Located on fashionable Wisconsin Avenue in the heart of Historic Georgetown, The Georgetown Inn is a convenient and desirable Washington, DC destination for tourists and business people alike. The 96-room hotel is surrounded by picturesque waterfront, and near to Georgetown University.
“I am definitely fond of people who are not clock watchers. SHR is there for me whenever I need them. Add the company’s well-known technical prowess, and SHR is just the better way to go.”
—Dave Welliver, General Manager, The Georgetown Inn
Coming from a big brand hotel atmosphere, General Manager Dave Welliver started with The Georgetown Inn in 2015. But he walked into a sticky situation. They were languishing in their current Central Reservations System (CRS) due to a complicated layout, heavy learning curve, and a lack of customer service. Added to this were staffing shortages. “The system we had was just too complicated,” said Dave. “Couple that with a lack of human interaction, and not enough people to go around at the hotel, and it’s a big obstacle to everything else. We needed to talk to a person, not watch another video.”
Being able to more easily master their hotel technology by adopting the SHR platforms has helped the Inn to better understand their revenue strategy. Windsurfer’s easy on-screen access has filled a serious need. Even the staff doubters have seen the light. “I had to drag some people into the system, but once they got there, they could see how easy it was all going to be. That made all the difference in how often we all interact with the system, and what we feel confident in doing with it,” Dave said.
Dave also noted that with Windsurfer, he is now able to measure the booking content, different rate codes, the marketing component of the rate codes, and so much more. “You can manipulate things easily and quickly, and change things rapidly back and forth,” he said. “With the booking engine, you can even go in and change descriptive text with no problem. It’s this kind of easy marketing element that’s really huge for us.”
The willingness of SHR to react quickly to help clients help themselves is also big in Dave’s mind. “In one case, Alex, my rep, sent me a custom HTML format that I can just copy and paste on my own. Now our rates can follow a more consistent strategy.” Product updates are easier, too. “We don’t have to wait for the typical once a year update. We can reach out to SHR when we need to and find out what’s new right away.”
The Georgetown Inn reports that Windsurfer is the number one source of revenue for their hotel now. In fact, they set a revenue record in 2015, and again in 2016. “It’s the different way we’re doing things now because of the system,” Dave said. “With SHR’s technology, we are able to drive rates because we are more competently and confidently managing the system, multiple times a day, almost hourly. We can select sell orders at will. Even packages are selling better.”
The bottom line for The Georgetown Inn? Dave summed it up this way: “If I had to get thrown into the deep end like I did, I’m glad it was with SHR where we can continue to set records. Considering everything, I really don’t think we could have done that with any other company.”