Santa Fe Hotel Achieves Its Best-Ever RevPAR Index: 150% on Its Competitive Set
Located in the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the team at La Fonda on the Plaza knows a thing or two about the history of hospitality. Their hotel location can be traced back 400 years when Spaniards established an inn on the same corner the hotel sits today. Ever since, the spirit of welcoming guests with a unique experience has remained a constant for this one-of-a-kind property.
Today, Santa Fe is a vibrant tourist community with a high concentration of boutique and independent hotels in the downtown area – making competition for leisure and business guests a top priority for all hoteliers in the area. But La Fonda has two secret weapons. The first is a revenue manager who has been the face of La Fonda’s front desk for more than 30 years. Becky Ortiz embodies the warm, welcoming spirit of La Fonda and has come to know her guests, their children and sometimes their grandchildren, too. It’s because of La Fonda’s unique bond with guests that the hotel’s return guest rate is a staggering 45 percent. Coupled with recent improvements and renovations, the hotel has become a top independent destination in its market. In addition to an award-winning art collection, La Fonda received the New Mexico Top HAT Premier Award for Hotel of the Year and was named No. 7 in Top Hotels in the American Southwest by Conde Nast Traveler in 2016.
Igniting a Revenue Management Culture
The second secret weapon for La Fonda is its revenue management software. Three years ago, Ortiz partnered with IDeaS Revenue Solutions to leverage its analytics to understand individual guest segments with a relatively small inventory. Of the hotel’s 180 rooms, nearly 60 percent are traditional. Oritz typically focuses on filling the traditional rooms with group segments, and then driving the transient rate to fill the remaining inventory of upgraded rooms.
Supporting a Team Effort
Ortiz and a team that includes sales, food and beverage, general management and front office meet daily to analyze historical data and booked business. They make dynamic shifts in pricing and revenue strategy for the best outcome, utilizing the software's leading predictive analytics engine for better decision making.
Even the sales team will use the software as a tool to evaluate group-business pricing scenarios. In a unique and almost counterintuitive turn, La Fonda may turn down certain group requests if it would displace better revenue from another segment like transient guests.
Combining Ortiz’s intimate knowledge of the market and her guest segments with its revenue management software has transformed La Fonda’s overall revenue strategy. Ortiz will set a floor rate for standard rooms and adjust it along the way for the best revenue. And the combination of an expert revenue manager with a leading analytics tool is working. La Fonda has increased its average daily rate more than eight percent year-over-year and achieved its best-ever RevPAR index – 150 percent on its competitive set.