O is for Occupancy

The one word that pops into mind when I think of the letter O is opportunity, however I wrote about opportunity last year during the A to Z challenge. I can write about opportunities all day long. I am so grateful for the opportunities that have been provided to maintain this creative life. I then reminded myself that my theme has been focused on the hotel life and the word occupancy stands out.

Occupancy: the proportion of accommodations occupied or in use, typically in a hotel.

When I first heard, ‘the hotel occupancy tonight is 85%’ I was a server working at a Luxury Resort in the Canadian Rockies. What it meant to me and the other servers was that there were a lot of people staying at the hotel that potentially had a reservation in one of the many dining rooms within the hotel. The more people in the hotel, the more people in my section, the more money I could make. That was my mentality when I was in my mid-twenties trying to make my tuition for the year during my summers in the Canadian Rockies.

When I made the transition from the F&B (food and beverage) world to the front office department, occupancy was a bit more of a priority. I started in Royal Service (AKA: Hotel Operator) and one of our tasks was to write the occupancy of the hotel on the large white board to visualize how many people would potentially calling within the hotel, on top of that the hundreds of calls that came in from external guests looking to speak with a guest, any one of the departments, reservations, sales, general manager, etc. There wasn’t a time I wasn’t on the phone with someone during my eight-hour shift.

When I moved to the reservations department I was part of the occupancy process for the hotel. People would call the in-house reservations department to book their room with me. There were four of us in the reservations department, we were always on the phone or answering emails to guests with questions and inquires about room rates (this was before user-friendly websites and third-party booking sites) I was adding room nights to the bottom line. I was contributing to our ever-growing occupancy.

Now, I make schedules for the front desk based on the hotel’s occupancy. The rule of thumb for me is the more people in the hotel the more front desk and bellmen you need on to ensure great guest service. When I was a front desk agent, it was not fun being by yourself and having the hotel at 70% that is a lot of people walking by asking questions, looking to store their luggage, valet their car, check-in or check out. Hotel occupancy is much bigger than just individual hotels, if all downtown hotels in a city are running high that means a lot of visitors to the city, which means dining establishments, tourists attractions are being used, money is being spent, it’s one big circle of fun for the community.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

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