BLLA Debuts #BoutiqueStrong

Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association (BLLA) and its sister organization, travel discovery platform StayBoutique, have launched their #BoutiqueStrong campaign to arm boutique hotels and businesses with the unique tools to reopen and succeed in this new landscape. These resources include an official reopening guide, a private social network and a new membership option.

The #BoutiqueStrong Council, is a task force joining a qualified group of boutique industry experts with a very specific goal: supporting boutique hotels and businesses with resources and educational assistance to successfully re-enter the market after the COVID-19 crisis. The second initiative is the first-ever social network for the boutique community, offering a platform for the sector to connect and proactively problem-solve together. Finally, BLLA has opened a new hotel program to provide authentic properties in need a no-cost membership option through the end of the year. All three #BoutiqueStrong initiatives further the association’s mission to unify, empower, educate and advocate for a growing community of creators within the dynamic realm of the boutique lifestyle.

“We want to empower the boutique community with resources and education from highly skilled founders and CEOs who are providing valuable insight and information that may be quite different than what other hotels or hotel brands are doing and planning,” said Frances Kiradjian, founder/CEO, BLLA. “Boutique hotels have a different focus and we are addressing this in the new campaign and supporting materials.”

#BoutiqueStrong Council and Guide
The official name of this project is “The Guide to The New Paradigm—The boutique hotel’s dynamic roadmap to StayBoutique.”

The new council aligns with the association’s #BoutiqueStrong campaign. The campaign will be supported by many stakeholders including influencers, authentic BLLA-approved boutique hotels and vendors with products and services supporting the industry. BLLA believes that boutique hotels will have the greatest opportunity as travelers begin to plan future trips: Travelers will seek intimate experiences and a clear message about safety and security.

Council members include the following:

Frances Kiradjian, founder/CEO, BLLA and StayBoutique
Dee Patel, managing director, The Hermitage Hotel
Christine Magrann, COO, Makeready
Jody Pennette, founder/CEO, cb5 Hospitality Consultants
Damien Mahoney, CEO, Stackla
Caryl Helsel, founder/CEO, Dragonfly Strategists
Ariela Kiradjian, partner/COO, BLLA/StayBoutique
Carolyn Izzo-Feldman, founder/president, CIIC PR
Daniel André Langer, CEO, Équité
Samantha Ahuja, shareholder, Greenberg Traurig
Geoff Davis, principal, Davis Hotel Capital
Roberta Matuson, president, Matuson Consulting
Kate Burda, founder/principal, Kate Burda & Co
Lynn Curry, co-owner/president, Resources for Leisure Assets
Doug Olson, president, C2C Designs
Robert Fischel, principal, Gensler
Steve Slepcevic, managing partner, Strategic Response Partners

The task force members include boutique hotel owners, hotel group presidents, public relations professionals and other leaders of the boutique community. As boutique brands in this sector of hospitality (including hotels, restaurants, retail and more) reopen, the association, along with members of the #BoutiqueStrong Council, will virtually assist with best practices, tools and more through an interactive guide.

From F&B, to revenue strategy, to HR, to communications, to legal and insurance, to valuation and investment and more, the #BoutiqueStrong Council will become the official educational arm of BLLA. Each individual company will provide a brief yet comprehensive course on their area of expertise that will be available online in the new member portal and social network (called the BLLA Collective). Hotelier members will also contribute on-the-ground insights to the #BoutiqueStrong Council as their hotels undergo new protocols and changing guest expectations in real time. Parts of all of the courses will have that boutique spin to them.

The BLLA Collective (social network)
BLLA has created the world’s first social network for the boutique community, a platform where all members can unite digitally to converse, problem-solve and learn from each other. Features in the social network include groups, forums, messaging features, activity feeds, blog posts and more. The educational coursework will include the task force training modules as well as a future customized program for hotel owners. The online courses will be continuously updated with the continuously evolving particulars.

“On the House” Hotel Membership
BLLA has added a new on-the-house membership opportunity for authentic and approved boutique hotels to be listed on with direct bookings to the hotel’s reservation page as well as access to the Reopening Roadmap courses in BLLA’s new membership platform, enabled with individual login credentials. The association created this option to give back to the industry to allow properties in need access to these curated resources.