How NCAA Tournament Hotels Can Impact the Host City’s Image

This is the second part of the series about why quality maintenance in hotels, sports arenas and stadiums affect the overall success of the upcoming NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. The previous article, Why All Eyes Are On March Madness Sports Arenas and Stadiums covered sports arenas and stadiums, this post will look at why maintenance in hospitality has to bring their A game.

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There is no Immediate Money Windfall for Cities Hosting the NCAA Tournament Games

For many years, cities have sought to outdo each other in order to be selected as a host city for the games. Many times it is because of an anticipated revenue windfall when the hotels and lodges fill up with visitors. The reality is that the financial impact to the host city is marginal at best.

“…the economic impact for host cities for the year the event is hosted is on average small and negative for the NCAA Men’s Final Four… The sum of the evidence indicates that cities ought to exercise restraint in undertaking public spending to host the NCAA Final Four.”

Source: Matheson and Baade, Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross

The important part about this study is that it only looked at the year of the event. What it did not measure was the image of the city in the minds of visitors. If this image is positive, visitors are more likely to return in the future or share their experiences on the multitude of social networks.

What are the factors that lend a positive image to a city? I cannot speak for other people but when choosing a place to visit culture, places of interest, affordability, safety and being able to find a decent, clean hotel have always been important to me. Of all these factors only hospitality accommodations are beyond the host city’s control.

Hotel maintenance is the responsibility of the hotel/lodge management. Guests expect the rooms to be clean, not have foul odors, working amenities and be treated with respect. In addition, the hotel premises should be kept in pristine condition without visible signs of asset neglect.

At the time the report by Matheson and Baade social media was in its infancy. Now, images of hotel premises and hotel rooms as well as guest experiences can be broadcast immediately using Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram to legions of people.

At a high profile event such as the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament the messages and photos being sent can have a significant impact on future tourism. It is these experiences that will determine how soon visitors come back or their friends make travel plans and spend those precious tourist dollars.

Hotel Best Practices for Maintenance

With the cities hospitality in the spotlight, hotels must step up their game to provide the best possible guest experience. One way to do this is to have a hotel EAM CMMS in place. An EAM CMMS system gives hotels the tools they need to make sure they know the condition of their assets at all times. It also provides hotel management with:

  • Maintenance scheduling and work management tracking tools.
  • The ability to perform mobile inspections. This increases maintenance efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.
  • Automation of the work order lifecycle from work requests to repairs. This dramatically improves the amount of available wrench time.
  • Document scanning and handling to reduce paper flow and increase the amount of time available for proactive maintenance. It also helps manage vendors and contracts more effectively.
  • The collection of all work history so that all asset maintenance can be evaluated and planned.
  • Asset management planning including tools to help make better repair, replacement or refurbish decisions.

Maximizing Guest Satisfaction

When EAM CMMS is integrated into hotel systems the entire operation can become proactive. Proactive maintenance leads to fewer guest complaints, faster reaction times and fewer emergency repairs.

For example; a good hotel maintenance program should ensure that:

  • Hotel locks are functional and secure.
  • HVAC units are working properly so guests do not complain or remember uncomfortable room temperatures.
  • Boilers are operational to provide hot water for everything from showers to kitchen facilities.
  • Pool and Spa equipment is operational.
  • The premises are free from garbage and safety concerns such as loose railings or worn carpets.
  • Maintenance management can focus on issues according 80/20 rule for hotel maintenance.

The list of what can be inspected and/or scheduled for maintenance and repairs can be thousands of items. This leaves a hotel operating with a paper system at a severe disadvantage which can present a negative image for the hotel and the city.

In an era where social media can destroy years of hard work and reputations with one viral blast, it is in the hotel’s best interest to have the best maintenance possible for such a high profile event. Good hotels reflect a positive image and experience that can keep drawing back visitors for years to come.

Share with us your experiences staying at hotels surrounding major sporting events. What did you like, what could have been improved?

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