Whether it is a 310-room property like The Whitney Peak Hotel, a 1,623-room property like the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino or 824-rooms like the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, guests have an expectation for their stay. In order to simplify a guests search for a hotel that will meet their expectations, companies such as Forbes and AAA have formulated a rating system to classify properties.
Hotels can differentiate themselves from others in their market by using recognition from Forbes and AAA-ratings, which are validation from an objective third-party opinion based on commonly agreed-on values, like the quality of service and property.
Managers from Whitney Peak, Peppermill and Atlantis suggested the Diamond Rating is of utmost importance to them. The rating allows them to stand apart from other properties in the area when guests are using filters online to search for accommodations.
Niki Gross, general manager at The Whitney Peak Hotel, indicated how the Four Diamond rating would likely allow them to charge up to $30 more per night, which has a huge impact on their top line budget. She explained that, “60 percent of our bookings come from online,” being filtered out on online travel sites could be a problem. She also said, “we are very passionate about the rating, it has a huge impact.”
She elaborated that the rating is a point of pride in their product. When people are not familiar with an area the rating really functions as an aid for people to know where to stay. The Whitney Peak Hotel is located in downtown Reno and prides themselves on being the first non-smoking non-gaming hotel in Reno. This luxury boutique style hotel is a very different scale property from the Peppermill and Atlantis, and they are working to move from their Three Diamond Rating to Four in the near future.
The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino was the first in Reno to gain the Four Diamond rating, but the pressure does not let up to keep the rating. More rooms and more property area can mean it is expensive to keep things at the Four Diamond Rating at all times.
David Fuller, director of Hotel Operations for the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino stated, “when it comes to enhancing guest experience, nothing is out of reach.” He also explained one benefit with their rating is that it brings in guests who see the value in what the Four Diamond Rating dictates for those properties. Properties do lose their diamond status if they do not work to maintain that level all the time, Fuller added.
Atlantis Casino Resort Spa has carried their Four Diamond Rating since 2012 as well as becoming the only Forbes Four Star spa in northern Nevada. “Nothing worth having is easy!” Cheraz Ecker, general manager for Atlantis Casino Resort Spa said. She also stated that good ratings are always beneficial because they drive business. Travelers who trust reputable ratings, such as the Diamond Rating, will likely choose a property based on that rating.
With the industry constantly evolving, the ratings are too. General managers at the Peppermill and Atlantis are thrilled to have Four Diamond rated properties. While Whitney Peak may have to wait for the ratings to change a little and work to gain their status, they seem hopeful to move up from their Three Diamond rating.
While AAA’s Diamond Rating and Forbes’ Star Rating provide evaluations based on a set criteria guest feedback and reviews can also contribute to the image of a hotel. As part of the hospitality industry evolving and changing, so are the outlets for guests to seek and provide reviews. TripAdvisor has become an important forum for this type of interaction. TripAdvisor provides a platform for guests to review hotels and explain their unique experience. To the same effect, hotels can interact with the reviews to improve or acknowledge a guest’s experience with their property.
In Reno, Amazon opened a new 140,000-square-foot delivery station at 9740 N. Virginia St. in October; a second building for handling large products under the company’s “AMXL” division is planned for 2021 at 1316 Capital Blvd.