RESORT MANAGERS FACE FUTURE

Future Shock” could have been the theme of the 7th Annual Resort Management Conference, held in March at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. A growing reliance on digital technology, consumers who “want it all and want it now” and other trends affecting the resort industry fueled the agenda, presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and the University of Denver's School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management

A record 240 industry professionals heard prognosticators Peter Yesawich, president and CEO of Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell; and Mark Lomanno, president, Smith Travel Research, analyze the latest resort industry trends. During the meeting, Yesawich also presented the Resort Executive of the Year honor to Terri Haack, vice president and managing director of Wild Dunes Resort in South Carolina.

Yesawich noted that the business of travel is listing toward leisure, and that the resort business is competing for a share of the consumer's clock. “Consumers are saying: you want to do business with me, you'll do business on my terms,” said Yesawich. He also said that as prices become more transparent, brand clarity becomes more important.

Mark Lomanno questioned how long the current prosperity is going to last, citing that the last 12 months mark the first time since 2002-2003 that lodging industry occupancies are declining on an annualized basis. However, ADR is still very strong, he said.

Trends guru Michael Tchong, founder of Ubercool, pumped up the volume with his high-energy look at how society's “supertrends” fuel subtrends and how these affect the travel market.

“The singles trend, a growing market, will have a huge impact on the travel industry, and double occupancy is a thing of the past,” he said. His “ubertrends” include:

  • Time compression: the speed of life

  • Unwired: the thumb generation

  • Generation Xtasy: I want it all and I want it now

  • Control freaks: controlling their media and wanting it instantly

  • TMI (too much information) is growing like wildfire and life has become a blur.

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