Recap on The 2017 My Place Hotels of America Convention
ABERDEEN, SD -- The 2017 My Place Hotels of America Convention held September 11th through 13th was a historic success for the brand, its owners, operators, and partners. Convening nearly 200 attendees from across the country at San Antonio's beautiful Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, the event delivered on its promise to engage participants across platform updates and development news, while updating the My Place story with its most exciting chapters yet. With Beyond Borders as the convention's central theme guiding perspectives throughout panel discussions, keynotes, and hands-on workshops, Ryan Rivett, My Place President and CEO, was quick to not only welcome the attendees with the perspective the theme lends, but immediately pointed to just how pervasive the theme is. Beyond Borders wasn't just a central theme for the convention, it's the culture cultivated by the hard-working people of My Place.
Day two started as Terry Kline, My Place EVP of Franchise Development, introduced a legislative panel to discuss boundaries in terms of regulatory issues facing developers, owners, and operators in today's landscape. In a panel prefaced by Pratik Patel, Texas Hotel and Lodging Association Chairman, AAHOA President and CEO Chip Rogers and Texas Hotel and Lodging Association General Counsel Justin Bragiel shared their expertise on overcoming regulatory issues on local and national scales.
Next, Sarah Dinger, My Place SVP of Brand Management, presented platform and program updates that have pushed My Place Beyond Borders in the past year. As the very first employee of My Place, Dinger opened her keynote by reflecting on the exciting growth she so frequently witnesses.
"I have had the privilege to witness so much growth year over year," Dinger said. "What I absolutely love the most is that each franchise agreement signed, every hotel groundbreaking attended, or every hotel opened is a milestone celebrated with the same level of excitement as the first."
Under Dinger's leadership, My Place recently partnered with Sabre Hospitality Solutions, and has nearly completed its property management system migration to SynXis PM, Sabre's PMS solution. With an aim to create operational efficiencies and enhance guest experiences, My Place's decision to migrate has saved its owners 21% on monthly technology expenditures while reducing check in time by 18% so far.
Dinger also highlighted dividends from new partnerships including Digital Alchemy, Lanyon, and Yext. The integration of Digital Alchemy's CRM solutions services has resulted in more than 4,000 room nights booked, $318,000 in generated revenue, and 189,000 emails sent showing an 18% open rate, which is 5% better than the industry average. My Place also partnered with Lanyon to enhance its corporate travel platform which generated more than $730,000 in revenue. The recent implementation of Yext's business listings services has also improved accuracy and consistency, linking analytics to more than 100 high-traffic listings.
Internal developments have also added value to franchise platform as Dinger presented new departments, personnel, and projects. Central to My Place's "Hotel in a Box" approach to franchise development, is a comprehensive support system including everything from prototype and design to revenue management and social media. My Place's improved offerings include a Revenue Management Department with a growing staff dedicated to competition analysis and rate management, an ever-expanding portfolio of collateral and visual content including videos generating nearly 60,000 views in the past year, a Social Media plan that directly supports operators in reaching thousands of people daily, and the Progress Portal, a project management dashboard designed by Michele Shilhanek, Director of Hotel Opening Support.
In addition to support enhancements, My Place Director of Construction and Prototype Management Corey Haaland unveiled the brand's G2 lobby design which is already in the pipeline. With efficiency in mind and guest experience at heart, the next generation My Place lobby eliminates literal boundaries by creating open spaces for the My Lounge and 24/7 My Store. All lobby furnishings and finishes have also seen a modern facelift with the G2 lobby.
While the My Place culture continually differentiates the brand from a guest and owner perspective, Extended-stay lodging expert Mark Skinner noted My Place's efficient prototype as one of the most unique aspects allowing for the growing brand to develop in places others can't. Today's average extended-stay hotel offers between 110 and 120 units, which dictates to some degree what size of a market that brand can enter, Skinner said.
"With fewer rooms, My Place can enter markets other brands can't," Skinner said. "If you look at the initial development of My Place, that would be true. Now My Place is branching out, but initially with the smaller number of rooms, My Place can target markets others can't."
My Place's momentum in franchise sales and development has furthered Skinner's point. While Rivett attributes the brand's 3% increase in occupancy and 6.5% ADR increase to My Place's diligent franchisees, Kline will also attribute the accelerated development pace to its quickly growing franchisee family, who are all developing multiple locations in small and large markets alike.
My Place had 23 locations open across 10 states at the last annual conference. With 33 locations open across 17 states during this convention, Kline and Rivett announced their projection to sell 100 My Place franchises by mid-2019. While outlining the road ahead of the chain's franchise development, Kline noted that thanks to its history of outstanding support and expertise, My Place can go everywhere, and it is.
"From a franchise development perspective, we're finding our niche just about everywhere, and I think we're proving that as we go along," Kline said. "Having taken our position as efficiency experts, we are excited by this new focus from upper midscale and emerging brands on improving quality in the economy segment. How successful they will be, time will tell, but these brands need to understand the fundamental elements needed to make that kind of product efficient."
All My Place Hotels offer modern amenities at an affordable price including nightly, weekly and monthly rate options. Each extended stay guest room will feature a My Kitchen, complete with a two-burner cooktop, a microwave and a full refrigerator. The property is pet friendly and will also include on-site laundry facilities, complimentary high speed Internet service and a 24-hour My Store, located in the hotel lobby and stocked with an array of supplies for the guests' convenience. Additionally, guests are invited to enjoy the new Breakfast in Bed option for a minimal cost.
My Place Hotels of America, LLC. is persistently advancing in its campaign for U.S. expansion of the recently launched franchise system. The chain currently has 33 hotels open and operating with a near-term pipeline of 32 additional hotels and midterm commitments for upwards of 40 more hotels to follow. To book your stay at My Place, please call the toll-free reservation line at: 855-200-5685, or visit myplacehotels.com to book online.
My Place Hotels of America, LLC. is a Franchise company that focuses on providing a clean and comfortable facility, with modern amenities, and great customer service, all at an affordable price. My Place Hotels of America, LLC is based out of Aberdeen, SD, and offers franchisees a new construction brand, designed to ensure quality, consistency and the highest of standards for delivering marketplace value. For more information on becoming part of our growing franchisee family, please visit myplacehotels.com or contact Terry Kline at (605) 725-5685. This is not an offer. Offers are only made though an effective franchise disclosure document.
Director of Public Relations - My Place Hotels of America