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Red Lion Ready to Strike

Freshly retooled with a new team in place, Red Lion looks ready to be a serious contender.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Glenn Haussman
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It’s looking a lot like Red Lion Hotels Corporation is about done putting its all-star team into place and is ready to take on the competition. And this week the newly assembled team is holding its annual conference to share where the brand is headed and how it expects to get there.

Hotel Interactive had a chance to speak with some of the brand’s new leaders who shared their story about the future of Red Lion.

“There are a lot of changes in store,” said Bill Linehan, Chief Marketing Officer for Red Lion Hotels Corporation. “Momentum has been brewing and we offer a great deal of opportunity as we expand across the country.

Linenhan said the company has been working to align Red Lion to have more relevant positioning moving forward and are planning on launching a new brand in the 3.0 -3.5 star range. He explained the property will be a compelling conversion opportunity for hotels facing a PIP, and the new product would give owners a more free form approach that is less “utilitarian” and more unique for each market.

“For owners looking to grow their portfolio we are at ground zero of opportunity,” said LInehan.

Brian Quinn is the newly appointed SVP, Chief Franchise Officer with Red Lion, and he made the switch because he sees this company as having big future potential. “I have always loved being a brander and franchisor and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be with a brand that was about to make such a sea change. It will be taking its rightful place in the industry.”

Quinn said the opportunity is seemingly endless as the Pacific Northwest based company is still essentially a small, regional company but prepped to go national. “We are in a position where we are poised for growth. We now have a healthy platform and we are ready to go,” he said.

Also newly appointed is Angela Landgraf, SVP Corporate Development. “This was an opportunity to come to a stable and great organization with great brands that have a lot of history. We have the opportunity to get it right and do it the right way for our hotel partners” said Landgraf.

At this week’s RLHC Vision 2020 Conference, the company introduced RevPak, a platform integrating multiple capabilities supporting reservations and distribution services, revenue management, customer relations, CRM, one-to-one and one-to-many marketing, business analytics, digital marketing, eCommerce and more elements enhancing hotel operations to optimize profitability.

“RevPak is our revenue and distribution services ecosystem,” said Linehan. “It’s an ensemble of the industry’s best revenue generation systems fully integrated to provide a single 360 degree view of our customers while delivering dynamic and personalized promotions. Simply put, RevPak is our revenue distribution system.”

According to an interview we did earlier this month, the program will lower entry costs for new franchisees. He added this is a revenue platform that drives revenue to hotels in a seamless fashion. “We can have best in class partners and REVPAK delivers revenue to properties,” said Linehan.

That, combined with what is a more simplified fee structure is meant to do the dual job at boosting the number of franchise hotels while also helping to increase the company’s ability to attract new transient and corporate customers.

Other changes include a new way for guests to get rewards that doesn’t require guests to prove their loyalty over an extended period of time first, said Linehan, and will instead recognize guests immediately.

The new team is headed by CEO Greg Mount who came on board earlier this year. And it looks like the timing is right for this team to transform this regional player into a national contender.

“The development market is conducive for growth and the broader economy looks healthy.
“Investors are becoming hoteliers in a sense,” said Landgraf. “They are getting what we are putting out there. We needed to do things differently and the investors can get on board with that.”

Credit
Glenn Haussman    Glenn Haussman
Editor in Chief
Hotel Interactive, Inc.

Bio: Glenn Haussman is Hotel Interactive's Editor-In-Chief, where he manages all editorial content for the hotel industry’s leading online information resource. In addition to publishing the daily magazine, he hosts a weekly on demand radio shows and develops educational content for the company’s BITAC and HI Connect Design ...
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