A Winning Formula
Eric King is the founder and President of Equinox Companies, which co-owns with BBL Hospitality the Residence Inn in Saratoga, the Courtyard in Saratoga, the new Excelsior Springs Banquet and the Homewood Suites in Port Saint Lucie, FL. A 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Eric was BBL Hospitality’s first management client in 2009. He is a partner in that management, and knows first-hand how critical this role is for today’s complex hotel business.
“As an owner I want to know how much time you can devote to my business. I need to know the management team are there regularly and available 365 days a year, 24/7 to deal with whatever arises.”
Twenty years ago, Eric noted, he could visit his properties himself every morning and run everything on his own. But the business is much more complex and competitive these days, and he now owns a broad portfolio of other properties that includes retail and commercial buildings. He has come to rely on BBL’s proactive approach to managing the hospitality end of the business.
“It has been a wonderful relationship with BBL Hospitality,” he said. “I know the difference between people who care and people who don’t. BBL has a wonderful team. I can’t say enough about them. They’re very hands-on. They’re at every meeting. They’re always prepared. And communication is the big thing. They foresee issues before they arise and take care of them.”
Earlier experience with third-party management taught Eric what to look for when selecting a management partner. He recommends that hotel owners look closely at the industry experience of the management company’s staff, their ability to frequently visit each property, and to be thoroughly invested in the management of the property as if it were their own.
“A management company should have experienced hotel people right there at the location on a regular basis,” he explained. “They should be constantly looking for ways to improve performance. They need to be in constant communication with the staff, and ready to help immediately if issues arise.”
“If one of my properties is short on sales staff or there’s some other item needing attention, BBL is on top of it,” he noted. “They identify the problem and they fix it. BBL Hospitality is here for the long haul.”