By: Debbie Banks, Lago Mar Resort and Club
Hi! In the last few days, I have been asked numerous times why so many small meetings return to Lago Mar Resort year after year. To give you the best answer, I decided to interview my father, the one and only Mr. Walter Banks.
To begin, he stated that approximately 65% of small meetings return. He cautioned that this number would be higher if it excluded those groups that are required to vary their meeting locations year-to-year. He also noted that some of our groups simply grow too large for us to be able to accommodate their needs. When this happens, and a company grows to the point where they are forced to relocate, the meeting planners and companies themselves are very reluctant to leave us because they have formed such a bond with our staff and our property itself.
Speaking of our staff, many of our employees have been with us for years. When repeat groups, and all of our returning guests in general, return each year, they are often greeted by the same faces that have greeted them since the beginning. I will try to give you an example of the longevity of some of the staff members that any of our groups would have regular contact with.
Booking the Meeting
Patricia Paul, Director of Sales, 8 years
Chris Rowe, Director of Corporate Sales, 4 years
Planning the Meeting
Claudia, Director of Convention Services and Catering, 7 years
By Lago Mar Resort standards – these folks are newbies!
Donna McDougal, Reservations Manager, 25 years
Erich Pauli, Front Desk Manager, 18 years
Melba, greeting groups for over 22 years
Tanya, Billing, 7 years – Our groups love working with Tanya. The reason she has only been with us for 7 years is because she is young and spent a lot of her time, prior to joining us, acquiring not one but two Masters Degrees. She has a Masters in Accounting and Finance and an MBA, with a concentration in hospitality management. Her Bachelors Degree is in Communications and Advertising.
Basically, we have a great team in place that gives special attention to our small groups. These groups mean a lot to us, while they may mean less to a larger property. According my dad, on of our specialties is these small groups.