Lodging Magazine is the official publication of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Recently, Lodging Magazine conducted an interview with Pamela Barnhill, President, COO and founder of InnDependent Boutique Collection and president and COO of InnSuites Hospitality Trust. The interview highlights how Barnhill has built a career out of spotlighting independent and boutique hotels with technology and collection tactics that drive RevPAR. Pamela Barnhill has been a supporter of unique boutique properties long before they became popular. As the daughter of an independent hotelier, Barnhill has authentic, first hand experience in the boutique hotel industry.

Below is an excerpt from the interview:

Checking In with Pamela Barnhill of IBC Hotels

What prompted you to found IBC?

Over the years at InnSuites, we’ve owned and managed independent, Holiday Inn, and Best Western hotels. From what I experienced, the independents had a significantly harder time driving both top-line growth and bottom line expenses. Unless they had a really good relationship with their vendors, it was very hard to get a good price on a good quality service or product. Because of my relationship with the vendors from the branded hotels, and because I managed and owned more than a few properties, they were willing to give me really good pricing that they weren’t offering to other independents.

While I was first experiencing the cost discrepancy in a vacuum, in 2011, I was asked to be on the board of the Independent Lodging Industry Association. When I joined the association, I found that other independent hoteliers have that same challenge. Bringing everyone together and creating a community where we can pool our knowledge and resources to drive RevPAR, or at least provide a level playing field for the independent hotelier to be able to compete, just seemed to be the right thing to do.

What are the top benefits of being an independent hotel?

We have way more flexibility in our independent properties than we do in our branded ones—and we can have a lot more fun running them. We’re able to cook creative, delicious, and in-season foods and serve fresh, nutritious fare at breakfast. We’re able to have more fun when choosing the amenities we have at the hotel and in the rooms. The paint colors can be more vibrant and whimsical. There’s just a lot more creative energy. Independent hoteliers like this freedom and embrace it. They like having their personality show in their properties. On the other end of the spectrum, the larger, institutional buyers typically prefer the easier, branded properties because they provide so many resources and enough regulations and restrictions that they’re easy to follow and execute.”

Read more of the interview here: http://lodgingmagazine.com/checking-in-with-pamela-barnhill/

lodging magazine