitability. There are other revenue streams that generate significant income and contribute real value to any piece of group business.Total Group Revenue Management Holds the KeyIn order to determine true profitability with regard to groups, RM is shifting away from a focus on RevPAR3 and top-line rooms revenue toward a bottom-line orientation and strategic profit management. This more precise view of group value is known as Total Group Revenue Management and it moves beyond RevPAR to take multiple other factors into account.All Revenue StreamsTotal Group Revenue Management expands beyond rooms to comprise all revenue sources associated with group business. It works within the concept of time-perishable inventory to optimize profits across all a hotel's available function space and products. To accurately evaluate group opportunities, in addition to accounting for room rates and group blocks, hotels must incorporate other key revenue streams, such as food-and-beverage packages, receptions, meeting room rentals, and audio/visual equipment rentals. These ancillary sources can yield tremendous profit, and are key considerations when deciding whether to book group business. Other factors to consider include group history, stay pattern, booking method, room type preferences, and the true cost of displacement.Displacement AnalysisTraditional displacement analysis examines the forecasted transient business that will be lost if a hotel accepts a proposed group booking. Accurately determining whether to accept a group's business requires performing a complete displacement optimization analysis that compares the total value of the business that would be displaced if the group business is accepted to the total value of the group. This model incorporates elements that are important to the decision, including non-room revenue like catering, function space, and additional spend while deducting any costs involved. Understanding displacement allows hotels to more accurately calculate a break-even rate or total profit hurdle for a proposed group.At first blush, it may seem that the right decision is to accept higher-rate-paying transient business over a lower-rate-paying group. But there may be times when it's in your best interests to accept the group business, even though it may appear on the surface to cost revenue.4 While your hotel may forego thousands of dollars in rooms revenue due to displacement, based on a complete analysis, apparent losses transform into profits when additional variables such as catering minimums and function space rental are factored into the equation. Revenue metrics are crucial to success, but when rooms-centric revenue is the only metric considered, it can lead to counterproductive decisions concerning group business.To truly maximize the value of group business, hotels can use displacement analysis in conjunction with optimized pricing that considers willingness-to-pay. The first drawback of traditional displacement alone is that it only assesses a breakeven point, which, while helping to ensure the group is not a losing proposition, will fail to capture any additional upside stemming from what a group may be willing to spend on room rate. The second drawback is that traditional displacement only looks at potential groups displacing transient and not the possibility of the group displacing other groups. Leveraging a group forecast together with displacement analysis would allow hoteliers to understand the relative profit or value of groups compared to other groups, and allow the property to accept the most valuable business.Forecasting DemandOne of the most challenging components of Total Group Revenue Management is forecasting group demand, particularly at the level of detailed granularity necessary for driving solid RM decisions. The focus on non-room revenue sources has changed the way many hotels develop and use their demand forecasts.5 Technological advancements now allow revenue managers to drill deep to create more nuanced pictures of future demand and more effectively yield around transient business. The right technology also reveals smarter pricing opportunities and lets you strategize the optimal business mix for your hotel.It's Really About ProfitsRevenue management is really about profits. And for far too long, revenue managers have maintained a rooms-centric focus for group business, striving to optimize RevPAR instead of looking at total group spend. RevPAR index growth or decline is not always the best gauge of overall profitability. Total Group Revenue Management presents a more precise picture of group profitability, incorporating all hotel revenue sources and considering distribution costs and operating expenses. By applying the principles of Total Group Revenue Management, you will more fully comprehend your hotel's DNA, empowering you to take your profit maximization strategy to the next level and setting your property up for success for years to come.For more on the topic of group business, specifically on including forecasting for groups in your revenue management strategy, read my recent blog on the topic, "Are You Forecasting Transient Business Without Forecasting Group."
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All-Inclusive Hotels: Looking Beyond RevPAR

The Rainmaker Group 13 August 2018
When people think of all-inclusive resorts, they may conjure up images tied to bland buffet food, endless banana daiquiris, and conga lines of partying singles dancing around the poolside - all for one budget-conscious package price. Today's all-inclusives still tempt travelers with comprehensive packages that include meals, lodging, and entertainment options. But the all-inclusive business model has evolved significantly from its 1950s origins.1Today, gourmet meals are often made from sustainable, locally sourced ingredients, and served along with handcrafted cocktails made from top-shelf spirits. Spacious guestrooms are decorated with high-end furnishings. And sophisticated entertainment options are designed to appeal to a new demographic of multigenerational families, and couples seeking luxury vacations, adventure, romance, or health and wellness.Across the board, the all-inclusive model is gaining strength,2 with guests showing increasing willingness to pay over and above their initial package purchase for authentic experiences, one-of-a-kind activities, and excursions that enhance their vacation. This has led to unprecedented opportunities for all-inclusive hotel owners to capture incremental and ancillary revenues. And this paradigm shift brings with it a necessary shift in revenue management strategy.The narrow view of focusing on rooms and package revenue is no longer relevant in the marketplace. To maximize revenues and increase profits, all-inclusive hotels must move beyond the traditional metric of revenue per available room (RevPAR), to incorporate total profit per guest.What's Wrong with RevPAR for Maximizing ProfitThe RevPAR formula (Rooms Revenue/Rooms Available) represents revenue generated per available room, whether that room is occupied or not. Because of RevPAR's industry popularity, it can be useful when it comes to benchmarking against your aggregated competitive set's performance. But for optimizing hotel profits, RevPAR misses the mark in a number of ways.For one thing, RevPAR doesn't take costs into account. Commissions may vary based on channel. There are different distribution costs depending on how the reservation is booked - for example, a guest who books using a travel agent typically costs the hotel more than a guest who books direct. In addition, higher guest expectations are driving a more competitive market, with all-inclusives now providing an increasing number of ancillaries for purchase beyond initial packages. RevPAR doesn't consider any non-package income a guest generates from add-on amenities such as spa services, dining upgrades, golf, or access to private beaches.For example, in another two-guest scenario, imagine that both guests' package rates and acquisition costs are identical. Guest A stayed once and made no significant ancillary purchases. Guest B, however, stayed three times in one year, and spent extra on spa services, private beachside dinners, and golf lessons. The additional spending will not show up in any RevPAR metric despite the boost it would provide to the hotel's bottom-line.Moreover, based on Guest B's behavior, it's likely he will become a repeat guest, increasing his lifetime value and reducing his costs, which can be amortized over the total number of stays. Guest B's profit potential over time is superior to that of Guest A, and while Guest B's two additional hotel stays will eventually show up in RevPAR in the form of increased occupancy, RevPAR fails to tell the whole story. Having more Guest Bs and fewer Guest As will benefit the property's profitability in the long run and we need to identify the right metrics that are more closely tied to that bottom-line impact.Modern all-inclusive resorts now have huge revenue opportunities beyond package revenues, and metrics such as RevPAR are not sufficient for measuring profitability going forward.3 They must be used in conjunction with other key metrics, such as GOPPAR and Total Profit per Room.The Rise & Rewards of GOPPAR and Total Profit per Room for All-Inclusives Other key metrics that reflect non-rooms profit and overall profit can simultaneously incorporate occupancy, rooms and package revenue, guest spending habits, acquisition, distribution, and retention costs, and shopping behavior at all resort profit centers into the revenue management equation.One metric growing in popularity is gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR).4 GOPPAR is defined as total gross operating profit (GOP) per available room per day, where GOP is equal to total revenue less the total departmental and operating expenses. GOPPAR takes RevPAR a step further, utilizing total room revenue and subtracting total operating expenses, including variable costs.Without this information, crucial pieces are missing when trying to optimize revenues and determine overall profitability. Another benefit that arises out of measuring GOPPAR is that the same principles of strategic revenue management that apply to RevPAR can be applied to all revenue-generating outlets. This allows you to move beyond optimizing package rates to optimizing revenue from all ancillary products and services guests use while on your property.Once you ensure that you are yielding your available inventory based on total profit, it becomes time to evaluate the mix of business that is staying in the rooms by understanding your market segments and how they differ. Total Profit per Room backs out occupancy from the equation, allowing you to generate metrics at a guest, room, or segment level. Total Profit per Room can be defined as rooms plus ancillary revenues generated by guests in occupied rooms, less the associated variable costs, divided by the number of occupied rooms.Asking "for this segment, what is my total revenue or profit per guest, or room?" becomes valuable as your revenue management efforts aim at forecasting the available demand for future dates and help you identify the most profitable business mix in constrained situations. Even in unconstrained situations where you are not filling every hotel room, it can help inform your marketing efforts and achieve the best ROI on marketing dollars aimed at generating additional occupancy. Getting at this total guest value is something you cannot do using a per available room metric, since you can't determine which rooms are available for which segment. Once you understand the value of each guest segment, your ability to shift towards higher value guests is maximized.For today's all-inclusive guest, it's all about customized experiences. Examining revenue on a per-guest basis provides a vehicle to a better understanding of guest behavior and preferences, which can have a profound effect on future income streams.5 With the all-inclusive model, the less time a guest spends on property, the higher the profit potential. By analyzing guest spend behaviors, all-inclusive hotel owners can determine which guests will enjoy different off-property experiential activities and excursions. You will be able to capitalize on the amount of time a guest spends outside the resort gates, creating better guest experiences while simultaneously improving your bottom line.And finally, guest-centric data captured from measuring total profit per room allows hoteliers to overcome the age-old dilemma between a focus on managing long-term customer relationships and focusing on the immediate gains associated with revenue management. From knowledge gained through analysis of Total Profit per Room, you'll improve customer relationships, which will in turn create a significant and positive impact on business performance.6A growing number of hotels across the globe are adopting the all-inclusive model,7 and competition in the industry is fierce. Savvy hoteliers understand that optimizing profits is no longer just about pricing rooms and packages right. With science-based revenue management and business intelligence solutions in place, you gain the ability to capture and analyze both package and non-package revenues, which will have a powerful effect on revenue streams. While RevPAR has its merits, shifting your revenue management strategy from a per-room focus to a per-guest focus allows you to attain new heights in guest satisfaction, and elevate your business in terms of growth, revenue, and profits.Attending the Hotel Data Conference in Nashville? Don't miss my session focused on non-traditional revenue management on Friday August 17 from 12-12:25 PM. Rainmaker is also sponsoring the Networking Reception on Thursday 5:45 PM - 7:00 PM. If you would like to connect or set up a meeting at the event, let me know.
Article by Dan Skodol

