Pathfinder Development aspired for its third hotel, the Staybridge Suites Webster, TX to become the upscale extended stay market leader in Houston’s Clear Lake/NASA area.
With only ~150 hotels open globally at the time the upscale all-suites hotel opened, the Staybridge Suites brand lacked the recognition and loyalty of powerhouse brands in the hotel’s competitive set, such as Residence Inn by Marriott, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and Hilton Garden Inn. Increasing the odds against achieving the vision was the timing of the hotel’s opening, which occurred in April 2009 in the midst of the “Great Recession”.
Recognizing that emerging as the upscale extended stay market leader in a competitive landscape of exclusively Hilton & Marriott properties would be extremely challenging, Pathfinder invested in numerous upgrades to the physical plant of the property in a concerted effort not only to equip the hotel’s staff to achieve the corporate vision but also to maximize the value of the asset.These upgrades included:
Recognizing that the quality of the product was an important, but not end-all component of the path needed to achieve the vision, Pathfinder embarked on a mission to build a truly sales-focused culture at the hotel. Pathfinder sought the help of Ed Iannarella, former Director of National Sales Training for Marriott and one of the industry’s most respected and admired sales gurus. Ed helped Pathfinder create a blueprint for the pursuit of excellence in sales, which centered on thorough sales & marketing action plans, aggressive training and mentoring for team members, creative techniques to overcome common client objections & a sharpened focus on the fundamentals of relationship selling. This blueprint emerged as the foundation of Pathfinder’s sales and marketing strategy. It required a significant financial investment in the sales & marketing effort at a time when most hotels were cutting back on expenses, but Pathfinder felt it made good business sense given the competitive landscape.
The Staybridge Suites has consistently attained RevPAR Indexes of ~115-120 in a competitive set composed exclusively of Hilton and Marriott product and is the RevPAR leader amongst all extended stay hotels in Southeast Houston.