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The New Journey with Hospitality: Q&A with CEO Ron Gorodesky

Ahh, sweet summer is here. But, this summer is different. Folks are slowly coming out of the recent pause and feeling undecided what to do next. One thing we know for sure is that people love to travel, and business people need to travel. Therefore, travel will return again.

We had a recent conversation with Ron Gorodesky, Founder and CEO of Refined Hospitality, a luxury-lifestyle hospitality management brand that represents a growing collection of resorts, restaurants, spas, and catering venues, to get his perspective about the industry, how they have handled the recent challenges, and what’s ahead. Refined Hospitality is one of our valued partners, and we are excited to be working on strategic multichannel initiatives for The Grove at Centerton and River House at Odette’s among other properties as we move forward in 2020. We’ve been working together for more than a year and it is exciting to get up close and personal with travel and hospitality brands  to align marketing strategies that help build brand exposure, drive bookings, and promote new businesses. Now, let’s share our recent dialogue.

As a hospitality company, how did you manage the recent “pause”? What were your biggest challenges?

The hospitality business revolves around people- both guests, and the team who executes their experiences. The most challenging aspects of the recent pause were saying goodbye to our guests & employees, and seeing our beautiful property empty for the first time since we opened our doors in 2013. Postponing celebrations, weddings, and corporate retreats have also been a challenge as we work to be as accommodating as possible in light of the current world and health climates.

How have you prepared to handle the new norm in tourism? Will the guest experience feel very different?

While life may be a bit different, it is still equally luxurious at The Reeds.

This summer, our guests will enjoy nearly every aspect of The Reeds experience, including our unparalleled Salt Spa, private beach service program, bay activities, deck-dining experiences, the Roof Garden plunge pool, and more, with a heightened focus on safety and cleanliness. Many of these experiences are now by appointment only to ensure guest and employee safety. Guestrooms and suites have had non-essential decor including rugs and spare bedding removed to ensure thorough cleaning is possible during housekeeping and turn-down services, and between guest stays. For more information on how the guest experience has changed, visit the website.

What is the current sentiment of your guests? 

Our guests, much like our team, are thrilled to be back on the bayfront, enjoying the luxurious Reeds’ experience they expect. As has always been the case, guest safety and relaxation are our highest priority. We’ve found that our guests’ concerns are completely erased when they experience our deep commitment to exceptional standards of cleanliness and hygiene throughout our guestrooms, spa, and shared spaces.

Bridal is a big part of your business. What is the current sentiment about wedding planning?

After several months of quarantine, couples are more eager than ever to celebrate their love stories. Planning a wedding is a labor of love for the couples, and the current world and health climates have made that even more stressful. As is always the case, the exceptional events teams across the Refined Hospitality collection of properties are committed to holding the couples’ hands and helping them navigate the planning process with compassion and understanding. We are in this together and are passionate about planning their perfect, “I do’s.”

Our couples’ resilience in the face of this unprecedented adversity is remarkable, and we are committed to providing them the unparalleled Refined experience of their dreams.

What is Refined Hospitality most excited about in the coming months? Year?

Our most exciting development in the coming months will be the launch of our newest property, River House at Odette’s. Whether guests are joining us for overnight stays, a bite to eat at one of the various dining destinations, or hosting a meeting, celebration, or wedding, they’ll be impressed by the bold, urban-inspired design, seasonal menus, and superior hospitality teams.

Travel is a new journey in these times.  Travelers will look to stay local in the weeks and months to come. Beaches, mountains and charming small towns will be in high demand. Visiting places closer to home also allows vacationers to take shorter trips more frequently.  In a recent survey by Skift Research, one-third of Americans said they hope to travel within three months after restrictions are lifted.

For tourism and hospitality marketers, the time is now. Using a multichannel approach is key – enabling to reach your target at every touch point. Onward and upwards.