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How The Mandolay Hotel defied the odds: more revenue with half the staff

Plus: A new athlete collaboration in Oregon

This newsletter is sponsored by Mews Unfold - a free digital event for hoteliers later this week: December 1-2.

Get your ticket now to hear from hospitality leaders from companies such as Accor, Pandox, Life House, and The Student Hotel on how to make the most of your property’s potential and consider the new technologies shaping our industry and altering the guest experience.

How The Mandolay Hotel defied the odds

Matthew Milliken was facing a challenge that may sound familiar.

As Managing Director of an independent property - The Mandolay Hotel in the UK - he finds himself in competition with the biggest hotel chains in an industry that's recovering but still facing a labor shortage.

“They have millions to spend and we don’t,” Milliken shared with me. “We need technology to be on our side. We need to be at the cutting edge of things, rather than being left behind.”

The hotel found it hard to meet its revenue goals without being able to support guests as they wanted to be engaged.

Milliken often finds himself looking for efficiency in his own travels. “Sometimes I just want to get to my room – the less interaction the better when I’m tired.”

He’s not the only one thinking that - I know I’m often there. And it’s an opportunity for technology to improve hospitality for both the people providing and experiencing it.

  • Where Milliken started to tackle this challenge

  • The goals of this initiative

  • How the business case to the owner was structured

  • The process he used to increase upselling revenue tenfold (with half the staff)

  • The impact on guest experience

Idea of the day: Athlete collaborations

Division Street, a sport venture company founded by prominent University of Oregon supporters including Phil Knight, has turned a rental property in Eugene, Ore., into a first-of-its-kind athlete storytelling home to benefit Oregon student-athletes who will host it on Airbnb. The redesigned house will serve not only as a hub for athlete brand development and name, image, likeness (NIL) deal content creation, but also as an actual listing that guests can rent, generating income for Oregon athletes who serve as hosts.

More details here. I love collaborations in hospitality. Could you do something like this?

Amenity of the day

This house car 😍