When Destination Hotels merged with Commune Hotels last year to form Two Roads Hospitality, I’d hoped that I’d get a chance to work with some of Commune’s amazing properties under the Alila, Joie de Vivre, Thompson, and Tommie brands. And last fall, I got my chance.
Commune had secured the management contract on a stunning, brand new resort in Cabo San Lucas that opened its doors in the summer of 2015. The Cape is a Thompson hotel that sits on the Sea of Cortez overlooking El Arco. Its location is pretty near perfection, and so are its accommodations, service, dining and spa experiences. (Readers are invited to drool over property photos below.) In fact, the hotel is winning awards left and right not only from all the major travel publications, but from those who read and vote for hotels in these pubs and other travel websites, too. The team at The Cape goes out of their way to make their guests happy….of course, the complimentary bottle of local tequila on arrival doesn’t hurt, either.
Despite all of this high praise, the property was behind pace going into Q4 this year. And the TRH team was not only looking to hit the property’s room revenue numbers for the quarter, but also needed to get group base on the books for 2017, and they had to put together and promote the best New Year’s Eve party Cabo has ever seen. So two weeks before the start of Q4, I got a call to be part of a corporate task force team to help out.
Which meant ramp up had to happen at lightning speed. I got crash courses in learning new tools, new people, new resources, and new reporting. I flew down to the property to meet the team I’d be working with, learn the property’s opportunities and challenges, their comp set, their domestic and international feeder markets, and quickly audited the current marketing effort and developed an enhanced marketing plan to hit our goals, which I’ve been executing along with the onsite Marketing Manager and corporate marketing team since September. A few of the initiatives we put into place included:
- Developing and executing integrated leisure campaigns and messaging in both Spanish and English for the different audiences and their needs
- Building out the Happenings section of the website to include more details of events and providing the opportunity for people to reserve online
- Working with the Revenue Management team to audit OTAs and distribution channels, develop content for new distribution channels for the property’s villa product, and provide compelling offers and packages
- Developing digital campaigns directed toward the local Mexico market to drive awareness of the NYE event and other F&B and nightlife events throughout the quarter
- Working with the PR agencies in the US and Mexico to 1. push weddings for 2017 2. Promote the villa accommodation product to drive a higher ADR as well as 3. secure the appropriate media and social media influencers to attend and write/post about the New Year’s Eve event and pre-event coverage
- Developing campaigns for consortia and providing materials to the leisure sales manager’s use
- Developing a group sales brochure for the sales team
- Developing group offers that would take the property into 2018 to get base on the books, knowing that over 7,000 more luxury accommodations are slated to open in Cabo by the end of 2018
- Developing fun creative to promote NYE party guests’ use of the hashtag #thecapehotel, per the owner’s request
And here at the end of December, I’m thrilled to report that the property exceeded its Q4 forecast and is at capacity for NYE reservations on the books. The PR team has secured stellar on brand media outlets and social media mavens to attend the New Year’s Eve event for pre- and post-event coverage, and the property is setting up well heading into high season.
This project is proving to offer a lot of firsts for me. It’s the first time I’ve worked with a non-US based property so it’s the first time I’ve developed and executed multi-lingual campaigns, the first time I’ve ever had to consider how the exchange rate might impact how I target, the first time I’ve had to find work-arounds for opportunities that have always been available to marketers in the States but not in other countries. It’s the first time I’ve dedicated so much effort to ensuring a successful event for a property, the first time in years I’ve had to learn a lot new systems and processes all at once, and it’s my first time working with the team from the Commune side of the TRH family. (And I’m having so much fun working with them.)
This is one of those projects that feeds my need to continue to grow professionally. I love being able to add new skills and experience to my little site here, and I’m so very grateful to the TRH team for providing that opportunity.
Up next, Playa Del Carmen!