April 27, 2005
The busy cruise and summer vacation season is approaching fast so I’m sure you are very busy with all sorts of business. I’m writing to quickly update you and your colleagues on some changes going on here that are important for everyone to understand.
You may have heard already there will soon be a second Radisson hotel here at SeaTac Airport, just a half mile south of our location. On May 4, the Prime Hotel will become the Radisson Hotel Gateway Seattle-Tacoma Airport. You may not be familiar with the Prime Hotel but may know it formerly as the Wyndham Hotel before it became Prime last June. Prime was a new brand with 15 hotels across the country which has struggled to gain a foothold since it’s inception. Carlson Companies, the parent company of Radisson, purchased the entire Prime chain on March 26, and are quickly converting them to Carlson brands. This includes the SeaTac location becoming a Radisson.
There are some obvious questions to answer, which is the reason for my letter to you.
1) What will happen to the Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport now that there is a second Radisson?
Essentially, nothing will happen. On May 4, there will simply be two Radisson hotels at SeaTac airport. The Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport will continue to operate as a Radisson with no changes made at all.
2) Does the future of the Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport change with the second Radisson now in place?
You are probably aware of the planned future of this hotel to be eventually torn down to make way for the light rail coming to the airport. This has been the plan since 1999 when the Port of Seattle purchased the land and building for that exact purpose. The current lease with Radisson exists through December 31, 2006.
The addition of the new Radisson Gateway Hotel does not change the future plans for this hotel at all. It will not hasten the eventual closure of this hotel, nor will it affect the possibility of an extended contract between the Port of Seattle and Radisson. This hotel will continue to operate until December 31, 2006 or later, should the agreement be extended. Certainly, the million dollar investment the Port of Seattle made in the renovation of this hotel this past fall shows their commitment to maintaining this hotel as a Radisson through their commitment to Radisson.
3) Will the two hotels be competitors or a joint team?
The real answer is a little of both. Because there are two different owners there will not be full collaboration, especially with room rates or any pricing structures. Both hotels will have separate budgets to achieve and will work to meet them separately.
However, we are taking advantage of our “sister hotel” relationship to make it everything as win-win as possible. Currently, weekly meetings between both hotels General Managers and key department managers are taking place to ensure a very positive and mutually enjoyable relationship between the two hotels. Where we can share work or referrals or general assistance, we will do so. Associates will be trained that the two hotels have a very friendly relationship and more can be achieved in regards to customer service and true Radisson spirit with full support of each other.
4) How will arriving guests understand there are two hotels and be ensured to reach their intended hotel?
This is currently the number one concern and focus of the two management teams. We understand the opportunity for immediate confusion and frustration for guests if they reach the wrong hotel, get on the wrong airport shuttle or don’t understand the difference between the two hotels.
Here are a few examples of what we are putting in motion to overcome these concerns.
· We are purchasing signs throughout baggage claim to showcase the two hotels and introduce all passengers to the new reality.
· We are updating the baggage claim phone boards and hotel listings to be clear and strategic to quickly show people there are now two different Radisson hotels.
· We are training both teams of shuttle drivers & bellman to ask the appropriate questions and catch any confusion before guests get too far in the wrong direction.
· We are setting up processes to transport guests to the other hotel should they actually reach the wrong hotel.
· We are looking to install a separate radio system on both shuttles and within the hotels to allow communication between the hotels for immediate guest service.
· We are hoping to have the shuttles of each hotel painted a unique color: one hotel white & one hotel black, for example. This has yet to be finalized but is our expectation. We will communicate to you should this be established and in place.
Please rest assured we are very concerned about and attentive to the needs of our guests and getting them to the hotel of their choice without delay.
Your business is very important to me, to this hotel and to Radisson. Thank you for your partnership and continued trust. Should you have any questions or need any further clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.
Director of Sales
Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport
P.S. If you haven’t seen our new online brochure, check out www.tourtheseattleradisson.com. You can send the link to your customers to show them where they will be staying.