Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Waldvogel

Deborah Waldvogel

Director of Spa Development & Operations, Sedona Resorts

Deborah J. Waldvogel is the Director of Spa Development and Operations for Sedona Resorts. Ms. Waldvogel's responsibilities include financial feasibility studies, concept development, design, as well as managing opening and operations for unique, luxury resort and destination spas with an emphasis on wellness programs. Sedona Resorts is currently involved in the development and management of a Boutique Resort and Spa at Cocoplum, Placencia, Belize as well as Kittitian Hill, a Sustainable Resort Master Planned Community on the island of St. Kitts both of which are focused on healthy lifestyle programming. Ms. Waldvogel played an integral role leading the relaunch of the Spa at Regent Palms, Turks and Caicos which has been recognized as one of the Top Spas in the Caribbean by Conde Nast Traveler Reader's and received the World Travel Award as the World's Leading Spa Resort in 2012. Her most recognized experience in the spa industry came during the first six years of operations at Mii amo, a destination spa at Enchantment. As Director of Operations and an Executive Officer Committee Member, in addition to overseeing daily operations of all key spa departments, she was responsible for program development and coordination and was the resort training facilitator. Mii amo received numerous highly respected accolades including #1 Destination Spa in the World by Travel & Leisure readers. She is recognized as a leader in the spa industry serving as a Board member, Chairman, and currently Past Chairman for the International Spa Association (ISPA) where she has lead several task forces and committees including Nominations and the development of a Spa Operations Manual. During her seven years of Board Service, Ms. Waldvogel had the opportunity to network with Spa Professionals while attending and presenting at industry events in the U.S, Thailand, France, Egypt, and Costa Rica in addition to leading a regional event hosted by ISPA in India. Ms. Waldvogel continues to speak at both domestic and international events on behalf of the association. Before her success in spa, she was a private business owner in the travel industry and has 14 years of experience in curriculum development and teaching. She has served on the Arizona State University Spa Management Advisory Board. She is also committed to continuing her own education and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Ms. Waldvogel holds a B.S. in Biology and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin La-Crosse.

Please visit http://www.sedona-resorts.com for more information.

Ms. Waldvogel can be contacted at 928-300-3236 or dwaldvogel@sedona-resorts.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.