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Saint Louis
Hotel News

October, 2009
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St. Louis, MO 63188

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Drury Hotels Focus on Quality Guest Services & Customer Satisfaction in Tight Economy
"With Drury Hotels, it's always been about being competitive with our rates and offering great value in the market," stated Christy Mossman, regional sales manager for Drury Hotels, seen in the beautifully appointed Ballroom meeting room.

Drury Hotels Focus on Quality Guest Services & Customer Satisfaction in Tight Economy
Drury Hotels Plaza in Chesterfield has maintained customer loyalty with consistency in its services and emphasis on quality to weather the stormy economy.
Drury Hotels Focus on Quality Guest Services & Customer Satisfaction in Tight Economy
The Monarch meeting room at the Drury Plaza Hotel can be setup in a U-shape to accommodate intimate events.
Drury Hotels Focus on Quality Guest Services & Customer Satisfaction in Tight Economy
by Betty Moore, SLFP.com
ST. LOUIS, MO (HOTELS-STL.com), October 18, 2009 - Hotel managers and owners will admit, it hasn't been a great year. In fact, many top brands have experienced serious downturns in both the leisure and corporate travel markets. With bookings dropping off dramatically, the battered hotel industry has experienced major bankruptcies, foreclosures, mega mergers and drastically cut room rates as big franchises try to pull out of the slump. It's been an unpleasant wake up call.

So how does an independently operated and owned brand continue to build on its customer base and expand its locations in this environment.

"With Drury, it's always been about being competitive with our rates and offering great value in the market," stated Christy Mossman, regional sales manager for Drury Hotels. "Our motto is the extras aren't extra. So, we are not going to nickel and dime you for all those little things. We provide the free hot breakfasts in the morning, the manager's reception in the evening, the wireless and you just pay the room rate."

The industry has also seen management changes at the top of many brands, along with impressive rollouts of new logo designs, green building initiatives, expensive room upgrades and sharp bumps in reward programs offering 'points' to retain customer loyalty and snag clients from other hotels.

The driving force behind the Drury Hotels brand is customer satistaction and employee retension. "We have a great product and excellent service," stated Mossman. "With Drury being family owned and operated, it's the consistency that we can promote across the brand."

Drury recently introduced a new package targeted at the corporate market. The 'TAKE TEN Meeting Room' package provides free meeting space with the booking of ten rooms or more, along with free hot breakfast, wi-fi, long distance calling and snack set-ups for guests attending the event.

"Anytime we roll out a new initiative, we have tested it and we've made sure that it's something we can roll out at all the properties. For example, if I stay at a Drury in Columbus, Ohio today and then the next day at the Drury Plaza Chesterfield, the experience will be consistent," emphasized Mossman.

As part of a recent open house at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Chesterfield, prospective clients toured meeting rooms designed to host intimate gatherings for classroom or conference events for 12 people to banquets for theater-style presentations for up to 200 people. Guests were also treated to a tasty lunch buffet, provided by Callier's Catering.

I think right now people are still a little hesitant with bookings until they see how the market turns around. Once it does, people will get back to traveling and having those meetings they need to have to be a successful company.

New research conducted by global research firm Oxford Economics establishes the first clear link between business travel and business growth as American businesses are planning their 2010 budgets and federal policymakers are looking to stimulate the American economy. For every dollar invested in business travel, businesses experience an average $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profits, according to the study.

"Business travel IS economic stimulus," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, which commissioned the study. "In order to grow, businesses have to invest. This research shows that face-to-face meetings and incentive awards to top performers are among the smartest investments companies can make."

Drury Hotels continues to see great opportunity in the market, operating more than 130 hotels in 20 states. The Missouri-based company has been expanding westward, recently opening locations in Flagstaff, Arizona, Las Cruces, New Mexico and now Phoenix. For more information on Drury Hotels, call 1-800-325-0481.


Thin Red Line

Marriott Finds New Life at Historic St. Louis Union Station
The Grand Hall, which serves as St. Louis Union Station Marriott's lobby and lounge, provides an impressive welcome to visitors and guests with its impressive sweeping archways, fresco and gold leaf detailing on the barrel-vaulted ceiling, marble surfaces, mosaics and art glass windows.