The Secret Sauce to Profitability for All-Inclusives: Understanding Total Guest Value

The Rainmaker Group 17 July 2018
The evolution of all-inclusive resorts reads a lot like the fairytale of Cinderella. From humble beginnings catering to a dollar-stretcher crowd - with mediocre buffet food, mid-level accommodations, and events centered around boisterous pool activities - to today's transformation into a bright, rising star in the hotel industry. From 2011 to 2014, demand for all-inclusives rose from 8 to 14 percent,1 and now they are one of the fastest growing segments in vacation lodging. Hundreds of all-inclusive resorts now span the globe, moving beyond beachside havens to include ski resorts, wellness retreats, and exotic cultural destinations. Fueled by improving economic conditions and shifting guest expectations, all-inclusives now offer posh accommodations, diverse cuisine, and an ever-expanding array of amenities and services for guests of all ages and preferences.Look Beyond Traditional KPIsWhile occupancy and package revenues have traditionally been key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor when seeking to boost profits at all-inclusive resorts, it's much more beneficial for hoteliers to focus on increasing their ratio of customers with higher Total Guest Values. Total Guest Value comprises the revenue a customer brings in from all resort profit centers, less all costs associated with that customer, including package and acquisition costs. With these insights at their fingertips, hotel revenue managers can more effectively target a resort's most valuable guests, as well as accurately forecast demand, optimize revenue, and drive higher profit margins across all customer segments.When considering Total Guest Value, it's important to understand that the type of traveler vacationing at all-inclusive resorts has changed dramatically over the past 15 years. No longer made up of budget-conscious vacationers and party-seeking singles, the new all-inclusive clientele skews toward multigenerational families, adventure seekers, health-and-wellness aficionados, luxury vacationers, and Millennials - who are making all-inclusives one of their top choices for destination weddings and honeymoons.2In the past, a primary disadvantage of all-inclusive resorts was the inability to upsell guests to generate additional revenue. All-inclusive vacationers were happy to lounge poolside and enjoy the standard one-size-fits-all menu of activities found at nearly every resort. Today's customer expectations have changed dramatically. All-inclusive resorts now offer a staggering array of ancillaries and luxury services to guests who are more willing to splurge on activities and experiences beyond their initial vacation package purchase. While traditional packages might include hotel, airfare, transportation, food, and beverage as fully covered, many all-inclusives are now adding upsell options such as entertainment, kids-zones or adults-only spaces, local excursions, and upscale restaurants. As a result, overall Total Guest Values are on the rise, and they're bringing all-inclusive resort profits right along with them. Targeted On-Property Upsells Boost Total Guest ValueIn order to improve profitability, it's important to capture data and analyze on-property guest shopping behavior at a granular level. Because guests typically pay for their packages several months before traveling, by the time they're on site, they feel comfortable indulging in ancillary purchases that will make their vacation more special. They're more likely to spend extra money on a nice bottle of wine, private dinner, personalized services, or even the work of local artisans on display, knowing they won't experience sticker shock at the end of their stay.All-inclusives gain incremental revenue by offering air and land transfers, and higher value/higher margin packages, such as wedding packages. Length of stay is another metric to consider, because in general, the longer a guest stays the higher their Total Guest Value. Guests who stay longer may be more likely to leave the resort. And with the all-inclusive model, every missed meal, or drink that's not consumed, ends up positively impacting a hotel's bottom line.One of the most notable changes between the old all-inclusive model and the modern one is the improvement in dining and drink offerings.3 Bland buffets have been replaced with high-end restaurants that partner with Michelin-star chefs. Today's resorts offer authentic, locally sourced cuisine, and premium spirits in handcrafted cocktails. "Foodie" guests can be tempted to pay additional for dining upgrades and special programs like chef-led trips to local markets, fishing with local fishermen, or learning the finer points of tequila making during a tequila tasting.Personalized amenities and bespoke experiences appeal to travelers across multiple segments. Luxury-seeking guests will savor state-of-the-art spa treatments and personal butler service. The growing resort-within-a-resort concept4 has gained a solid foothold in the all-inclusive luxury category. Guests are willing to pay for more deluxe accommodations with special views and on-demand shuttle service, as well as exclusive access to private restaurants, lounges, and unique areas of the property.Off-Property Experiences Meet Customer Desires Back in the day, travelers were fine with staying put within the resort gates for a week. Now travelers want more from their vacations, wishing to explore their surroundings through uniquely local, experiential activities.5 These excursions are rarely included in the original package fare.Sophisticated all-inclusive hotel operators are revamping activity offerings. Resorts can either create their own excursions or partner with off-property tour companies to bring in incremental revenue streams by providing culturally immersive excursions and outdoor adventure activities such as ziplining, scuba diving, and hiking.In addition, a growing desire for deeper meaning from travel experiences has led to surging demand for volunteer tourism, or "voluntourism."6 According to a Conde Nast Traveler "Readers' Poll," 47 percent of respondents said they are interested in volunteer vacations and 98 percent of those who had volunteered were satisfied with their experience. All-inclusives that develop traveler philanthropy programs experience a win-win-win. They not only help their local communities and increase guest satisfaction, but earn repeat visits as well. Many voluntourism guests return each year, visiting local communities to witness the difference they're making.The all-inclusive approach has shown that it consistently delivers strong ROI, with sector growth expected to increase between 5 and 7 percent per year.7 And when it comes to factoring Total Guest Value into the revenue optimization process, the impact on profits is clear. Today's all-inclusive guests are more than willing to make spontaneous travel purchase decisions for customized regional experiences and top-tier ancillaries.Revenue Management and Marketing should closely partner to capitalize on these opportunities to bring in high-value guests. They can work together to segment their business by looking at factors such as point of origin, booking channel, lead time, room type, and any other indicator that helps identify their most valuable guests. Revenue management should forecast future demand from high-value segments and identify ways to ensure that these guests have access to inventory at any given time.All-inclusive hotels can leverage their high-value demand by aligning amenities and services with guest preferences and spending habits to provide authentic traveler experiences that strengthen relationships with customers, inspire greater loyalty, and help to maximize bottom-line revenue.SOURCES:1Levine, Irene S. "All-Inclusive Resorts Are Back -- But Can Boomers Really Save?" Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 20 Mar. 2014, www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/03/20/all-inclusive-resorts-are-back-but-can-boomers-really-save/. 2Covey, Claudette. "All-Inclusives: The Millennial Appeal." TravelPulse, 5 Nov. 2015, www.travelpulse.com/articles/hotels-and-resorts/all-inclusives-the-millennial-appeal.html.3"Global Hospitality Insights: Top Thoughts for 2014." EY, EY Global Hospitality & Leisure and EY Global Real Estate, 2014, www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY_-_Global_hospitality_insights_2014/$FILE/EY-Global-hospitality-insights-2014.pdf. 4Friedland, Lois. "All-Inclusive Resorts Cater to Guests Seeking 5-Star Service." Global Traveler, 15 Apr. 2013, www.globaltravelerusa.com/all-inclusive-resorts-cater-to-guests-seeking-5-star-service/. 5"Free Skift Report: The Rise of Experiential Travel." Skift, Skift, 16 Jan. 2017, skift.com/2014/06/03/launching-free-skift-report-the-rise-of-experiential-travel/. 6"The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics." Center for Responsible Travel, 2013, https://www.responsibletravel.org/docs/2013%20Trends%20&%20Statistics_Final.pdf 7Myers, Nagle, and Johanna Jainchill. "The All-Inclusive Evolution." Travel Weekly, 7 Oct. 2015, www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Hotel-News/The-all-inclusive-evolution.
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Rainmaker Continues to Expand Global Footprint

The Rainmaker Group 19 June 2018
The Rainmaker Group the continued expansion of their global presence by adding four new countries to their catalog of customers.Over the last few months, Rainmaker has added customers in four countries: New Zealand, St Maarten, Suriname, and Singapore. The acquired properties span three different property types: gaming, resort, and all-inclusive.The rapid growth of their customer base into global markets comes at the heels of Rainmaker's plan to set up international data centers in Australia and the expansion of business operations abroad by hiring for key positions in the Asia-Pacific, Middle-East and Africa regions.After record sales in Q1, it is great to see this continued growth," said Mike Cowles, CEO of Rainmaker. "July marks our 20th year in business, and we are proud to see our reach growing in market type and across the globe."Rainmaker's groundbreaking revenue and profit optimization product suite includes:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;grouprev, an innovative group pricing solution that streamlines the process of responding to group RFPs by analyzing historical data, future demand, and price sensitivity to recommend the best pricing for group business;|revcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape; andrevintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level.About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue management and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts, and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, demand forecasting, business intelligence and market analysis are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations and revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta.' Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Dubai. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue management and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.
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The Rainmaker Group Partners with Torarica Group of Hotels

