Olympia, United States, Tom Watson discussed on Slick Talk: The Hospitality Podcast
They were everybody for coming back to slick. Talk the hospitality podcasts. I'm the host will slickers and today I actually have the pleasure of being at onsite at the hotel R L in Olympia Washington and I have the awesome general manager named Ron here who we're going to interview and just kind of dive into a little bit of his background. The history of the hotel the history of the brand the exciting things that involve hospitality. So Ron thank you for joining world. Welcome to the area. That's been great. It's been a great show or a great stay so far so I really just want to dive into kind of you who you are. What your background is? And a little bit of Maybe history for the listeners in Pasta Tau the industry and Kinda what what you've been through in some school stories and of course a brandon. Everything that's going on here at the RL. I'M A. I'm a veteran so I got lots lots of stories. I love it I love it. I've been doing this for over thirty five years and started out right here somewhere right here right right on. I call it Tom Watson right next door right. Yeah so I started out here at this hotel first job very first one longtime ago. Yeah I'll give you the year ago progress through some different companies and how the pleasure working for some some good organizations and announced kind of brought me back full circle very nice very nice so so you. I started here first time ever ever got some kids playing some foosball. Hey it's all about. The extraordinary saw the experience. I love it. Yeah I mean that's that's what we're about we're you know we're one of nine. Okay are branded with red wine. Yes tells in red wine has seventy six you know properties Franchising Kaizen different levels. And they've come up with this RL brand and we we put this together about three years ago here. Okay this property is okay you know. It's it's been arm our goal red wines goal to bring something. That's kind of an experiential. Yeah it's something unique Here you know they. They listened to guests. They get the feedback. They wanted to create something that would be unique in that regard and so we put together the living stage where we're at right now. Yeah the state's awesome living stage where we have a lot of local and regional artists that come in and play and now podcasts cast now today. Yeah Yep up in by next to us we have a coffee bar instead of having a room coffee or in the restaurant. We invite you to come down here to the lobby and get a free. The eight Ounces Brussel really okay. All right that's pretty cool right. Well I know I'm going to be the first thing tomorrow morning that's awesome. We got that and we. You know we have these. He's over here on the other. Side of me is our bicycle and provincial. You can scoot around Olympia when you have time tomorrow. Yeah while the weather is a while the while they still get not so good good time of year and you know in our guestrooms We we we took the rooms back to you. Know rumour of a refined clean lean queen work we With Hardwood Force. Yeah definitely I got socked by that our guest you know like the having the hardwood floors and no more comfortable with that and instead of the art on you know we created murals for the for the for the walls troy about when you stay in a hotel. It's about having a clean room in a comfortable comfortable. Bet Yes yeah always number one now that good sleep yes and so our beds are pretty comfortable here so yeah so this is Kind of what. We've done Nuuk in recruiting this year. For for the brand for red wine I worked for Now ambridge hospitality. Yes with just merge with interstate who tells a week ago about a week ago. Yeah now we're fourteen hundred hotels worldwide the largest third party hotel management company in the world. Yeah and Tom Hi pleasure working with Ambridge here to manage this This financing for Red Lion Awesome so getting back to again my my story I started out the young man many years ago and and Work for a company that was then called Vance hotels which became west coast hotels els and and coastal tells them and I I worked with them for over thirty years. Yeah helping them out and and How many people Started well when I was there in the corporate office there were four of us. Who Have you including US secretary? Well we call them the secretary back then and now. Her name was Wendy. And so I had to find a building company At that time and then I landed myself at their flagship property and in Portland Oregon. Okay yeah I was there for seventeen years and I got a lot of a lot of fun stories with that town not too far from where I am seaside. So that's right that's right you're over there and see site to make it a little stop over on the way that's awesome and So I retired from them. Okay for a couple years. I had a grandson. I wanted to spend some time with yes friend of mine said hey you wanna come work for interstate which is now ambridge and I said Okay and I came back and manage the Crown Plaza in Lake Oswego were given up a lot of Eight months ago so I came here to full circle. Full circle right around awesome awesome