Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Van Wees

Hans Van Wees

General Manager, Hotel Vermont

Hans Van Wees is General Manager of Hotel Vermont. Appointed in December 2012, he is responsible for managing the contemporary, LEED-certified address located in the heart of Burlington, overseeing all operations including sales and marketing and food and beverage. A seasoned hospitality professional with extensive hotel experience in the Green Mountain State, Mr. Van Wees arrived at Hotel Vermont following senior leadership roles at hotels across New England, Europe and the Caribbean. Trained as an officer in the Dutch army, he launched his career in the Netherlands with Sonesta International Hotels and Resorts before transferring to Bermuda to take up various senior management positions at the 400-room Sonesta Beach Resort and Spa. Mr. Van Wees then moved to the U.S. as General Manager of the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. He also provided consulting services to a variety of businesses throughout New England, including Jay Peak Resort in Jay, Vermont, where he led the opening of the boutique Tram Haus Lodge - a key component of the resort's $200 million expansion. Along with his hotel management expertise, Mr. Van Wees is a passionate advocate of sustainable development and operating practices in the hospitality industry. He has spoken on the subject at industry conferences and served as chairman of the Vermont Hospitality Council. He is also actively involved in hospitality education in Vermont, most recently as an adjunct professor at the Business Department of Johnson State College. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Mr. Van Wees studied Hospitality Management at the School for Hospitality Management in The Hague and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is fluent in English and Dutch and also speaks German and French. Mr. Van Wees, his wife, Karen, and their son live in Burlington where they enjoy sailing on Lake Champlain as well as biking, hiking and cross-country skiing surrounded by the beauty of Vermont.

Please visit http://www.hotelvt.com for more information.

Mr. Van Wees can be contacted at 802-651-0080 or talktous@hotelvt.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.