The Rainmaker Group 14 June 2018
The Rainmaker Group today announced that the Torarica Group has selected Rainmaker's guestrev, revintel and revcaster solutions to drive revenue at all three of their Suriname properties: Torarica Hotel & Casino, Eco Resort, and Royal Torarica Hotel.The company was looking for a set of tools to help them formalize their revenue management processes and become more sophisticated in how they manage and forecast their business. The choice in Rainmaker will not only aid in this but also reduce the amount of manual processes for the company."Before Rainmaker, everything was very manual," explained Myrna Kaliar, Account Manager, Travel Agents and Tour Operators at Torarica Group of Hotels. "In the time we are saving using Rainmaker solutions, we are able to focus on making more sophisticated revenue management decisions.""We are very excited to work with the Torarica Group," said Mike Cowles, Rainmaker's CEO. "Rainmaker's solutions will be a great aid in giving them time back in their days to focus on strategy. We look forward to working with this eager partner as we expand our footprint in the Caribbean.The selected products from Rainmaker's groundbreaking revenue and profit optimization suite include:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;revintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level; andrevcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape.About the Torarica GroupThe warm welcome of Suriname takes a new meaning at the Torarica Group. With over 55 years' experience in accommodating guests and catering to their every need, the Torarica Group is the most famous and renowned hotel group in Suriname offering the ideal location for business, relaxing getaways and family holidays.About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue management and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts, and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, demand forecasting, business intelligence and market analysis are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations and revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta.' Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Dubai. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue management and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.
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ZS and Rainmaker Announce Partnership to Help Hoteliers Improve and Capitalize on Revenue Management

The Rainmaker Group 12 June 2018
The Rainmaker Group ZS Associates their new partnership. The two firms will combine ZS's strategies, methodologies and frameworks with Rainmaker's powerful technologies and advanced science to drive innovation in hospitality revenue management."We are pleased to have ZS as a partner and know our joint knowledge of the industry will be a great benefit to our customers," said Mike Cowles, CEO of The Rainmaker Group. "This partnership is a great way to showcase both of our areas of expertise and provide joint leadership and innovation to help advance the revenue optimization discipline as a whole.""By partnering with Rainmaker, ZS will be able to work with clients to implement revenue strategies on a more complete level than we can do alone, as well as allowing a broader group of hospitality companies access to ZS's skills and staff," said Glenn Hollister, principal at ZS. "We are particularly excited to work with Rainmaker's experts to advance industry practices in areas such as total profit optimization and personalization beyond current practices."When it comes to revenue management, one of the biggest challenges--and missed opportunities--for most companies is personalization. The partnership will produce valuable research, based on a wealth of data from both ZS and Rainmaker, to help clients understand industry trends, adopt best practices and more. ZS and Rainmaker plan to explore processes and advanced analytics to maximize the effectiveness of personalization throughout the sales funnel.The partnership will continue to evolve and bring new capabilities to help hospitality professionals enhance their insights, improve their revenue optimization and drive sustained growth for their companies.About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue management and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts, and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, demand forecasting, business intelligence and market analysis are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations and revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta.' Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Dubai. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue management and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.About ZS ZS is the world's largest firm focused exclusively on helping companies improve overall performance and grow revenue and market share through end-to-end sales and marketing solutions--from customer insights and strategy to analytics, operations and technology. More than 5,500 ZS professionals in 22 offices worldwide draw on deep industry and domain expertise to deliver impact for clients across multiple industries. To learn more, visit www.zs.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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The Rainmaker Group Partners with Sonesta Resorts St. Maarten and The Maho Group in Caribbean

The Rainmaker Group 11 June 2018
Mike Cowles, CEO of Rainmaker, said "We are very excited to work with such a great group of people at Sonesta to leverage our capabilities to give them guidance on pricing as the St Maarten hotel market regains stability. Rainmaker's revintel, grouprev, and guestrev solutions will work together to provide real-time visibility and recommendations for per room and per person pricing that is at the core of the All-Inclusive model. This partnership is one of the key steps we're taking to expand our presence in the Caribbean and All-Inclusive markets.""Partnering with Rainmaker is an exciting move for us," said Eliska Hesova, Director of Revenue & Business Development. "We are grateful for the assistance and the level of commitment Rainmaker showed us in the Irma aftermath and look forward to the benefits of an automated best-in-class revenue management solution. With the support of Rainmaker's products behind our pricing decisions, we are committed to coming back stronger, offering our guests the Limitless All-inclusive vacation experience at the best possible price and being part of the tourism recovery in St Maarten."Rainmaker's groundbreaking revenue and profit optimization product suite includes:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;grouprev an innovative group pricing solution that streamlines the process of responding to group RFPs by analyzing historical data, future demand, and price sensitivity to recommend the best pricing for group business;revcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape; andrevintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level.About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, forecasting, and revenue-centric business intelligence are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations, enhance revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance, and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta'. Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Portland, Ore., and Singapore. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.About Sonesta HotelsSonesta St. Maarten Resorts feature a duo of stunning oceanfront limitless all-inclusive properties including the family-friendly Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, and the luxury, all suites adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort. Both properties boast several dining options, multiple pools, extensive wedding, events and meeting facilities, Casino Royale and the signature Serenity Spa, accompanied by other resorts facilities such as the Logo Shop, Nexus tour desk, Hertz rental car and state-of-the-art gym with dedicated fitness and wellness activity programs. Sonesta is a growing, global hospitality brand with 80+ properties in 7 countries, centered on a dedication to delivering a guest experience that provides more than just a place to stay. For more information, visit www.sonesta.com/stmaarten or call 1-800-SONESTA.Media Contacts:Dana Glaze, The Rainmaker Group, +1 470-440-2041, dglaze@letitrain.comAndria Mitsakos or Erika Vives, AMPR, +1 954 294 4710, +1 917 859 7269, Andria@andriamitsakospr.com, Erika@andriamitsakospr.com

Pair Up for Profit

The Rainmaker Group 8 June 2018
While both marketing and revenue management are vital to a hotel's success, they typically operate with different perspectives and different tools to achieve similar goals. The question becomes, how much more powerful could the sum be, if these two groups practiced their disciplines in concert?With increasing levels of competition, more and more properties are vying for the same share of travel spending. Establishing a synergy between marketing and revenue management is the strongest weapon hotels have - allowing them to deftly capture new guests, retain existing customers and maximize spend from every stay.Both marketing and revenue management have the same end goal of driving revenue - but in most cases today they are totally misaligned. By knocking down departmental walls and silos, revenue management and marketing teams can compound their value and significantly enhance the hotel's revenue opportunities, particularly by partnering together to drive direct bookings from the hotel's most valuable guests.These may seem like opposing responsibilities, but when RM and marketing work in unison, there are natural synergies. Revenue management knows where holes in demand are, and marketing knows the consumer preferences to target the right customers to fill those holes. Together the departments can move the hotel away from out-of-sync demand generation and towards proactively targeting the right type of guest using the best channel.Now more than ever it is critical that hoteliers to embrace processes that enhance and magnify business analytics in order to maximize revenue. One of the simplest and most productive ways to do this is by opening up dialogue between the revenue management and marketing departments. By doing so, hoteliers can compound the value of each department and increase the overall profitability of the enterprise. A combined team can also drive business to the hotel's own direct-booking website, its most profitable channel. Direct business has many benefits to a hotel, as hotels can better control and manage the guest experience, drive additional spend in other outlets on property, and reduce third party commissions. Perhaps most importantly, though, hotels own all the customer data when guests book direct. This results in a robust guest database that could stimulate recurring revenue for years to come.Together with Tambourine and hotel revenue and marketing experts, we've created an eBook, The Hotel Power Couple, offering deeper insights on ways to align revenue management and marketing to unlock profitability. Featuring sections like The Big Eight: Revenue Management Has It, Marketing Needs It, and What Marketers Need to Share with Revenue Managers, download the eBook today to drive revenue together by creating a powerful, cross-functional revenue optimization team. Click here to download the eBook!
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Concilio Labs and The Rainmaker Group Announce New Technology Partnership

The Rainmaker Group 7 June 2018
The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, will leverage the power of Concilio's proprietary Insights Engine technology to empower hoteliers to understand who their guests are on a deeper level, anticipate needs, predict outcomes and personalize interactions. The alliance and integration partnership will deliver benefits that are squarely focused on making it easier for hotels to harness the power of guest intelligence to make data-driven decisions, while also helping them realize their growth, loyalty and revenue objectives."We're excited to partner with Concilio Labs to help our customers better understand their guests and offer higher levels of personalization," said Mike Cowles, CEO of Rainmaker. "Rainmaker is revolutionizing the hotel profit optimization landscape beyond the traditional revenue management boundaries to help our clients make better decisions with data and drive measurable results.".Concilio's Insight Engine provides guest scoring, dynamic guest profiles, reservation information, and automated actionable insights via machine learning and sophisticated data analysis. With the creation of comprehensive guest profiles, hotels are always just a touch away from critical guest insight such as travel purpose, social influence, loyalty and long-term value. A proprietary guest score makes it easy to compare one guest or guest persona to another. Equipped with this information, hoteliers know what to offer each guest, at the right time, through the right channel, not only ensuring guest satisfaction but also tracking continued behavior and response to better understand the ROI on marketing campaigns and promotional offers. Additionally, hoteliers can explore and combine data to understand key market drivers and uncover trends."We're thrilled to have the chance to work in partnership with Rainmaker on the delivery of key guest insights data and to enhance hotel-guest relationships," said Terri Miller, CEO of Concilio Labs. "The combination of Rainmaker's award-winning revenue management tools and resources and our advanced guest intelligence capabilities make for a compelling market offering. We look forward to doing great things together."Rainmaker and Concilio Labs will be at this year's HITEC in Houston. Attendees are invited to visit Booth 1104 to learn more. For more information visit www.letitrain.com and conciliolabs.com. About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue management and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts, and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, demand forecasting, business intelligence and market analysis are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations and revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta.' Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Dubai. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue management and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.About Concilio LabsConcilio Labs is on a mission to solve key issues in hospitality today--those of guest personalization and hotel loyalty--by developing innovative technology solutions that push boundaries. Concilio's Insight Engine, a guest intelligence platform, empowers hoteliers with actionable insights to create personalized guest experiences that go far beyond traditional and existing capabilities in other similar tools. Other core service offerings target guest experience, including tailored mobile app and integrated booking engine solutions for hoteliers looking to take their guest engagement to the next level. The management team has decades of proven experience working with technology leaders, including MICROS, giving them the credibility and a deep understanding of the hospitality industry and its growing needs. Concilio Labs is a rapidly growing brand with offices in the Washington, DC area and Ukraine. To learn more, visit conciliolabs.com.
Article by Ellis Connolly

