Military Club & Hospitality caught up with Air Force Lodging Chief, Capt. Adam Baker, who oversees a program that operates 84 lodging facilities, which generated more than $357 million in fiscal 2014.
MCH: What were the highlights of Air Force Inns during fiscal 2014 and so far in fiscal 2015? Were there any initiatives that exceeded expectations? Please explain.
Baker: As we mentioned last year, we reinitiated the on-site Lodging Management Assistance Visits (LMAVs) in lieu of our previous formal ‘Accreditation’ on-site visits. LMAVs provide more support and training to our lodging managers. Upon request of an LMAV, a team of our Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) is sent to provide hands-on training for lodging personnel. The LMAV allows the management team to assist with the identification of strengths and weaknesses, and allows the property to strive toward its desired goals. To assist them in reaching set/desired goals, we work with the installation lodging operation’s management team to develop a ‘get-well’ plan. During these visits we have noticed that the lodging staff continues to amaze our on-site SME teams with their personal desire to provide customers with a superior level of service. ...
Navy Lodge Program Director Michael J. Bockelman spoke with Military Club & Hospitality about another busy and successful year for the Navy Lodge Program, which operates 39 lodges and generates $75.6 million in revenue.
MCH: What were the highlights of the Navy Lodge Program during 2014? Please explain.
Bockelman: 2014 for the Navy Lodge Program was a record-setting year. Occupancy hit an all-time high of 83 percent and guest satisfaction also hit an all-time high rating of 4.84 on a scale up to 5.00. Guest surveys showed that the Navy Lodge exceeded its guests’ expectations over 93 percent of the time. This equates to the Guest Satisfaction Index of 94, which is a full 20 points higher than the average for the hotel industry.
Navy families continue to appreciate the addition of “every family member,” their pets, being allowed in the Navy Lodge. This policy increased the opportunities for families on PCS orders to stay at the Navy Lodge and not have to kennel their pets. This year, the Navy Lodge breakfast program developed and matured as a guest enhancement. This new initiative provides every guest with an early morning breakfast to get them going in the morning.
The Navy Lodge Program also held room rates steady, thus continuing to save the Navy money in these economic times. The Navy Lodge also continues to expand the number of family suites available in addition to the continued rollout of the new guest room and kitchen design. Other highlights for the year include updating the Navy Lodging Quality Assurance Assessment utilizing the latest industry trends and standards.
We continue making progress with the rollout of new lobby designs and functions. The Navy Lodge Program is in the midst of our long-term strategic reset plan. The key focus of the strategy remains to enhance the Navy Lodge to meet the needs of today’s military family and to align with NEXCOM’s global vision. ...Read more NAVY LODGE PROGRAM MEETING CUSTOMER NEEDS ...
Military Club & Hospitality caught up with Navy Lodging Program Manager Tamara Davis, who provided an update on the highly successful Navy Lodging Program, which includes Navy Gateway Inns & Suites (NGIS), Navy Getaways (NG) and Fisher House locations.
MCH: What were the highlights of the Navy Lodging Program over the past year? Please explain.
Davis: We’re very excited that NGIS lodging operations are now available in the Defense Travel System (DTS). This interface provides an opportunity for our military and civilian travelers to maximize use of government lodging and support saving travel dollars. DTS integrates the ability to book government/ DoD lodging through DTS by providing a single point of access for reservations, incorporates lodging information into travel documents (authorization/voucher), and automatically secures a non-availability confirmation number when government lodging is directed but not available. DoD Lodging properties bookable through DTS meet strict quality and safety and security requirements, and offer traveler amenities and conveniences.
Additionally, the continued standardization of our lodging programs and services is a key element that emerges from CNIC guiding principles, and the Navy Lodging Program continuously strives to develop contracting initiatives within our facilities to improve guest experiences and efficacy to provide services. NGIS guest-room types have been standardized through a process of implementing common room requirements. NGIS distinguished visitors will now be able to enjoy comparable features and comforts at any of our Grand Suite rooms no matter where their official travel takes them.
For Navy Getaways, the program manager recently implemented a transition to standard bath linens in all Navy Getaways properties to enhance guest services and achieve economical savings gained with central procurement. Beginning Oct. 1, 2015, guests will be able to enjoy soft, comfortable bath linen products in either 100-percent cotton or a green line of Tencel-Plus fabrics, depending on location. As a continuation of this initiative, Navy Getaways will be using a similar process for standardization of guest bed linens during the first quarter of fiscal 2016, allowing installations to take advantage of contract pricing and simplified acquisition. These improvements bring straightforward and efficient procurement, and still offer a comfortable and economical guest room for our vacation and leisure travelers.
In addition, Point Mugu Hotel and RV Parks, Calif., has been completely renovated and the grand opening is scheduled for Nov. 5, 2015. Also, 95 percent of NG locations are available for online reservation and through the central reservation number.
The Navy Fisher House Program continues to enhance program standardization, polices, procedures and branding. Focusing on staff development to provide the highest level of service while fostering an environment of caring, and creating comfortable and peaceful accommodations for those we serve. ...Read more NAVY LODGING GOING STRONG ...
Siddhi Patel, Marine Corps Lodging Program Specialist, Food, Hospitality, Commercial Recreation & Entertainment, NAF Business & Support Services Division, spoke with Military Club &“ Hospitality about the current state of operations, and the direction moving forward.
MCH: What were the highlights of Marine Corps lodging during fiscal 2014 and so far in fiscal 2015? Please explain.
Patel: The major highlight of 2014 was the successful completion of our Inns of the Corps (IOTC) Brand Ambassador training. The training concentrated on “best in class” operating procedures, and was intended to reinforce brandoperating standards and to introduce our staff to our brand service recovery program called “I Can Do That.” As a supplementary training sustainment tool, we also launched a training video for new associates, and as refresher training for existing associates, on Inns of the Corps brand service standards and on “wowing” guests.
In 2015, we have contracted with Stellar Construction to update the Inns of the Corps interior design package. The new interior design package, “Prototype II,” emphasizes our brand promise of “Crisp, Clean, Comfort.” The IOTC brand promise is at the core of the design selections. ...Read more MARINE CORPS LODGING CONTINUES FORWARD MOMENTUM ...
Military Club & Hospitality spoke with Coast Guard Community Services Command (CGCSC) Morale, Well-Being and Recreation (MWR) Director Gary Scheer, who noted that Coast Guard lodging revenues continued to increase in 2014 and partially into 2015.
MCH: What were the highlights of Coast Guard lodging during fiscal 2014 and into fiscal 2015? Please explain.
Scheer: For 2014 we saw an increase of 6 percent over revenues reported in 2013. Revenues for 2014 were nearly $5.3 million, and we attribute this in part to continual emphasis on customer service and the value our customers experience through Coast Guard lodging. The commands operating MWR lodging facilities have focused on customer service in their lodging facilities in addition to the other MWR programs and services on the installation. An attentive MWR staff enhances the client’s experience by identifying customer desires and then exceeding the expectation. The Coast Guard’s core values of ‘Respect and Duty to People’ provide the foundation for how we deliver customer service. ...Read more COAST GUARD CONTINUES UPWARD TREND ...