well. I'm curious just kind of impromptu question but was was it like going from a branded a hotel like a I H G with the Crown Plaza and then to maybe like the management style the management company style is. Is it for us with your experience. Kind of curious. You brands or brands. Yeah I g Red Wine Marianne. He'll coach now. They all have their way of doing things. And what they WANNA represent And you have your compliance with the with the different brands. The management is as you know behind the scenes. Were the ones working that the asset for the owner. A lot of times you have you'll have an owner of a hotel and and you'll have a a brand flag as we call it. Yes and then the management company so you have three entities that are involved with the property like this one. Yeah and so Oh hell yeah I answer to a lot of people say a lot of hands in hot the the most important person I answered to again. Yes yes yeah so. I have of a lot of working with the guests and actually the associates here. I believe in in good foundations good associates and supporting associate so so they can do their job and take care of the guests definitely. Yeah that's what the podcast about we talk about all the time. So that's awesome somewhere to refer to it as it was actually put together through through Harvard's called service profit chain service sweat service profit chain okay. It's the foundation. Is You know work work with the associates. Take care of the associates them take care of the guests and the end result is good stuff. Yes awesome as sanctuary successful. Then it's been it's been successful. One in there is that I've I've got involved with and I'm happy day in honor to be here. Excellent well So what we can jump into. The the brand is for our else about the experiences about the guests. It's about kind of creating the come visit. Visit US kind of feel where where. I'm kind of curious with This property is specifically. What under remodel? Three years ago three discovery created this new book Put this together a guest rooms and public spaces and Yeah you got sweating here in New York the coffee bar the bicycles and awesome. And so that's that's what you know hotels you they they. They put money aside so that they can you know improve their partner assets or properties continue to be successful when the markets in awesome. Well I guess some behind the scenes type of stuff. What is a I guess for a lot of the listeners that we have with the podcast there all either very a young and hungry in the industry They're either very experienced or they're just kind of dabbling in restaurants or whatever else. There may be in in hotels and hospitality. What's a piece of advice that you'd think from the thirty five years you could pass down any of the forty eight thousand listening this month? While the Westerners opt their view hospitality is a fun exciting industry in part would say the listeners out there I think that Every day is different. Yes if you want routine in you want something to same everyday this is not yeah. Don't do this Sunday hotels. This is your wake up in the good morning and you start your day and and you know you got a plan. Yeah but you know the plan's GonNa vary because you have a lot of moving parts and so it's an exciting industry I I I love what I do. You've got to like people. Yes people were the biggest part of this. Say That's probably what makes things change so much got so many different personalities and different travel all arrangements and all sorts of things going on that you do to prepare for this hotel we get guests that come in and actually you know mostly Canada. Yeah this is. This is the capital of the state. And so we got a lot of people coming to do business in Olympia. But also we're we're right next to some some you know some pretty good attractions like the greenforce okay. People come here and they want to go up there and camp and hike and his midway between Portland Oregon and in Seattle Washington and so it's a good stopping point for an ice Arnuhar and a good stays good place to stay and we've got twelve acres. Okay here ground. So we're we're we're pretty nice. Little resort yeah. I don't know that he's necessarily exciting. Yeah we have sixteen thousand square feet of meeting spaces. Twelve groups okay. Yeah we can do parties at Tanner. Six hundred well I know. There's a lot of businesses right around the corner all over the place right. When you pull in and saw kind of noticing that the the business traveler's probably heavy here we get some good? We're good fortune with some business travel so and one hundred ninety three rooms here of this are okay. It's a good size full-service cow with the restaurant and bar. Yeah the coffee. Best Part my favorite So I guess for the brand itself A lot of Hotel chains and brands and all sorts of affiliates. They have a rewards program. And I'm just kinda curious to begin just a little bit about the Helo rewards. You know a lot of Mary. I'm very familiar with I started out as a Marriott employees and myself and so you know silver platinum or silver goal platinum August stuff so most of the hotels that are branded Brandin. Loyalty points program..