A Comprehensive Approach to Hotel Channel Distribution

The Rainmaker Group 29 May 2018
In order for hotels to navigate this shifting distribution paradigm, and optimize their channel mix, they must take an in-depth look at the costs and benefits of their channels: direct, indirect, online, and offline. By analyzing these channels, hotels can develop a holistic strategy that creates revenue and profit streams that are sustainable going forward.It Starts with the Right DataAs channels become more nuanced and complex, access to accurate data plays a pivotal role in developing a successful hotel distribution strategy. A key objective is not to simply capture more data, but to use key data and performance metrics to gain valuable insights beyond simple demographics and basic guest segmentation. Core data sets for channel optimization include economic and competitive markets, and customer-centric information such as regional diversity, website navigation paths, guest profiles, visitor tracking statistics, and stay history.In order to optimize channels for profitability, you must not only understand the "who, what, where, and when" of your customers, but most importantly, the "why" - the behavioral data, that highlights the factors that guide your guests' travel decisions. This level of customer segmentation granularity, when analyzed in conjunction with multidevice touchpoints and conversion statistics, offers relevant insights for an effective distribution strategy.Guest channel preferences are also crucial in developing an optimal channel mix. For example, understanding that 52 percent of millennial travelers1 prefer to make a hotel booking through an a general travel site versus your proprietary website is highly relevant information to have at your fingertips when trying to reach that younger demographic.Consider All Channel Costs According to Morgan Stanley Research2, in 2015, OTAs collected $16 billion in commissions, and GDSs earned high revenues as well, handling approximately 62 million bookings that same year. Whether it's commissions, fees, or negotiated rates, every distribution channel carries costs ranging anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of revenue.Historically, hotel owners haven't consistently factored distribution costs into their channel decisions. As a result, hotels focused on cash flow may unwittingly price rooms below marginal and fixed costs, leading to a negative impact on their pricing structure and profit. To achieve true profitability, hotels should use net revenue per available room (Net RevPAR) or gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) versus standard RevPAR, comparing all distribution channel costs, including marketing and customer acquisition expenses, and applying them against the revenue they deliver.And when evaluating channel costs, it's important to calculate expenses associated with direct bookings as well. These may include website development and content, loyalty program management, and direct marketing campaigns as well as call center expenses. Further, whenever a hotel uses discounts or packages with add-ons to generate business, these expenses need to be included in the channel cost analysis well.Maximize Channel ProfitabilityIn addition to examining channel costs, it's equally crucial to evaluate the full contribution from each channel. While there are definitely benefits to including direct channels in your distribution mix, a closer look reveals that direct bookings may not be quite as "head and tails above the rest" in terms of profitability as once thought. A recent study by Infrata3 showed that if a hotel shifted their entire inventory away from OTA channels to brand.com, there would be no significant impact on the net contribution to hotels. The results of this study along with the customer acquisition benefits of third-party channels, make it clear that to maximize profits, a hotel should focus on more than simply growing its direct bookings.Channels that deliver guests with higher ancillary spend and customer retention rates (i.e. repeat visitors) should also be factored into the profitability equation when determining channel priorities. These guests have a higher lifetime value. And because there are no customer acquisition costs for repeat visitors, those costs are replaced with profits on subsequent stays.Obtain Peak PerformanceFor more than three decades, technological innovations have reshaped guest decision-making and the channel distribution landscape right along with it. Guests now have an unprecedented number of options for shopping and booking their hotel rooms. To obtain peak performance in your channel mix, it's not all about direct bookings or an equal mix across all channels. Rather, hoteliers must strategically increase or decrease their presence on high-margin and low-margin channels in ways that improve overall revenues and profitability.Phocuswright research4 indicates that there's an inverse relationship between direct and OTA bookings. As direct bookings decrease, OTA bookings increase by the exact same percentage. Rather than looking at this as an excuse to gear up for battle in the booking wars, consider optimizing your channel mix by partnering with OTAs5 instead -GDSs and metasearch websites as well - use them as tactical tools in your "distribution channel" toolkit.This only makes sense, considering that 27 percent of all U.S. hotel bookings came through indirect channels6 in 2016, up from 23 percent two years earlier. And forecasters are predicting this upward trend will continue, with OTAs expected to reach 41 percent market share by 2020.7The fact is, many shoppers are accustomed to the convenience of searching through lists of hotels via third-party channels, and many are loyal to specific OTAs and metasearch websites.When considering channel mix, hoteliers should carefully evaluate the cost and probability of trying to change established customer preferences for their favorite third-party channels. Seeking to transition traffic to direct channels may ultimately undermine ROI.While strategic use of indirect channels is important for a hotel's success, direct bookings continue to have their place in a healthy channel mix. After all, 52 percent of OTA visitors click on hotel websites8, so making certain your direct channel is converting well is a priority. Unlock greater potential in your direct channel through mobile optimization. Google revealed that mobile searches overtook those occurring on desktops9 back in 2015, and there's been explosive growth in mobile adoption and conversion ever since. In the near future, new technologies like voice- and map-activated applications will become popular substitutes for traditional browser searches.In the offline arena, be sure to optimize your hotel's voice channel. Voice still brings billions of dollars in revenue to the hotel industry each year - and it's often overlooked. Voice delivers highly qualified leads with high conversion rates, particularly because prospective guests can be re-contacted for future business.Maintain Continuous Improvement Hotel rooms are for sale in a dynamic distribution landscape. One where channels are transforming into hybrid marketplaces, consumers exhibit cross-channel behavior, and new market-savvy players such as Google, Apple, and Facebook are entering the playing field.Hoteliers seeking to optimize their distribution mix must examine the costs, profitability, and performance of each channel, with regard to business goals and customer segments. Some channels may perform better on certain days of the week or during particular seasons or market conditions. To create and maintain an optimal channel mix, hotel revenue managers need to remain vigilant, conducting regular audits of every channel. They must increase and decrease inventory allocated for each channel to ensure each one continues to bring in an optimal ROI and is functioning at its peak within the hotel's distribution ecosystem.SOURCES1 Peltier, Dan. "4 Charts Showing Millennials' Thoughts on Loyalty and Direct Booking." Skift, Skift, 27 May 2016, skift.com/2016/05/27/4-charts-showing-millennials-thoughts-on-loyalty-and-direct-bookings/.2"Global Insight: Hotel Brands vs. OTAs: Who Will Win the War?" Morgan Stanley Research, Morgan Stanley, 18 May 2016, https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/hotels-vs-online-travel-agencies3 Infrata. "Hotel Distribution Costs." European Travel Technology Services Association (ETTSA), European Travel Technology Services Association (ETTSA), 2 May 2018, www.ettsa.eu/uploads/documents/ETTSA%20Hotel%20Distribution%20Cost%20(Summary)%2002052018%20(1).pdf.4 Gasdia, Marcello, et al. "U.S. Consumer Travel Report Eighth Edition." Phocuswright, Phocuswright, 1 July 2016, www.phocuswright.com/Travel-Research/Technology-Innovation/U-S-Consumer-Travel-Report-Eighth-Edition.5 Fox, Linda. "Is There a Thawing in the Hotel and OTA Relationship?" Tnooz, Tnooz, 29 Nov. 2016, www.tnooz.com/article/expedia-ota-hotels-partners/.6 Lomanno, Mark. "The Rise of Indirect Bookings." Lodging Magazine, Lodging Media, 29 June 2017, lodgingmagazine.com/the-rise-of-indirect-bookings/.7, 8 Feinstein, Eran. "OTA's vs. Direct Hotel Bookings: Which Is the Leading Trend for 2018?" TravelDailyNews International, TravelDailyNews Media Network, 23 Feb. 2018, www.traveldailynews.com/post/otas-vs-direct-hotel-bookings-which-is-the-leading-trend-for-2018.9 Gevelber, Lisa, and Oliver Heckmann. "Travel Trends: 4 Mobile Moments Changing the Consumer Journey." Google, Google, Nov. 2015, www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/travel-trends-4-mobile-moments-changing-consumer-journey/
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The Rainmaker Group Now Integrates with hotel Property Management System, RoomKeyPMS

