Thomas J. Chevins, senior vice president, sales
and marketing, for Irving, Texas-based Omni Hotels, spoke recently
with M&C about his company and today’s strong seller’s
M&C: What are Omni’s growth plans?
Chevins: We just purchased two hotels in San Antonio, and
we have a 600-room convention center hotel under development in
Fort Worth. Looking ahead, Vancouver is very appealing, and the
resort areas of California and Arizona are also on the radar.
M&C: How’s group business?
Chevins: 50 percent of Omni’s business is group-related.
There is real frustration on the planner front. What I’m hearing is
they would like to pull the trigger faster in placing meetings, but
senior management has not come to the realization that inventory is
tighter; they need to do things earlier. Planners say they don’t
want to be on their fourth or fifth choice of hotel.
M&C: What sets you apart?
Chevins: We’re small but unique. We own and operate all of
our hotels, so when we decide to move on something, say, adding
wireless in public spaces, we don’t have to waste time getting
owners to agree. That also means we have great consistency across