Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Sudden Incompetence...people continue in their new assignment to do what made them successful in the old assignment...Then they turn incompetent, not because they have become incompetent, but because they are doing the wrong things" Peter Drucker

Travel is in my job description. Let me say Starwood has done a fine job with their Westin branded properties. Their Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Shower concepts are excellent. These two attributes are unique points of difference that represent real value to the business traveler. On the pages of their site devoted to Westin they say "Every Westin—and there are more than 120, including 30 of the world's finest resorts—is a haven of serenity and a distinctive alternative for those who appreciate a higher standard." As it happens not every Westin property lives up to that wit - Las Vegas. The Westin Casuarina is the only Westin property in Las Vegas and it gives the good, hard working people of Westin a bad name. The thirty plus year old building is the former Maxim, perhaps one of the most seedy hotels in Vegas history. Locals will tell you the property is jinxed. Common sense should tell Starwood to fix the basics pronto...the rogue elevators, the lack of hot water, and the third world phone system would be good places to start. I often recommend Starwood to friends and clients on the merits. However in a key market where the standards are being written by Steve Wynn... Starwood can not and should not tolerate the tarnish their single Vegas property will continue to cause. Apologies to friends and colleagues who took my suggestion to book at Westin and ended up at what may well be their worst property. Closed circuit to Starwood brass...why during one of the largest shows in Vegas (NAB) was your house not sold out. My suggestion is...the word is out. Going forward you are presented with only two options...fix or shutter asap...please chose one now.

Is it me or do the biggest failures seem to always happen not in the backwaters but in the most visible of places? No doubt the handiwork of that certain Mister Murphy.

Excellent NAB show. Bravo to the staff on an outstanding job well done. Full report coming - catching up in the office today.


Anonymous said...

Nothing more tedious and boring than another "my hotel sucked in Vegas" story. If you knew it was just the recycled Maxim why stay there? Anyway soon there won't be anything but high-end 300 dollars plus per night (non convention price) rooms in Vegas.

Dave said...

My suggestion is most folk have no idea what the Maxim was while they may know and trust Starwood. My point was not to rant on a hotel I stayed at - my hotel this NAB (Wynn) was excellent - it was a commentary on how an otherwise good outfit can turn their brand image to toast due to one bad property. You may be correct on market pricing but, stay tuned, some clever guys will introduce solid budget options and the shuttle system needed to "bus" clients to/from.

Anonymous said...

Good point. If you didn't know the history of that property, you would expect first class all the way. I'm concerned though about the elimination of many mature properties in the next few years. The middle class will not be able to afford a room on the strip.