Marriott Finds New Life at Historic St. Louis Union Station
St. Louis Union Station Marriott is expanding its operations with additional meeting rooms and new restaurant in the Midway section of the national historic landmark.
Marriott Finds New Life at Historic St. Louis Union Station
The Station Grille in located in the luxurious Marriott St. Louis Union Station in an area that was once a Fred Harvey dining establishment.
St. Louis Union Station Marriott Finds New Life at Historic Landmark
by Betty Moore, SLFP.com
ST. LOUIS, MO (HOTELS-STL.com), October 4, 2009 - For the past several months, visitors to the venerable historic St. Louis Union Station have encountered construction once again in the Midway Section of the former train station. What was originally a waiting area for more than 100,000 rail passengers a day in its heyday, began a new life when it reopened with retail shops and restaurants following a massive renovation in the early 1980s.

The $150 million restoration of the Romanesque-style building, designed by architect Theodore C. Link, was applauded as saving one of our nation's true architectural 'gems.' At the time, the redevelopment was also the first of its kind offering a variety of stores and dining areas in the massive Train Shed under its sweeping steel arches covering 11.5 acres.

Once again the Station is undergoing a new renovation. This time its being undertaken by the St. Louis Union Station Marriott, located in what is known as the Headhouse. Marriott took over management of the 539-room hotel from Hyatt in December 2008 and is now in the process of expanding its operations with additional meeting rooms and new restaurant.

Byron Marshall, vice president and general manager of Union Station, said the expansion by Marriott Hotel illustrated the Station's new focus on reducing retail space and increasing tourism opportunities with entertainment and family activities.

When asked in a phone conversation if there were plans for the upcoming holiday season, Marshall was quick to respond that Union Station is not a shopping mall. "We are a national historic landmark."

He noted that their busy season as an attraction is from March through October and not the Christmas holiday. He said that this summer there was a noticeable influx of young families with strollers at the station for special events.

Marshall stated that the stores west of the bridge have been relocated to the eastern part of the Station. The new reconfiguration of retail space at the Station also opened up an opportunity for Marriott Hotel to expand. "We are excited about our partnership with Marriott and believe that they are a better hotel brand and have a reputation for quality service."

The hotel is currently open during the construction and recently hosted a very successful major event, said Marshall. In addition to adding new meeting space, Marriott also plans to upgrade the guest rooms.

In June, Marriott International announced it will offer telepresence technology in its hotels worldwide, using AT&Ts fully-managed AT&T Telepresence Solution.

Telepresence is a rapidly growing and increasingly popular technology that enables small groups of less than 20 people to meet and collaborate in multiple locations worldwide in real time. By combining high-definition video, crisp, real time audio - no delays - and interior design for telepresence suites, groups feel as if they are actually meeting together in the same room, even if they are thousands of miles apart.

"As the 24/7 world economy becomes more interconnected, the need to hold small global meetings that cross continents and oceans will only grow," said Arne Sorenson, president and COO, Marriott International. "We believe telepresence will create more business meetings because people can travel shorter distances and easily connect with colleagues and clients around the world. The addition of telepresence meeting suites in our hotels will give Marriott a leg up on its competition."

That technology and gracious hospitality in an architectural landmark may give the St. Louis Union Station Marriott the competitive edge to bring guests and tourists back to rediscover its unsurpassed classic elegance. For more information, call 314-621-5262 or 1-800-410-9914.


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Archived St. Louis Hotel News:
- Westport Plaza Area Residence Inn Rated "Green" in Quality
- Drury Inn & Suites Forest Park Teams Up with St. Louis Attractions for 2009 Staycation Promotion
- Despite Industry Downturn, Satisfaction with Hotels Increases as Guests Seek Comfort and Value
- Hotel Indigo Opens First of Three Properties in St. Louis
- Hyatt to Play Host Hotel for Major League Baseball's All-Star Game
- Hyatt Regency St. Louis Celebrates $63 Million Renovation with Grand Opening Rate of $63
- New Holiday Inn to Open in Fairview Heights
- Doubletree St. Louis at Westport Joins AmerenUE's Pure Power Program
- Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark and Hilton St. Louis Airport Play Starring Role in Clooney's Movie "Up in the Air"
- Marriott Streamlines its Newspaper Delivery Program at Hotels Nationwide
- Drury Hotels Launches 'Guide to the Staycation'
- Doubletree Hotel Collinsville/St. Louis Unveils News Name and $12 Million Renovation
- Hilton Garden Inn, St. Louis Airport Celebrates Opening
- New Hyatt Renovation Helps Revitalize Downtown St. Louis
- Renaissance Grand to Remain Open During Foreclosure Proceedings
- Marriott Returns to Downtown St. Louis at Union Station

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