HB ON THE SCENE: Creating a Lasting, Local Brand

ASPEN, CO—Original and inclusive. Honoring neighborhoods and welcoming guests. This is what makes for a successful brand, according to Sherri Gilligan, CMO of Two Roads Hospitality, at Two Roads Hospitality Travel Industry Advisory Board Forum, held here at The Gant, a Destination Hotel.

“Brands are about embracing the diversity of the community and the individuals,” said Gilligan. Whether it’s hosting a traditional Japanese-style tea at Hotel Kabuki in Japantown in San Francisco, or upholding the historic designs of The Beekman Hotel in New York City, highlighting culture instead of masking it is what makes for both an intrigued and loyal guest. “We bring community into our locations. You can shoot a cannon in some hotel lobbies and nobody will hear. Our guests want to know someone is there, a sense of community.”

Two Roads is also bringing the community inside the hotel doors through brand signatures, an initiative that, for the Thompson hotel brand, focuses on four points of local interest: wellness, culinary, fashion and arts, and entertainment. The range of these experiences is expansive and made possible through local partnerships.

These pillars represent different guests experiences. For example, a wellness experience could be meditation or yoga sessions, or Run with the GM, where guests can join a property’s general manager in a morning run. Culinary experiences range from farm-to-table options and menu offerings from local breweries. Fashion and art experiences include featuring local businesses and artists on-site.

Although experiences may differ for Two Roads specifically—whose Destination Hotels properties include both four- and five-star properties—service standards remain the same throughout.

“We’re working toward a recognition service that will be across all of our properties,” Gilligan said. Two Roads plans to implement a CRM program next year to include guest preferences, their photo if they want it taken and information about property stays. The program includes a pop-up box at check-in including this information, specific to each guest.

“I’m going to be picky about this. We’re not going to blanket the entire database. it’s going to be coming from the property. It’s important to have that designation and that nuance,” Gilligan added, noting the importance of recognizing the properties that guests prefer.