Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Johnson

Brian Johnson

Managing Director, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Brian Johnson is the Managing Director of the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, the 398-room award-winning property nestled in the Santa Catalina Foothills in Tucson, Ariz. His extensive experience in the hotel industry includes serving as general manager of the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Fla., and various management roles in hotels including the Regent Las Vegas, Scottsdale Princess, Resort at Squaw Creek, Sheraton Grande Torrey Pines and several of the Sheraton Hotels on Harbor Island. Johnson received a Bachelor's Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, and an MBA in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing from National University in San Diego, California. He currently serves as the Arizona representative for the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), and is a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC). He also is an executive board member of both the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) and the Southern Arizona Lodging and Resort Association (SALARA). Amongst his many accolades are Hotel of the Year 2009 and General Manager of the Year 2008 from Loews Hotels and Resorts, Father of the Year from the Tucson Father's Day Council in 2007, and Hotelier of the Year 2006 award from the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association.

Mr. Johnson can be contacted at 520-529-7900 or bjohnson@loewshotels.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.