Cobblestone Hotels hosted is third annual brand conference in Minneapolis, Minn., at the downtown Hyatt Regency April 6-7 with a large focus on its franchisees and where the upper midscale brand is heading. The conference attracted more than 220 attendees, including general managers, management companies, vendors, investors, and brand representatives.
Cobblestone Hotels kicked off its 2014 conference with separate brand sessions, the first with a focus on the brand’s conversion product, Boarders Inn and Suites by Cobblestone Hotels, and the second with a focus on the brand’s new-build products, Cobblestone Hotel and Suites and Cobblestone Inn and Suites. Both meetings highlighted brand updates, brand sales and marketing initiatives, and the growth of each product.
“When Cobblestone Hotels looks at brand initiatives, we focus on the largest impact to our guest experience and our franchisee’s revenue,” said Jessica Junker, vice president of sales and marketing/CIO of Cobblestone Hotels. “This year we launched a refreshed website, an amplified internet marketing campaign, and a more transparent guest booking experience.”
In addition to these initiatives, Cobblestone Hotels discussed brand updates with its franchisees. “Guest experience is key,” said Josie Kilgore, vice president of brand services. “We took a look at industry standards and requested that our franchisees update linen, some interior signage, television quality, and discussed our extremely high guest experience scores.”
During the event, Co-Founder and President of Cobblestone Hotels Brian Wogernese reflected on where the brand is now and where it’s going. “Our focus this year is to show our gratitude to all of our partners,” Wogernese said. “Whether you are a hotel developer, management company, owner, general manager, or on property support, we are thankful each day for you and the great attributes you bring to our team.” He also unveiled the award for the 2014 property of the year that will be announced at the brand’s 2015 Conference in Milwaukee, Wis. The recipient of the 2014 property of the year will be awarded a new Harley Davidson to donate to the charity of their choice.
This year, Cobblestone Hotels gave out awards for the Property of the Year, General Manager of the Year, Employee of the Year, Owner of the Year, Best Guest Experience, Renovation of the Year, and Community Hero of the Year.
The conference concluded with a special recognition to newest franchisees. In March, Cobblestone Hotels announced that it would donate $10,000 for each franchise agreement signed at the conference back to a community charity of the franchisee’s choice. During the 2014 Cobblestone Hotels Conference, Cobblestone representatives brought on six new franchise agreements. “We could not be happier with the response of our giving back initiative,” Wogernese said. “Donating $60,000 to charities throughout the country, in communities that have embraced Cobblestone Hotels, is exactly the sort of things that Cobblestone is proud to be a part of, and we look forward to doing more initiatives in the future.”