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John Hess was recently hired as the director of sales and marketing for Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, Pa.
1. What are you most looking forward to in your new role as director of sales and marketing for the Omni Bedford Springs Resort?
I am looking forward to working with the team at the resort and helping to support all of their efforts. Omni Bedford Springs is a hidden gem in the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania. Since its restoration in 2007, the resort has hosted guests and groups from across the mid-Atlantic region; it has a rich history that engages you from the first moment of arrival. I am very excited to introduce this experience to new guests and old friends throughout the region. The property has seen consistent growth over the past eight years and my plan is to contribute to this in a positive way.
2. How do you think your past industry experience has prepared you for this role?
My experience in working at remotely located resorts has given me a solid understanding of the challenges that properties of this nature face year to year. One of the cornerstones for success in remote areas is making sure you have a solid team in place. We have that team, and I believe we will achieve great things by working together. We are actively reaching out to new clients and our loyal friends to build these relationships for the benefit of all.
3. What goals do you have in mind for the hotel for this year and farther down the line?
My first goal is to help enhance our on-site programming. In 2015, the resort created several on-site events for our guests. In 2016, we look to enhance this program in several ways. We are expanding our offerings, including a 10-week summer music series at our newest venue, The Mill, an art and wine festival and a culinary weekend. We have established monthly wine dinners that have been well received. We are also expanding our Be Well weekend into a series of three separate events throughout the year.
For the long term, we plan to create sustainable growth by providing exceptional customer service along with a variety of programming and amenities for our guests. We maintain a focus on high-touch amenities and caring for the needs of our guests.
4. How did you get into the industry?
I found the hospitality industry by accident. In the late ‘90s I was working in radio and television part time. I was looking for a new job and found an ad for an audiovisual technician at a hotel in Charlotte, N.C. I immediately fell in love with it. I worked as an AV manager for several years before crossing over into sales for the Omni Richmond Hotel and have never looked back. I could not imagine a different career.
5. What do you enjoy most about the hotel and the company as a whole?
There is a feeling you get when you enter the Omni Bedford Springs that is unmistakable. The resort is deeply rooted in the healing waters that run across our land, and there is a sense of quiet and relaxation that is quite noticeable when you arrive. I love the history that surrounds you here, and most importantly, the resort feels like home to me. I am very excited about the opportunity to introduce the property to new guests and offer them unique experiences.
I worked for Omni Hotels early in my career as a sales manager. Within the company’s core values exists a philosophy of treating associates as we would like them to treat our guests. This value is very important to me. Omni also works to develop leaders at all levels of the organization and every stage of an individual’s career. An environment of improvement and learning creates an exceptional workplace; you can see the evidence of this in the smiles of our team members.
6. Any additional comments?
I would just like to say thank you to our general manager, Brett Schoenfield and Mark Wykes, regional director of sales and marketing, for giving me this opportunity to be a part of Omni Hotels and Resorts.