Courtyard by Marriott St. George receives 2 prestigious awards for service, performance

This photo showcases the front entrance of the Courtyard by Marriott in St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott St. George, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Most hotels share many similarities: Each has guest rooms with beds and a bathroom, many serve breakfast and have other amenities like Wi-Fi or cable television. But there are some hospitality facilities that stand out above the rest because of quality that has more to do with the people who serve there than the perks the hotel provides.

The Courtyard by Marriott St. George outdoor swimming pool is shown in this undated photo, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott St. George, St. George News

Such is the case with the Courtyard by Marriott St. George which was recently honored by Marriott International with two prestigious awards for its performance and customer service: the Marriott Golden Circle Award and the Diamond General Manager of the Year.

Marriott Golden Circle Award

The Marriott Golden Circle Award is an award given to Courtyard brand hotels within the Marriott International corporation. Worldwide there are over 1,300 Courtyard by Marriott hotels.

The St. George location received the Golden Circle Award based on a number of criteria including its occupancy and performance over the previous year as well as guest satisfaction exit surveys, Assistant General Manager Zac Nixon said.

“In comparison with the other 1,300 Courtyards worldwide we are in the top 10 percentile,” he said.

The St. George location was also the only Courtyard hotel in the state of Utah to receive such a high level of award, Nixon said.

General Manager Nicole Pead attributes their success to the quality of customer service the hotel staff strive to provide.

“It’s the way you are treated at our hotel,” she said.

It is a philosophy that extends from the top down and includes not only guest satisfaction but also employee satisfaction.

The Marriott International philosophy is a quote from J.W. Marriott which is:

If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers, and your business will take care of itself.

It is a philosophy that both Pead and Nixon have embraced. For the two leaders, it begins with taking care of their staff and making sure they feel taken care of, well trained and empowered to do their best on the job.

The staff at the Courtyard by Marriott St. George is largely made up of local people, Nixon said, many of whom have been with the hotel for years and years. The hotel has been open for 12 years, and many employees have been working there since opening 12 years ago, Nixon said.

“They are committed to this place and the culture we have here,” Nixon said of the staff.

When staff members feel taken care of and well-trained, they take care of the guests Pead said. And when guests feel taken care of, they continue to return which takes care of the bottom line.

Diamond General Manager of the Year

Marriott International also recognized Pead as a Diamond General Manager of the Year. This award is given to general managers within the Courtyard brand of Marriott International. Courtyard is the flagship brand of the Marriott International corporation and only nine managers among the 1,300 worldwide Courtyard hotels were recognized with this honor.

Nixon said this award is based on occupancy numbers – getting people into the hotel – and performance, including revenue, as well as nominations from her peers, Nixon said.

“It’s a big deal. We’re really excited about it,” Nixon said. “It really represents our hotel because it trickles down. It starts with her (Pead’s) passion for hospitality, which ignites a fire in our staff as well.”

Pead was reluctant to speak to her own accomplishments, but a press release from the Courtyard by Marriott of St. George said this of her:

Nicole inspires a goal of constant progression in her staff. She doesn’t just tell her team that guest service is important, she walks the talk, empowering them to ‘do whatever it takes’ to make sure guests leave the building feeling taken care of. At the Courtyard St. George, you will hear the word ‘absolutely’ used more than you probably will anywhere else because Nicole has led her team to embrace that term and use it often. One of Nicole’s greatest strengths is her ability to lead with a positive vision, she believes strongly in putting positive energy out into the world knowing that it will come back in positive ways. This positive energy paid off in 2017, when the area saw a large influx of supply, however it didn’t stop Nicole and her team from maintaining their share of the market and even growing it.

With the industry of hospitality and hotels in St. George expected to see rapid growth in the coming years, Nixon said, he realizes there will be many new hotels to choose from but he believes the customer service and guest experience they offer at Courtyard by Marriott St. George will continue to set them apart from the rest.

“We feel like our service is top-tier – our staff really care about our guests – so it is exciting to have that validated in such a big way,” Nixon said.

Despite their recent accolades, Pead said they plan to continue to strive to be the best they can be at serving both the local community through their staff and conference space and their guests.

“We love what we do here,” she said, “and we are really proud of what we do here.”

Written by HOLLIE REINA, St. George News.

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