The Rainmaker Group 24 May 2018
The Rainmaker Group today announced that the integration between RoomKeyPMS and revintel, Rainmaker's business intelligence (BI) solution, is now officially live.An early adopter of this new integration is The Spectator Hotel, a boutique property in Charleston, SC, managed by Charlestowne Hotels. "We're excited to finally have a best-of-breed BI platform in our toolkit and look forward to rolling this out to additional Charlestowne properties," said Johnathan Capps, Vice President of Revenue at Charlestowne Hotels. "Our revenue team spends countless hours aggregating copious amounts of data from multiple systems to understand the health and performance of their asset(s). With revintel, they'll have instant access to the data they need when and how they need it, allowing them to focus more on revenue generating activities."Thanks to revintel, revenue managers can better understand their portfolio's health by property, agent, or market in comparison to past performance--without having to manually collect, consolidate, and manipulate data. revintel pulls this data automatically and formats the information for you, putting the user just a click away from the analytics that empower to drive business forward.RoomKeyPMS is a cloud-powered software that lets you run your hotel while tracking every detail, an connecting to hospitality systems, such as revintel, across all of your locations. RoomKeyPMS exists to make hotel management simpler. zz"The RoomKeyPMS team understands the importance of investment and focus in hotel software that not only streamlines operations but maximizes revenue, which makes this partnership a perfect fit," said Matt Curry, Senior Vice President and Head of Product at Rainmaker. "This integration is exciting as it gives RoomKeyPMS's 90,000+ rooms under management access to the hospitality industry's most powerful BI platform in revintel.""Rainmaker is an industry leader in the revenue management, business intelligence and market analysis space and we're proud to add them as a new integration partner," said Tim Major, CEO at RoomKeyPMS. "As a customer centric organization, we continue to strive to increase our leading eco-system of interfaces and cultivate a roadmap that allows them to grow with RoomKeyPMS and continue to drive their business forward. Together, Rainmaker and RoomKeyPMS put any hotel in its best position to succeed and outperform its market."About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue management and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts, and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, demand forecasting, business intelligence and market analysis are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations and revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta.' Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Dubai. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue management and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.About RoomKey PMSRoomKeyPMS is cloud-powered software that lets you run your hotel while tracking every detail, and connecting to hospitality systems across all of your locations. The easy-to-use system integrates to hundreds of hospitality systems, drives revenues with no transaction fees while saving you time. RoomKeyPMS strives to make hotel management simpler. Every year its cloud platform is trusted to handle over 30 million transactions for our hoteliers. Customers agree RoomKeyPMS is the leading cloud-based hotel PMS that is easy to use for front-desk staff, insightful for revenue managers, and robust for executive teams. RoomKeyPMS will give you the power and control to maximize your RevPAR and ADR with a product offering unmatched in the industry. In 35 years of hotel property management experience, RoomKeyPMS has had a front row seat to the unprecedented transformation of the hospitality industry. With today's domination of web-based reservations, OTAs, and the rapid evolution of mobile bookings and social reviews, RoomKey understands the profound effect these changes have had on your occupancy and ADR. The RoomKeyPMS platform has progressed along with industry trends and pioneered a full suite of guest lifecycle product offerings that are unmatched in the industry. www.RoomKeyPMS.comAbout Charlestowne Hotels Founded in 1980, Charlestowne Hotels is a leading full-service hospitality management company offering innovative expertise in hotel development, operational controls, marketing management, revenue optimization, and financial reporting. Now regarded as one of the top hotel management companies in the U.S., Charlestowne Hotels leads its properties to consistently achieve RevPAR growth nearly double the national average. The brand offers a robust portfolio of properties around the country, from independent inns and resorts to franchised hotels and condos. By employing a proficient management style that hones in on the guest experience, Charlestowne Hotels drives its properties to regularly receive industry accolades on Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List and Readers' Choice Awards, Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for "Top City Hotels in the Continental U.S." and "Top 100 Best Hotels in the World," and top standings on TripAdvisor. For more information please visit www.CharlestowneHotels.com.
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The Rainmaker Group Continues to Make a Mark in the APAC Region as it Partners with SKYCITY Entertainment Group

The Rainmaker Group 23 May 2018
The Rainmaker Group today announced that SKYCITY Entertainment Group has selected Rainmaker's guestrev and revintel to drive revenue at two SKYCITY locations. The agreement marks Rainmaker's expansion in the Australian & New Zealand markets.SKYCITY Entertainment Group (NASDAQ: SKYTY), owns six casinos across five locations in Australia and New Zealand. The company sought a revenue management system (RMS) that could help them reveal total guest value across their property and are first focusing these efforts at SKYCITY Hotel and SKYCITY Grand, both located in Auckland, New Zealand. After weighing their options between their current RMS vendor and Rainmaker, they selected Rainmaker solutions, citing the company's history and understanding of the gaming sector."Although we were not unhappy with our current revenue management system, Rainmaker's understanding of our desire to provide total guest value at our properties led to our decision to move," said Colin McClean, director of Sales at SKYCITY Hotels & Tower. "Rainmaker's gaming history along with their ability to support a total revenue management strategy gave us the reassurance that we were making the right move. We're excited to implement guestrev and revintel and look forward to benefiting from the increased revenue they will bring."This partnership comes at a great time as Rainmaker announces their plan to set up an Australian Data-Center to support their customers and expansion into the region.SKYCITY Entertainment has selected the following revenue management and profit optimization software solutions from Rainmaker:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;revintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level."The Asia-Pacific region is really looking for someone to make a stand in the gaming market and provide a total revenue management solution," said Patrick Andres, Rainmaker's senior vice-president Asia-Pacific, Middle-East and Africa. "Our portfolio of profit optimization and analytics solutions will do just that and we are thrilled to add SKYCITY Entertainment Group to the Rainmaker family. Our next steps in adding a support center in Australia will be of even more benefit to SKYCITY and the rest Australian hospitality market."About SKYCITY Entertainment: SKYCITY Entertainment Group is New Zealand's largest tourism, leisure and entertainment company, listed in both New Zealand and Australia.As one of only three publicly listed casino operators in Australasia, SKYCITY operates integrated entertainment complexes in New Zealand (Auckland, Hamilton and Queenstown) and Australia (Adelaide and Darwin). In addition to the contemporary casino gaming facilities, SKYCITY offers world-class restaurants, bars, conference facilities, and Auckland's iconic SKY Tower, that appeal to both domestic and international visitors. SKYCITY operates award winning hotels in Auckland and Darwin, including SKYCITY Hotel, SKYCITY Grand Hotel and SKYCITY Darwin Hotel & Resort. Two additional hotels are under construction in Auckland and Adelaide. For more insight, visit www.skycityentertainmentgroup.com.About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue management and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts, and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, demand forecasting, business intelligence and market analysis are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations and revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta.' Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Dubai. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue management and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.
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Golden Entertainment Selects Comprehensive Rainmaker Suite to Drive Guest Bookings and Increase Profitability

The Rainmaker Group 22 May 2018
The Rainmaker Group today announced that Golden Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: GDEN) has selected a comprehensive Rainmaker suite to drive competitive advantage at two of the company's Nevada properties. The agreement marks Rainmaker's expansion in the U.S. gaming market.Golden Entertainment wanted an integrated cloud-based revenue management suite that would streamline operations, drive guest bookings and increase profitability at the iconic Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower in Las Vegas and Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin, the company's two largest resorts. After a lengthy review process, the company selected the Rainmaker solutions, citing the company's reputation in the gaming sector."We announced a capital investment plan at the Stratosphere which includes room renovations, refreshing the property's exterior, and adding exciting new venues to attract and engage patrons while enhancing the overall guest experience," said Steve Arcana, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Golden Entertainment. "Rainmaker's outstanding track record with large-scale casino properties and the company's reputation in the gaming market influenced our decision to select its revenue management and profit optimization software solutions."Tammy Farley, president of The Rainmaker Group, said, "Hotels, casinos and other hospitality venues that want to achieve a competitive advantage must employ state-of-the-art revenue management technology. Our portfolio of profit optimization and analytics solutions will help Aquarius Casino Resort and Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower distill the most complex data from numerous sources and turn it into actionable insights, resulting in increased profitability. We are thrilled to welcome Golden Entertainment to the Rainmaker family and to expand our footprint in the U.S. gaming market."About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, forecasting, and revenue-centric business intelligence are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations, enhance revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance, and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta'. Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Singapore and Dubai. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.About Golden Entertainment, Inc.Golden Entertainment, Inc. owns and operates gaming properties across two divisions - resort casino operations and distributed gaming. The Company operates approximately 16,000 gaming devices, 116 table games, 5,168 hotel rooms, and provides jobs for over 7,000 team members. Golden Entertainment owns eight resort casinos - seven in Southern Nevada and one in Maryland. Through its distributed gaming business in Nevada and Montana, Golden Entertainment operates slot machines at over 1,000 locations and owns nearly 60 traditional taverns in Nevada. The Company is licensed in Illinois to operate video gaming terminals. Golden Entertainment is focused on maximizing the value of its portfolio by leveraging its scale, leadership position and proven management capabilities across its two divisions. For more information, visit www.goldenent.com.Media Contacts:Dana Glaze, The Rainmaker Group, 470-440-2041, dglaze@letitrain.comBrad Goldberg, for Golden Entertainment, 702-495-4489, bgoldberg@goldenent.com
Article by Dan Skodol

Science vs. Fiction: How the Truth of Science-Based Hotel Revenue Management Systems Surpasses the Fiction of Rules-Based Models

