Industry Update
Press Release18 November 2020

Cut Costs and Grow Stronger: Award-Winning Luxury Aspen Property, The Gant, Shares Strategies to Succeed in Tough Times and Bounce Back Better Than Ever

By Ryan Hamilton, Co-Founder, and Bluebuzzard Technology Group

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What does it mean to be authentically Aspen? Book a stay at The Gant, and you'll soon find out. The luxury resort is nestled in a 5-acre enclave at the base of Aspen Mountain, striking a thoughtful balance between unpretentious luxury, nature, and culture within a world-class destination. From skiing adventures to romantic getaways, family vacations, or long-awaited reunions with friends, The Gant is home to a variety of unique and memorable experiences.

Of course, the global pandemic presented a curveball that no one saw coming, The Gant included. The hospitality industry, riding high on industry predictions of a prosperous year ahead, was struck with a set-back of epic proportions; bookings declined, trips were canceled, and the future of travel was suddenly unclear. How long would travel restrictions remain? Would wanderlust be replaced with fear and uncertainty in the long-term? Would hotels be able to stay the course?

Over the past seven months, hotels around the globe have worked tirelessly to pivot their offerings and win back the trust of travelers. As our industry braces for recovery, resorts like The Gant are setting the service standard for a post-COVID-19 landscape. With enhanced cleaning standards, best-in-class sales and catering technology, worry-free cancellation policies, and their signature, high-touch approach to guest service, The Gant is well-positioned for a comeback.

Sitting down with their team, we discussed how they've adapted to the demands of the pandemic and how they plan to recover and thrive in an ever-changing market.

It's become imperative for many hotels to cut costs and reallocate budgets to drive new revenue. "At The Gant, we've reallocated funds to upgrade our café's point of sale system in order to offer new services to our guests," says Lou Eppelsheimer, Director of Sales and Marketing for The Gant. Over the past few months, the resort has doubled down on its commitment to exemplary guest service, finding ways to delight guests with convenience in place of hands-on touch-points. "Guests can now order from our café through the website for in-room delivery, which reduces the amount of contact our guests and employees have on a daily basis," explains Eppelsheimer. "It has been well received during the age of COVID-19, and we see this as an opportunity to drive new revenue while also providing enhanced convenience for guests this winter as restaurant space in town will be limited."

The Gant isn't simply finding ways to cut costs or reduce spending. The company is investing in the aspects of the guest journey, which promise the most return. The high-end property is also working on and adding value through unique experiences catered to personalize the guest experience.

With enhanced demand placed on staff, The Gant has come to rely on the STS Cloud platform to streamline their group management needs.The all-in-one sales and catering platform has not only helped to eliminate redundancy in the sales process, but it has also empowered staff to manage leads and client relationships from anywhere. "Being cloud-based, STS allows us to work from any location with ease. The system is extremely intuitive, which has made the training process much easier," Eppelsheimer notes. "As we recover from COVID-19, hotels that are the most nimble will have the advantage. Fortunately, we feel that STS Cloud gives us this advantage."

Speaking to the power of partnership, Eppelsheimer says, "STS Cloud has been extremely responsive and supportive of our needs. As the future of travel remains uncertain, it is reassuring to have a partner whom we can rely on as the market continues to evolve."

In the coming months, Eppelsheimer notes, hotels, and resorts that promote flexibility around their booking policies will be the ones that gain the trust of travelers who are now considering future travel plans. In a post-COVID-19 world, flexibility, convenience, and guest safety are paramount to success. Resorts should also look to integrate their enhanced safety practices as a core part of their marketing to mitigate the concerns of prospective guests proactively. "Hotels and resorts need to be transparent with their COVID-19 protocols," shares Eppelsheimer. "Properties that have comprehensive safety plans are likely to instill confidence and attract more business."

Ryan Hamilton

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