I recently caught up with Kris Keesling at the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel. She is my contact at the hotel, and was an integral part in creating a win-win meeting for one of my clients. We chatted about the industry, her hotel and third party planners (aka me). Here is what Kris had to share with me.
“Our resort hotel works with professional associations, planners and directors, as well as third party planners,” shares Kris. “At times, I will end talking to someone in an organization who has never planned a meeting before, perhaps they volunteered to take on the planning for that year, or they are new to the post, in this case, I always refer them to a good third party planner; they are so helpful to these folks and often thank me for making the introduction.” She adds, “No matter if you know what you are doing or not, a good third party planner is priceless!”
I asked her what makes for a good planner, she says, “They are professional, they understand the process from beginning to end and are there every step of the way.” About working with me she shared, “Jill, you represent your clients so well, you are there from the beginning and even past billing, this is something that I do not always see. Plus, you have an amazing ability to act as an objective mediator and clearly present your client’s needs along with the hotel’s abilities to meet those needs. On top of everything, you make it all make sense to the parties involved.”
If you have yet to bring a group to Lake Tahoe, I highly recommend it. They have an incredible summer, with cool temperatures and tons to do. The total redevelopment the south shore, known as Heavenly Village, is beautiful. There are gondolas, unique boutiques, a movie theater, mini-golf, bungee cord jumping and more. If you have any golfers in the gang, there are plenty of courses to choose from. Other activities include hiking, climbing, camping, biking, and rafting. In the winter your participants can enjoy skiing, ice-skating, sledding, snowmobiling, and tons more wintertime fun.
The Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel has been in business since 1991. Kris and many other staff members were all part of the pre-opening team. She has personally seen a huge jump in corporate business over the past few years. “Our independent status makes us unique in that we can be highly creative,” shares Kris. “For example, our Chef is not tied into ordering food from any certain vendor, so we can offer local farm to table cuisine. Our Executive Housekeeper personally chose our amenities and linens, while our Hotel Designer decorated the entire hotel from top to bottom in a Lake Tahoe style. It truly makes our hotel unique!”
Kris is also quite proud of the fact that her hotel is a very ethical and honest company. “Our clients do come first! We will not cancel on a group no matter what is going on with the economy or anything else along those lines. We stand by our groups and do what needs to done in order to make their stay with us memorable and successful.”
She then added, “I truly am sincere in saying that you impressed me with your skills as a third party planner, Jill. You are professional, cordial, and have shown that you are really willing to go out on a limb for your clients.” And then Kris said, “By the way, keep up with the great posting, I always look to you to keep me updated with what is going on in the industry!”
And then I blushed. Thank you Kris for taking the time to speak with me!