The Rainmaker Group 8 May 2018
"Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge."~ Carl SaganWhen it comes to developing pricing strategies, dealing with the competition, and forecasting future demand, the job of a hotel revenue manager can feel a lot like a kayaker who is continuously trying to paddle upstream. Over the past few decades, increasing access to data and advancements in technology have led today's hoteliers to a notable inflection point when it comes to choosing revenue management systems (RMS). There is an array of RMS along with other less-automated approaches to revenue management available to help hotels improve profits, and they tend to fall into one of two categories: rules-based or science-based.In today's competitive market, hoteliers need a little more science and a little less fiction - because selecting the right RMS can mean the difference between profitability and insolvency.WHY RULES-BASED RMS NO LONGER RULESeveral hotels still apply traditional rules-based revenue management. Rules-based approaches allow hoteliers to establish a standard set of "rules" that generate strategies for forecasting, pricing, and yielding different room categories and situations. While a rules-based system worked adequately in the past, when hotels were dealing with limited data, these approaches poorly leverage the abundance of data that is now available. Using a rules-based approach today leads to suboptimal pricing and yielding, and results in missed revenue opportunities for hotels.Many rules-based RMS providers promote their systems as offering dynamic pricing "optimization." In truth - and by definition - heuristics-based approaches lack the capability to achieve true optimization.1 They are neither mathematically optimized nor statistically robust enough to account for today's complex distribution landscape. In fact, most rules-based approaches to RM are simply geared towards automating the "gut-feel"-based decision making that would take place in the absence of any system. But how is a revenue manager to know if a $10 drop in rate on a slow night will truly drive the best possible revenue outcome for a hotel? This is a crucial gap that only a science-based RMS can fill.An extremely simplified example would be if a hotel offered one room category at three predetermined price points for a given night: Rate #1, Rate #2, and Rate #3. In a rules-based environment, once the forecasted number of rooms reaches a certain threshold, the system automatically shuts off Rate #1 and begins offering shoppers Rate #2, and so on. This approach to pricing is not truly optimal as it fails to put all of the critical puzzle pieces, such as market conditions, competitive pricing, length-of-stay, the elasticity of demand, customer value, and shopping patterns, together in a way that drives the highest achievable revenue result.Trying to include all this valuable data into rate updates that happen multiple times per day, or over long forecast periods, creates an impossible computational challenge for a rules-based approach. Moreover, as changes occur, and more data becomes available, hotels must engage in the time-consuming process of continuously adapting rules, dealing with conflicting rules, and creating new rules as circumstances dictate. As a result, rules-based approaches are primarily reactive as opposed to proactive, unable to take essential consumer insights and real-time data into account. Ultimately, the rules-based model exposes a hotel to missed profit opportunities and less than optimal decision making.WHY SCIENCE-BASED RMS ARE THE PATH TO SUCCESS Next-generation RMS are advancing beyond the rules-based model. While revenue management is still considered both an art and a science, today's revenue professionals have access to more data than ever before. So in order to flourish, and have the desired impact on their bottom line, hotels must determine how to make the art more scientific.2True Dynamic Price OptimizationWhen it comes to pure dynamic price optimization, science-based RMS offer a more sophisticated solution over the rules-based model. True dynamic pricing is a complex task that's shaped by multiple factors such as elasticity of demand, market conditions, seasonality, and customer behavior. If you've ever shopped online at Amazon.com, and noticed prices fluctuate higher or lower after you've refreshed your browser, you've witnessed true dynamic pricing at work.In today's fast-paced, competitive, and omni-channel marketplace, a science-based approach accounts for multiple variables that influence supply and demand, and responds in real timeto changing situations. Rather than determining pricing from a finite set of previously defined options - as we saw back in our rules-based Rates #1, #2 and #3 example above - science-based models allow hotels to adjust pricing at a much greater level of precision. The system chooses rates from a continuous range of potential values that provide the greatest opportunity to capture demand at each point along the spectrum of customer price sensitivity. Studies have shown that even small variations in price can mean big differences in profitability.Effective Use of Customer DataThe ability of science-based approaches to incorporate key customer data into a hotel's forecasting and pricing strategies also makes a crucial difference in maximizing profitability. Consider how this plays out in the retail space, where two customers each purchase a Dean Martin CD from an online music store. In a rules-based environment, both customers are instantly offered a Bing Crosby CD. However, because the rules-based approach can't take advantage of available customer insights hidden within the data, the retailer misses an opportunity to increase his sale.Science-based technology takes into account that although one customer is a 60-year old who enjoys '50s music, the other is an 18-year old who only purchases classic CDs as gifts. Her shopping history reveals that her past purchases have primarily been in the alternative rock genre. In this instance, she's offered the latest Red Hot Chili Peppers release instead. She makes the purchase, even though that wasn't her initial intent in visiting the site, and the retailer has doubled his sale.Along similar lines, using data to predict a customer's purchase behavior ahead of time allows hotels to segment that customer appropriately and ultimately ensure that at any given time, only the most valuable, profitable customers have access to scarce room inventory.More Accurate ForecastingInnovative science-based RMS also utilize machine learning (ML) algorithms in some key aspects of revenue management. ML offers the capability for a system to continually refine and recalibrate its algorithms based on the inclusion of new and real-time data.Proactive science-based models utilizing ML maximize profits by performing hundreds of calculations at lightning speed. They adjust rates for rooms along with ancillary products and services, and accurately forecast different demand segments according to each segment's willingness to pay.Overall Profit GrowthWith the growing trend toward total hotel revenue management,3 revenue managers must recognize the ultimate goal is not about chasing after occupancy growth, but instead, maximizing profits across all revenue streams. This is best achieved via a science-based approach where strategies are no longer based on static rules, but instead leverage complex algorithms and extensive data sets that allow hoteliers to make informed fact-based decisions.In today's constantly shifting hotel industry landscape, a rules-based approach is deficient in the science to forecast demand or optimize pricing accurately. Science-based RMS improve data integrity, predictive analytics, generate optimal pricing strategies, and better inform your revenue management decisions. As research shows4, when implemented appropriately, a science-based RMS leads to substantially higher profits.SOURCES: 1"Distinguishing Price Optimization from Rules-Based Pricing," Revionics research white paper, May 2015,www.price-revolution.com/uploads/3/4/1/9/3419579/2015_may_revionics-whitepaper-distinguishing-price-optimization.pdf2"Revenue Management for Today & Tomorrow: 10 Questions to Consider." HSMAI, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International , 25 Feb. 2011, www.hsmai.org/knowledge/summary.cfm?ItemNumber=4635.3Kimes, Sheryl E. "The Future of Hotel Revenue Management." Cornell University, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, 13 Jan. 2017, scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1239&context=chrpubs.4Aziz, Heba Abdel, et al. "Dynamic Room Pricing Model for Hotel Revenue Management Systems." Egyptian Informatics Journal, Elsevier, 28 Sept. 2011, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110866511000375
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Rainmaker closes record-breaking Q1 with largest sales quarter in company history

The Rainmaker Group 26 April 2018
"We're proud to kick off 2018 with such a strong sales quarter," says Mike Cowles, Chief Commercial Officer at Rainmaker. "Sustaining last year's momentum with such a great start to the new year will allow us to continue to focus on product innovation and market expansion both domestically and internationally."Sales : Rainmaker had a very successful first quarter with a 39% sales growth YOY.Customers: Record sales numbers brought an array of new customers and implementations in Q1, including Two Roads Hospitality's Hotel Revival, a new, 107-room Joie de Vivre property in Baltimore, MD who went live with revintel, Rainmaker's hotel Business Intelligence (BI) solution. This implementation marks 58 total properties live on revintel from Two Roads Hospitality's portfolio. Also in the Midwest, Hotel Boulderado implemented guestrev, Rainmaker's flagship product and core solution to their Revenue Management System (RMS), at their 160-room property in Boulder, CO.People: Rainmaker appointed Hicham Diab to drive business development efforts in the Middle East and Africa. Based out of Rainmaker's Dubai office, Hicham is tasked with supporting and expanding the Rainmaker's growing customer base in the region. Another addition outside of the U.S. is Celeste Loh, Senior Business Consultant, who will play a critical role in supporting strategic accounts in Asia-Pacific. Celeste will be based out of Rainmaker's international headquarters in Singapore. And finally, Sunny Zhao has joined the Science and Value Engineering team as a Data Analyst in our worldwide headquarters in Alpharetta, GA, a northern suburb of Atlanta.Awards: In March, Rainmaker was acknowledged by the city of Alpharetta, GA for being recognized as a local "Business of Excellence" for the fifth consecutive year.Events : Rainmaker's annual user conference, OPTIMIZE, was held March 7-9 in Miami, Fl. The event was held at two of Rainmaker's customers' properties, Eden Roc and Fontainebleau, both in Miami Beach. Also in March, Rainmaker's team participated in Singapore's RevMan Roundtable and the Tribal Casino & Hotel Development Conference in California.Open Positions: Rainmaker is looking to expand their growing team and has several open positions including a Technical Implementation Consultant, multiple Sales Development Representatives, and multiple Senior Developers. Rainmaker was voted one of the top 10 places to work in Hotel Tech in 2018 by Hotel Tech Report. To learn more about these open positions and join a fantastic team, visit Rainmaker's careers page.
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Rainmaker Expands Business Operations in the Middle East and Africa By Adding Hicham Diab to Dubai Office

