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Kingsgate Conference Center Sustains Growth Despite
Market Downturns

Date: June 14, 2002
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Kingsgate Exterior Photo By: Dottie Stover
Archive: Campus News

While the local hospitality market has experienced declines over the last 12 months, University of Cincinnati's Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center has continued its growth curve. The center will mark its third birthday in August 2002.

Kingsgate Marriott Conference Hotel

Smith Travel Research, the premiere source of data and trend analysis in the hospitality industry, found that over the past 12 months, the Cincinnati market has suffered a decrease of slightly over 8 percent in occupancy. During the same period, Kingsgate's occupancy rose by almost 15 percent, according Diane Henderson, UC director of University Conferencing.

In the first quarter of 2002, Kingsgate has achieved occupancy and guest room revenues that are significantly higher than the market average. According to Smith Travel Research, the Greater Cincinnati market and downtown hotels averaged an occupancy rate of 44 percent, while Kingsgate's occupancy rate averaged 61 percent.

The conference center recently was honored with a visit from J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr., the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International Inc. It was Mr. Marriott's first visit to Kingsgate since it opened in August 1999.

The conference center is owned by UC and operated by Marriott, one of the world's leading hospitality companies.

During his June 1 visit, Mr. Marriott toured the Kingsgate guest rooms and meeting rooms, and reported that he was very impressed with what Marriott and UC have created. He congratulated the associates, managers, executive team and owner team on Kingsgate being one of the top three hotels in the Midwest region in meeting occupancy and revenue goals in 2001, while also obtaining guest satisfaction scores that are among the highest in the country.

Staff with Mr. Marriott

While touring Kingsgate, he greeted, thanked and posed for photographs with innumerable Kingsgate associates and guests. He also met with a team of UC representatives, consisting of Dale McGirr, vice president for Finance, Jim Tucker, acting vice president for Administrative Services and Human Resources, and Diane Henderson, University Conferencing director.

Marriott's visit was typical of his leadership of the company. "If you're in the service business and your name is above the door, it's important for people to be able to link a face to a name," he explained in "The Spirit to Serve: Marriott's Way," his 1997 book about Marriott's legendary service ethic. "I want our associates to know that there really IS a guy named Marriott who cares about them, even if he can only drop by every so often to personally tell them so."


 
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