Everyone’s a Winner: What’s Happening In Vegas Should Not Stay In Vegas

© Holly Stiel

Reprinted with permission from www.hotelexecutive.com

When Tammi Furce, Concierge at The Bellagio, and I worked together in 1997 to design and develop a concierge service that could, in fact, actually serve tens of thousands of guests consistently, we knew we had to re-think things. At that time, it was radical to have a large concierge staff with a full back-of-the-house operation. Today, a dedicated back-of-the-house staff is commonplace in Las Vegas.

Recently, I learned how the Concierge in Vegas have expanded on this idea andI have not been so excited about anything in the concierge universe since my book, The Art and Science of the Hotel Concierge was published in 2011. The visionary way the Las Vegas concierges have re-created the profession, art form and services offered through the concierge is quite frankly, revolutionary. My excitement stems from the fact that their breakthrough ideas can and should be adapted everywhere. If your mind shuts down and thinks, “Well, that is Vegas, it works for a mega hotel, that is a totally different universe from mine,” it would behoove you to take another look.

In a time where some hotel managements have designated concierge services as a commodity to outsource (even if they are doing a good job), it would be wise to follow in the very large footsteps of the MGM Grand, The Bellagio and The Venetian and think of the concierge as an irreplaceable, highly regarded, revenue-producing, loyalty-providing resource — a resource that the hotel would not only never consider outsourcing, rather, they would continually consider how to expand upon it.

The frantic concierge can be a thing of the past if properly staffed in the front and in the back no matter what size the hotel is. The time has come to reconfigure and re-think what has become established practice. It no longer applies! “Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore!”

This new way of operating, managing and thinking about a concierge department is also thrilling because at this point in our technologically advanced age, sustained success will depend on the combination of hospitality and technology. It is that combination that will actually define hospitality today and into the future. The combination of the age-old artistry of the concierge combined with state-of-the-art technology are truly, forgive the pun, the keys to success. Allow the concierge to handle reservations and other requests, train them properly, have space for them in a back office as well as in the front and watch your bottom line grow exponentially.

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