The Rainmaker Group 23 April 2018
The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, today announced the expansion of its Middle East and Africa (MEA) operations by naming Hicham Diab as regional director of business development MEA. Rainmaker currently provides solutions and services to several international hotel organizations in the region, including Kerzner International and Movenpick Hotels & Resorts.Rainmaker's decision to add a regional director of business development will further enhance its service capabilities to both current and prospective customers. With an expanded local presence, new and existing clients will have easy access to the latest innovations in revenue optimization technology.Since Rainmaker's Dubai office opened in 2016, the Middle East has seen growth in the hospitality industry, and this trend is expected to continue. In terms of pipeline numbers for January, STR data indicates the region had 333 properties with more than 105,000 rooms under construction, representing a 22.4 percent increase year-over-year. Rainmaker's innovative solutions enable users to take full advantage of market growth by helping them maximize revenue and outpace the competition."We are excited to add Hicham to our team," said Patrick Andres, Rainmaker's managing director for the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. "His exceptional understanding of both the hospitality industry and revenue management, along with his extensive professional network, make him the perfect addition to our Dubai office. He will be a strong partner for the prestigious hotels and brands we are already working with, and he will help us expand our presence and value in the Middle East and Africa."Rainmaker's groundbreaking revenue and profit optimization product suite includes:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;grouprev, an innovative group pricing solution that streamlines the process of responding to group RFPs by analyzing historical data, future demand, and price sensitivity to recommend the best pricing for group business;revcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape; andrevintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level.About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, forecasting, and revenue-centric business intelligence are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations, enhance revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance, and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta'. Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Singapore and Dubai. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.About Kerzner International Holdings LimitedKerzner International Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, is a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, ultra-luxury hotels and residences, and innovative entertainment and gaming experiences. Kerzner's flagship brand Atlantis, includes Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, a 1,500-room, water-themed resort on The Palm, overlooking the Arabian Sea and mainland Dubai; and Atlantis, Sanya Hainan in China, under development, as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai. For more information about Kerzner and its operating subsidiaries, visit www.kerzner.com.About Movenpick Hotels & ResortsMovenpick Hotels & Resorts, an international upscale hotel management company with more than 16,000 staff members, is represented in 23 countries with 83 hotels, resorts and Nile cruisers currently in operation. Approximately 20 properties are planned or under construction, including those in Chiang Mai (Thailand), Bali (Indonesia) and Nairobi (Kenya). Focusing on expanding within its core markets of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts specializes in business and conference hotels, as well as holiday resorts, all reflecting a sense of place and respect for their local communities. Of Swiss heritage and with headquarters in central Switzerland (Baar), Movenpick Hotels & Resorts is passionate about delivering premium service and culinary enjoyment with a personal touch. Committed to supporting sustainable environments, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has become the greenest Globe-certified hotel company in the world. The hotel company is owned by Movenpick Holding (66.7%) and the Kingdom Group (33.3%). For more information, visit www.movenpick.com.For more information about Rainmaker or general inquiries, contact:Patrick AndresRainmaker Representative OfficeThe Fairmont Offices Dubai, Office 508, Level 5 Sheikh Zayed RoadDubai UAEPhone: +971 (0) 4311 6866Email: pandres@letitrain.comMedia Contact:Dana Glaze, The Rainmaker Group, 470-440-2041, dglaze@letitrain.com
Article by Dan Skodol

The True Essence of Hotel Revenue Management

The Rainmaker Group 17 April 2018
In 1972, an employee of British Overseas Airways Corporation by the name of Ken Littlewood provided the genesis of what has become today's revenue management (RM) discipline. He established "Littlewood's Rule," a yield management rule that addressed revenue maximization by proposing that discounted fares be accepted if their revenue value exceeded anticipated revenue from the expected value of full-fare tickets. Littlewood's algorithm led to experimentation with "fenced" pricing and a forecasting system based on seat inventory. Airlines also tried to fill as many seats as possible by predicting how many booked passengers would not show up for their flight, and then overbooking by the predicted amount to ensure every seat was filled.1A few years later, the 1978 US Domestic Airline Deregulation Act abruptly dropped the airline industry into the free market system. This, combined with the recession of the early '80s, triggered the rapid rise of low-cost carriers (LCCs) and fierce price competition. Domestic airlines saw a substantial drop in profits. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, for instance, fares fell by 32 percent once Southwest Airlines entered the picture.2In response to this disruption, Robert Crandall, chairman and CEO of American Airlines took Littlewood's Rule a step further and pioneered the world's first true yield management system.3 To maximize revenues, he invested millions in analytics-driven inventory control and demand forecasting system called Dynamic Inventory Allocation Modeling Optimizer (DINAMO). Over the next year, American Airlines saw profits rise 48 percent, and the system's net impact was estimated to be $1.4 billion in additional revenues over a three-year period.4As hotels began to adopt revenue management, hotels and airlines alike were impacted by further disruption in the RM world. This disruption was fueled by the exponential growth of internet distribution channels, the emergence of online travel agencies (OTAs), and the era of price transparency - giving consumers the ability to quickly shop and compare fare options before purchasing.Hotel Revenue Management Takes FlightCrandall ultimately shared his yield management successes with Bill Marriott, CEO of Marriott International, who recognized that hotels dealt with issues similar to that of the airline industry, such as perishable inventory, advance bookings, lower-cost competition and fluctuating bouts of supply and demand. Marriott took the proverbial "yield management" ball and ran with it. He developed a more holistic RM system that not only made inventory recommendations, but encompassed consumer behavior, competition, dynamic pricing, and addressed the issue of optimizing room availability according to variable lengths of stay. By the mid-90s, Marriott's successful implementation of RM was adding between $150 to $200 million in annual revenue.5Today, the concept of integrating advanced analytics with RM to optimize prices is nearly ubiquitous. Gone are days spent wrestling with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to organize data. Hotel guests are more plugged in than ever, booking more and more via mobile devices6, and connecting with new information sources like meta-search engines and social media. In response, modern technological advances are driving the evolution of RM, and enable the discipline to impact hotel revenues in most significant ways.Cloud-based RM solutions efficiently integrate and automate processes, providing detailed data from digital channels - both historical and real-time - and analytics that allow hotel operators to drive increased profitability by optimizing price positioning versus their competition. Distribution data empowers hotel operators to further improve their bottom lines by establishing strategies that lower customer acquisition costs. And state-of-the-art RM systems increase conversions along with Average Daily Rate (ADR) by identifying repeat guests and loyalty members at the point of booking and presenting customized pricing and availability.A key component of today's RM systems is the ability to break down customer business based on multiple factors, such as customer type, geography, booking channel, demographics, or purpose of stay. Effective segmentation combined with predictive analytics allows revenue managers to view industry data in new ways to accurately forecast demand, increase direct bookings, deliver precision pricing, and maximize profit opportunities that might otherwise be lost.The Exciting Future of Hotel Revenue Management The discipline of RM has changed dramatically over the past few decades and going forward is poised for further transformation. Increasing reliance on data, automation, and analytics will improve RM decision making and strategy development.Sheryl E. Kimes, expert in hotel revenue management, and professor of operations management at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, surveyed some 400 international RM professionals. Her findings are published in the report, The Future of Hotel Revenue Management.7According to Kimes' research, RM roles will continue to evolve, and emerging trends indicate that RM practices will progress from the pervasive silo mentality to become more strategic and centralized. More hotels will recognize that to be effective, RM must align with other departments such as sales, e-commerce, and particularly marketing. And we will begin moving away from revenue per available room (RevPAR) as a critical metric of hotel performance, turning instead to gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) and GOP per available square foot.Until now, RM implementation of non-rooms revenue has been low, but 63 percent of revenue managers believe that "total hotel RM" will begin gaining traction over the next five years. Hotels will recognize that they can significantly increase profits by applying RM practices to all revenue streams, including non-rooms areas such as function space, restaurants, spas, golf, and parking.Taking this a step further, there are several exciting new concepts and trends emerging in the world of RM. Personalized pricing involves positioning and promoting room rates and offers to customers based on their spending habits, preferences, and lifetime value. Also, the same predictive analytics and rules of supply and demand that revenue managers apply to room rates can also be used for ancillary products and services.For example, if a frequent hotel guest regularly books a round of golf and a spa treatment for his spouse, a hotel revenue manager may look to bundle these with a room at an attractive price in order to drive a direct booking. Segmentation and one-on-one marketing will reach new levels, and as a result revenue managers will be able to develop optimal pricing strategies that maximize overall revenue and profit from every segment of their business.RM has come a long way since the development of Littlewood's Rule. Moreover, as hotels strive to grow revenue, market share, wallet share, and of course, customer loyalty, the role of RM will grow in importance as well. RM will transition from reactive to proactive, leveraging analytics and next-generation capabilities to develop more customer-centric offers and an integrated profit-optimization strategy that involves all parts of a hotel's revenue-generating process.While the future of hotel RM has yet to be fully defined, the true essence of it remains as it is today: providing the right customer, with the right product, at the right time, for the right price, via the right channel.SOURCES1Stuart-Hill, Trevor. "Revenue Management: An Overview on Past, Present and Future." HotelExecutivecom Daily Headlines, 16 Sept. 2012, hotelexecutive.com/feature_focus/3194/revenue-management-an-overview-on-past-present-and-future.2Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate. "AIRLINE DEREGULATION: Changes in Airfares, Service, and Safety at Small, Medium-Sized, and Large Communities." Apr. 1996, doi:Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate.3Rose, Paul. "A Lifetime in Airline Revenue Management." Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, vol. 15, no. 3-4, 2016, pp. 197-202., doi:10.1057/rpm.2016.21.4"The Cornell School of Hotel Administration Handbook of Applied Hospitality Strategy." The Cornell School of Hotel Administration Handbook of Applied Hospitality Strategy, by Cathy A. Enz, SAGE, 2010, pp. 515-515.5"Room at the Revenue Inn." The Book of Management Wisdom: Classic Writings by Legendary Managers, by Peter Krass, Wiley, 2000, pp. 199-208.6Sheivachman, Andrew. "Mobile Travel Bookings Will Reach 40 Percent of Online Sales in 2017." Skift, Skift, 21 June 2017, skift.com/2017/06/21/mobile-travel-bookings-to-reach-40-percent-of-online-sales-in-2017/.7Kimes, Sheryl E. "The Future of Hotel Revenue Management." Cornell University, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, 13 Jan. 2017, scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1239&context=chrpubs.
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The Rainmaker Group Kicks Off 2018 with Record-Setting Performance

