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From Imagination to Innovation: The Art of Hotel Entrepreneurship and Creative Branding with Cory Schisler

Episode 7 of Season 2 of The Unfamiliar Shift with Ariela Podcast Are you intrigued by the world of boutique hotels, fine dining, and creative bran...

Episode 7 of Season 2 of The Unfamiliar Shift with Ariela Podcast

Are you intrigued by the world of boutique hotels, fine dining, and creative brand-building within the hospitality industry? In this insightful blog post, we’ll explore the secrets of success in hotel entrepreneurship and dive into the creative mindset with industry expert Cory Schisler.

Discovering the Hidden Gem: A Luxury Boutique Hotel in Wine Country

Our journey begins with a captivating story of a luxury boutique hotel nestled in the heart of wine country, Healdsburg, California. Opened just a year and a half ago, this picturesque destination has become a testament to the power of serendipity and shared passion.

Cory Schisler, along with his partners Jay and Kyle Jeffers, embarked on this venture not merely to capitalize on the market, but because they believed in the transformative potential of this unique property. Their story showcases the importance of following your creative instincts and embracing the flow of opportunities.

Securing the Vision: Funding and Positioning in Wine Country

The Madrona, located in Healdsburg, offers guests a cosmopolitan experience, complete with a high-end cocktail program and impeccable luxury service. However, securing funding for boutique hotels with fewer than 50 rooms can be a challenge. Cory shares the hotel’s approach, which involved leveraging personal connections and networking with potential investors.

Facing unforeseen challenges, including a global pandemic and a tumultuous election cycle, the community’s support and the county’s assistance with permits proved invaluable. He prioritized inviting neighbors and stakeholders into the process early on, emphasizing the importance of building strong relationships.

Crafting Identity: Branding and Messaging for a Boutique Hotel

In a conversation with Ariela, Cory discusses the importance of preserving the property’s history and integrity while infusing it with fresh elements to create a unique and exhilarating experience for guests. 

The ultimate goal? Creating a space where guests can live life to the fullest, immersed in the charm and allure of wine country.

Making Waves: Preopening PR and Its Impact on Success

Cory emphasizes the critical role of public relations in the successful launch of a hotel. Allocating a substantial portion of the budget to pre-opening PR efforts can make a significant difference. Cory collaborated with the renowned PR firm J.Wade PR in San Francisco to craft a comprehensive PR strategy that included publications, roundups, and listings.

Establishing awareness and fostering strong relationships with PR partners were key elements in generating ongoing interest in the hotel. Notably, collaborative PR efforts with a neighboring winery yielded mutual benefits and increased exposure for both businesses.

Influencer Magic: Marketing Strategies for Small Hotels

In the ever-evolving world of hospitality marketing, building relationships with both publications and influencers is paramount. Cory highlights the role of influencers as content creators, consistently sharing fresh images and videos to keep the brand in the spotlight.

Measurement and analysis of digital marketing efforts through metrics and data are emphasized to drive bookings and achieve a strong return on investment. The podcast also explores the importance of achieving balance in partnerships, with one party focusing on creativity and the other on finance and hospitality.

Nurturing Creativity: A Candid Discussion

The podcast concludes with a candid discussion between Ariela and Cory on the significance of creativity in the hotel industry. They dive into multitasking reading habits and creative thought processes, with the guest sharing insights into reading books based on mood.

Intrigued by the world of boutique hotels, entrepreneurship, and creative branding within the hospitality industry? Cory Schisler’s journey and insights serve as an inspiring guide for aspiring hoteliers and those looking to infuse creativity into their ventures. The art of hotel entrepreneurship and creative brand building is unveiled, offering a glimpse into the captivating world of hospitality innovation.

This enlightening episode is available for listening on Apple Podcasts and Spotify Podcasts. The series is proudly sponsored by Solonis, a property management system designed for hotels and a premier partner sponsor of BLLA.

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