Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gabrielsen

Rick Gabrielsen

President, Kupuna Hospitality, LLC

Passionate involvement and infinite horizons are what defines Rick Gabrielsen — be it as an industry leader admired by his peers for a reputation of peak performance, a trusted advisor and loyal business partner, or a compassionate community volunteer. With 35 years experience in hospitality management for a variety of corporate, independent and bank owned hotels, he is one of the foremost experts in asset management and operations of boutique hotels and limited service properties. Prior to forming Kupuna Hospitality, Mr. Gabrielsen held the position of Area Vice President for Hilton Worldwide, managing company-owned and or managed brands of Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites hotels in the Mountain — West region and Mexico. He has opened 12 hotels and has transitioned 15 new hotels in the past ten years, and was responsible for a combined portfolio of 60 locations, with consistent recognition for team results in RevPAR, IBFC growth, Guest Service and Team Member Loyalty. Kupuna Hospitality's vision is to provide guidance and strength for dynamic growth to hotel owners and dedicated individuals able to implement sound strategic plans that yield optimum profits at hotels we manage. Mr. Gabrielsen is a C.H.O (Certified Hotel Owner) AAHOA Class of 2010-2011. He actively participates within various groups of sustainability and Green awareness and was recently awarded the EnergyStar certification for the Homewood Suites by Hilton, Oakland - Waterfront, a hotel within the portfolio of Kupuna. Passionate about the community and making a difference for others, Mr. Gabrielsen actively participates in Meals on Wheels and the Boulder Rotary Club. He has held Board positions in each and has been recognized as a “Silent Hero” and “Humanitarian of the Year” for his contributions in the community.

Mr. Gabrielsen can be contacted at 303-376-6313 or rick@kupunahospitality.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.