The Rainmaker Group 27 March 2018
ALPHARETTA, GA -- The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, today announced that it has kicked off 2018 with record-breaking performance and growth. In January alone, the company experienced a sales increase of 187 percent year-over-year. In addition, the company's service revenue, which includes pricing services and revenue best practices consulting, showed an increase of 107 percent.In January and February, Rainmaker expanded its reach in both the number of customers and the number of properties using its state-of-the-art solution suite, which includes guestrev, grouprev, revcaster and revintel. Its grouprev and guestrev solutions led the way in deployments, with grouprev showing a 35 percent increase year-over-year and guestrev showing a 31 percent increase for the same period.Among the customers that recently selected Rainmaker solutions are: Golden Casino Group in Las Vegas; Omni Hotels & Resorts in Dallas; The Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Solis Two Porsche Drive in Atlanta. These customers are using Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions to streamline operations, optimize revenue and secure the most profitable guests."Partnering with Rainmaker was a great decision for us," said Tamara Gunn, director of revenue management at Solis Two Porsche Drive, a 214-room luxury property that recently went live with guestrev. "The company really listened to our needs and responded with a solution that will help us understand demand and take a strategic approach to setting rates. This, in turn, will help us increase overall profitability and strengthen our competitive advantage."The Scottsdale Plaza Resort also recently implemented the guestrev solution. "We're excited about the possibilities that guestrev brings to our property," said Gilberto Aguirre, director of revenue management at the 400-room luxury hotel. "It will enable us to assess the value of each guest based on all available revenue streams, including food and beverage, wellness and retail. It also will take demand uncertainty into consideration, resulting in both top- and bottom-line growth and a rapid ROI."In February, Hotel Tech Report named Rainmaker's revcaster solution its top-rated market intelligence software based on data from thousands of hoteliers in more than 40 countries. More than 100 hotel technology products competed for a chance to win the prestigious title. Rainmaker also was included in the recent Hotel Tech Report list of 'Top 10 Places to Work in Hotel Tech'.Rainmaker's leading-edge revenue and profit optimization product suite includes:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;grouprev, an innovative group pricing solution that streamlines the process of responding to group RFPs by analyzing historical data, future demand, and price sensitivity to recommend the best pricing for group business;revcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape; andrevintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level."Our record-setting performance at the start of this year underscores our deep commitment both to our customers and products," said Tammy Farley, president of The Rainmaker Group. "We constantly have our eye on platform innovation and ways in which we can deliver more powerful solutions to our clients. And, as the hospitality industry evolves, we continue to strengthen our product suite to meet -- and exceed -- our customers' revenue goals."
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Rainmaker VP to Speak at Tribal Casino & Hotel Development Conference

The Rainmaker Group 22 March 2018
ALPHARETTA, GA -- The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, today announced that Angie Dobney, vice president of casino and gaming sales, will be a featured speaker at the 11th Annual Tribal Casino & Hotel Development Conference. The conference will be held March 26-27 at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif. Rainmaker is a gold-level sponsor of the event.Dobney will participate in a panel discussion entitled, How Tracking Every Dollar Spent by Your Patrons Not Only Increases Profit but Also Decreases Cost Throughout Your Enterprise. The panel, which will address new technologies that track guests and their preferences, will include topics such as: uncovering additional profit centers in your hotel and casino; getting the right customers into the casino; player loyalty; and how to make player rewards programs desirable to all age groups.Dobney, a former Rainmaker customer who joined the company in 2014, brings to her role a user's perspective on technology. Having worked in both manual and automated environments, she knows firsthand the challenges customers face and draws from personal experience to guide her clients in best practices. Her expertise spans the unique challenges related to revenue optimization, and she is a frequent industry speaker.Rainmaker offers best-of-breed revenue and profit optimization solutions to hotels, resorts and casinos. Its product suite includes:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;grouprev, an innovative group pricing solution that streamlines the process of responding to group RFPs by analyzing historical data, future demand, and price sensitivity to recommend the best pricing for group business;revcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape; andrevintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level."We are excited to participate in the 11th Annual Tribal Casino & Hotel Development Conference, both as industry thought leaders and as a gold-level sponsor," said Mike Cowles, chief commercial officer of The Rainmaker Group. "We are deeply committed to the success of our tribal gaming customers, and this meeting is always a great event."The Tribal Casino & Hotel Development Conference is dedicated to the design and development of tribal-owned casinos, resorts and hotels. Each year, tribal leaders gather with industry professionals to discuss the most relevant topics in the business, including government legislation, advancements in technology, and the latest trends in renovation and design. The annual conference is produced by Native Nation Events in Ramsey, N.J.To sign up for a one-on-one meeting with Rainmaker during the Tribal Casino & Hotel Development Conference, contact Brenna Needham at 470-440-7917 orbneedham@letitrain.com.
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Rainmaker Executives Featured at Hotel Revenue Conference 2018

The Rainmaker Group 15 February 2018
ALPHARETTA, GA - The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, announced today that Amy Forss, senior sales director, and Mike Pavicich, director of hospitality sales, will be featured speakers at the Hotel Revenue Conference 2018. The conference will be held Feb. 21-22 at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle. Rainmaker is a gold-level sponsor of the event.Forss and Pavicich will speak on optimizing group business for higher conversion rates and increased revenue. Their presentation, entitled FOMO: Fear of Missing Out, will include topics such as: leveraging data and technology; streamlining revenue management processes; proactive selling; and empowering the team.Forss, who has more than 15 years' experience in the hospitality industry, joined Rainmaker in January 2015. Her expertise is in group sales and revenue management. Pavicich, who joined Rainmaker in August 2017, has held leadership roles in hotels, casino companies and travel technology businesses. Both executives are focused on helping hotels and resorts increase profitability through the use of technology and are frequent speakers on a variety of revenue management topics.Rainmaker offers best-of-breed revenue and profit optimization solutions to hotels, resorts and casinos. Its product suite includes:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;grouprev, an innovative group pricing solution that streamlines the process of responding to group RFPs by analyzing historical data, future demand and price sensitivity to recommend the best pricing for group business;revcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape; andrevintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level."We are thrilled to participate in this year's Hotel Revenue Conference, both as thought leaders and as a gold-level sponsor," said Tammy Farley, president of The Rainmaker Group. "We continue to experience significant growth within the hotel market and have a strong commitment to the success of our customers in this sector. We understand the importance of technology to a hotel's success, and we look forward to sharing information and insights that can help attendees win more group business at their own properties."The Hotel Revenue Conference is a premier event that gives hoteliers an opportunity to meet with industry leaders, subject matter experts and technology vendors. Focused on revenue generation, the event incorporates leading content for revenue management, digital marketing and management audiences.To sign up for a one-on-one meeting with Rainmaker during the Hotel Revenue Conference, contact Brenna Needham at 470-440-7917 or bneedham@letitrain.com.
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Rainmaker's revcaster Powers Newly Enhanced Market Intelligence for Omni Hotels & Resorts

The Rainmaker Group 13 February 2018
ALPHARETTA, GA - Feb. 13, 2018 - The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, today announced that it has expanded its partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts (Omni) by transitioning them to the recently launched, next-generation of revcaster across the brand's portfolio of properties, covering more than 20,000 rooms across 60 properties in North America.In addition to being a revcaster customer since 2015, Omni is a longstanding customer of Rainmaker's guestrev and grouprev, which optimize room rate and other ancillary revenue for transient and group business. By adding revcaster to the mix, Omni strengthens its revenue management technology stack and gains unparalleled market and competitive intelligence and analysis.Last year, Rainmaker unveiled revcaster's next-generation platform, which increases the power and functionality of the original competitor rate shopping model. The addition of third-party systems integrations, cross-functional collaboration tools, and flexible rules and alerts -- all wrapped into an updated and modernized user interface -- allows users to go beyond simply monitoring competitors' rates. The new platform enables revenue managers, owners and operators to follow standard revenue management best practices without the heavy investment typically required when implementing a true Revenue Management System (RMS)."revcaster's new platform is a game changer for our organization and our industry," said Jamie Pena, Vice President of Revenue Management and Global Distribution at Omni. "The ability to create custom personalized dashboards that display market data in any format really makes the product feel like our own. And the data itself is more powerful than ever with the addition of real-time rate shopping, integration of other data points, such as weather and events, and the like.""Since soft-launching the revcaster product in the second quarter of last year, we've partnered with several strategic customers to test and push the platform to its limits," said Matt Curry, Vice President and Head of Product at The Rainmaker Group. "In doing so, we were able to identify opportunities to add finishing touches to the application, and we're excited to get the product into the hands of the broader market."Rainmaker's groundbreaking revenue and profit optimization product suite includes:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;grouprev, an innovative group pricing solution that streamlines the process of responding to group RFPs by analyzing historical data, future demand, and price sensitivity to recommend the best pricing for group business;revcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape; andrevintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level.Omni Hotels & Resorts is a privately-held international luxury hotel company based in Dallas. The company is currently owned by Robert Rowling of TRT Holdings, who bought the company in 1996 from World International Holdings, Ltd. and the Hong Kong-based conglomerate The Wharf (Holdings) Limited. The company currently operates 60 properties in the United States, Canada and Mexico, totaling more than 20,000 rooms and employing more than 23,000 people.
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Disaster Recovery and Readiness Considerations for Hotel Revenue Management

The Rainmaker Group 6 February 2018
For more information, join Rainmaker for a webinar on 'Disaster Recovery & Readiness' on Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 11 a.m. - noon EST. A panel of experts who have dealt with disasters at their properties will share their experiences. To register, visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7449938234682096385.

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