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Funky Fun Run Featured in The New York Times

Our very own Funky Fun Run is featured in the New York Times! We couldn’t be happier that the local community and visitors alike have enjoyed our weekly runs and happy hours with the Westin Beach Resort & Spa. 

Learn more about the free Funky Fun Run here.

As Seen on The New York Times:

Even though he lives nearby, Edilson Cremonese is a regular at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. But he never sleeps there.

Every Thursday evening after work, he joins a group formed by the hotel and a local running store for a 5K workout, followed by a post-run happy hour.

It’s part of a national “running concierge” program created by Westin, which is finding, as many hotel chains are, that a local clientele can help even out the ups and downs of the lodging business. And locals can even help out-of-towners feel more at home.

“Most of the people staying in the hotel are just looking for something to do that’s more local than something they’d read about,” said Mr. Cremonese, a physical therapist by day. “They all want to know what to do, places to go,” he said, and he is happy to give them tips.

Chris Heuisler, a Westin manager in Fort Lauderdale who leads the company’s national running-concierge program, said the point was “making the locals really aware of your property.”

Hotels are always eager to get people in the door, of course, whether to spend the night or their money at the bar. And catering wedding parties and banquets has long been central to the hospitality industry. But the newer trend is to focus on getting repeat business from a local following. So the innkeepers are sponsoring running clubs or organizing other attractions like author readings, art shows or musical performances.

“You’re trying to look for incremental revenue anywhere you can,” said Bobby Bowers, senior vice president for operations at the travel research firm STR.

The effort includes making lobbies and lounges more inviting hangouts, rather than simply places to stare at your smartphone while awaiting a car to the airport. The theory is that a vibrant group of local patrons can make the hotel more attractive to out-of-town lodgers.

“Certainly, what we’ve seen is younger travelers like active spaces, even if they’re sitting by themselves,” said David Loeb, senior hotel research analyst at Robert W. Baird & Company. “This is certainly one way to spur on that activity. It’s the coffee shop mentality.”

A buzzing social hive can even convince lodgers that they don’t need to leave the hotel to have a meal, drink or general good time.

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“A lot of times when people come and stay, they look for things to do, and if there’s no activity at the hotel or it’s kind of sparse, then the likelihood is they’ll go somewhere else,” Mr. Bowers said. “If you have that activity there — and a lot of time that does come from the locals — that’s a way to capture that revenue.”

Read Full Length Original Feature: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/business/why-your-local-hotel-is-trying-to-hook-you.html?ref=business&_r=1

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