We know. Everyone is really sick of talking about COVID-19, but this isn’t about COVID-19 per se. This is our story as a hotel management company on how we had to look at this situation and ask ourselves the hard questions. How will this situation impact us? How do we navigate the roads ahead? What will the long-term effects look like? How do we make good use of government loans? None of these questions are easy or comfortable to address, but we proudly have results that have shown that our response to some of these questions has proven to be successful.
Pathfinder Development is responsible for 6 hotels in Texas total, with another one opening in 2021. We represent a spectrum of brands including IHG, Marriott, and Hilton and our portfolio is diverse and spread out to meet the needs of travelers near and far.
Like any business, the challenge for Pathfinder Development was not only trying to stay profitable during the global pandemic but also finding new and innovative ways to create unforgettable guest and employee experiences. Our main rule is the Platinum one: “Do unto others as they would never have imagined!” This was particularly crucial during this time of fear, sadness, and uncertainty. While COVID-19 hit, we saw an opportunity to rise and treat our guests, employees, and investors in a way they never imagined. The company was at a crossroads and decided not to shy away from the challenges that were presented.
While we saw 15% of all hotels closed nationally, none of our doors closed. Yep, you read that correctly. We didn’t close our doors at any of our hotels and we were able to make great use of the PPP loan to actually re-invest in the company’s future and new direction. We hired experts in Business Development, Marketing & Content, and Senior Living and were able to see the long game and take this as an opportunity to rebuild and re-brand. We also put extra time into our talent development, because we believe in our entire team and want them to always feel like they have a platform to shine. We also brought on a life coach to support the staff that needed some help during these scary times.
From a revenue standpoint, we made the choice to avoid unnecessary discounting for publicly available retail rates and shifted our direct sales focus to nurses and government business. We shifted our strategy to cross-selling our entire portfolio in order to maximize occupancy wherever possible.
Our final, and possibly our coolest tactic is that we challenged all of our teams to start thinking outside of the box ways to connect with our guests without shaking their hands or getting too close physically. Our outdoor spaces at all of our hotels are idyllic and we used those spaces to host outdoor employee and guest events such as cook-outs, Olympic games, and pool games families could enjoy in the water. We added “help yourself” racks to the end of each hallway so that guests could grab and discard anything they needed with the modified housekeeping.
With all that, our numbers reflected positively on our entire portfolio, and we are thrilled to have left a footprint when it comes to our overall ADR and RevPar. In June, we finished 51% ahead of the USA. We know the road ahead is still uncertain, but we hope to continue to provide each and every guest, employee, and investor with a Platinum Service experience that lasts.