What’s your 60 second elevator speech about your property?

As the sales manager for three properties in Genesee County, I am part of a staff of six. Our job is to bring people and groups to our hotels, make sure our staff knows what they expect, and follow-up on all issues.

Our properties are The Holiday Inn Gateway Center, the county’s largest and only full-service hotel. The Residence Inn, the county’s only extended stay hotel, and Courtyard by Marriott, which has just been remodeled. We are quite excited about the new Starbucks’s Bistro in the newly remodeled Courtyard by Marriott.

If we can help organize a company meeting, a reunion, wedding or any visit to Genesee County, contact me at mary.kramer@pillarhotels.com.

How has the business changed?

I’ve been here at the Holiday Inn-Gateway Center, Residence Inn, and Courtyard by Marriott since 2009, but have worked in the hospitality industry since the 1980’s.  I’ve seen a lot of change in the hotel business.

These days we are seeing our business increasing year over year and that’s great after some down years. People are even more budget conscious these days.  They want great value at a great price.

The other change  -  like most businesses we are very dependent on computers for everything.

What hasn’t changed?

What hasn’t changed is that people still want a great value, whether it’s an overnight for one or forty, or an event for 20 to 400.

Our customers want to know that they are staying in a safe place, with good food, easy access to where they need to be.  They want a great property and a great experience.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I always talk about how I believe we have, “an excellent product and top notch service.”  I have confidence in our staff and I know that once a guest arrives, I don’t have to worry any more.

I’m always positive and thank the staff constantly.

How did you get into the hotel business?

In the 1980’s I got a job at the old Holiday Inn on Bristol Road, across from the Truck Plant and just down the road from Bishop International Airport. I worked in sales and really liked it. Later I worked at the Hyatt in Downtown Flint. I’ve always worked in sales.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I guess, like most people who work in sales, I have the gift of gab and I really do like people. I try not to just sell our properties but to build relationships.

In the end, most of my clients become friends.

Are the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Genesee Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau helpful in your business?

Yes, very much. We take advantage of the networking opportunities and work with staff often. We are also pleased with the events both organizations bring to our community.

What are we likely to find you doing on a day off?

Three things:  cooking good, healthy and lean food (Oh, and for my three kids and granddaughter Aryanna, baking cookies!);  working out, and spending time with my four year old granddaughter (there’s never enough time for that).