MMI News

Think BIG

MMI Hotel Group, a Mississippi-based hotel management company who manages Hilton and IHG branded hotels for the Chawla family, is pleased to share that entrepreneurialism is alive and relationships still matter.   Yesterday, Chawla Hotels announced Scion at West End will be the first location of the American Idea Hotel’s newest brand by Trump Hotels.  The new hotel will be located in Cleveland, MS – one of several communities in the Mississippi Delta where the Chawla family owns hotels.

 

The first Scion Hotel by Trump Hotels is going to be in Mississippi?

Mississippi is actually the home to several firsts.  Every corner of the world has its own signature music, art and literature, but Mississippi has a depth of cultural richness that few regions can rival.  In addition to the artists, authors, and a long list of recipes worthy of recognition, the State of Mississippi’s significance in America’s music proved significant enough to authorize the nation’s only Grammy-sanctioned museum outside of L.A. (and we don’t mean Lower Alabama).

 

An official Grammy Museum in Mississippi?

An official Grammy Museum in Mississippi?  Yes.  Carved between miles of row crops covering the majority of the Mississippi Delta is this uniquely Southern tribute to America’s music.  For years, this unique pocket of American life has produced a culture of creativity (highlighting music and food) and a focus on the innate senses of hospitality.  Mississippi was tagged as “The Hospitality State” many moons ago for a reason…and it still rings true today.

We at MMI Hotel Group might be biased in this belief because we have roots in the Mississippi Delta and have been sharing this hospitality with hotel guests across the Southeast for over sixty years.  It is the same commitment that die-hard corporate travelers and international tourists alike have been amazed to experience in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the traditions of society, art, music, and food that might be taken for granted elsewhere.

Congratulations to Dinesh & Suresh Chawla for thinking BIG.  Their sense of hospitality obviously resonated with Donald Trump, Jr. and the Trump Hotels team.  The Delta thanks you for this recognition.

Opening a Hotel Can Be Tricky

Anything that has to be started afresh requires a “little more effort” than that is already existing and running.  It is very true in case of a hotel.  Opening of any hotel requires that “little more” as this involves the needs of operational expertise, systems expertise, back office expertise and marketing expertise before starting of operations.  Coordinated efforts of all these areas of expertise make it easier to the opening of a hotel.  Many non-hotelier owners do not understand the importance of back of the house and makes lot of compromises. This results in various problems at a later stage.  The owner only looks at the beauty of the lobby and (if applicable) restaurant, but, not kitchen or stores.  Kitchen cannot deliver to restaurant unless they are well equipped.   Back office is the backbone of the hotel without which front office cannot exist.
It is very important to understand the needs of the hotel before even the construction begins.  There are specific needs in the construction of a hotel, mainly Security and Safety needs.  Infrastructural requirement in a hotel are different from normal buildings, this includes HVAC, drainage system, garbage disposal, Fire alarm, sprinkler system etc.  Understanding of these requirements is also very important for opening of a hotel.

If you are looking to develop a hotel soon, MMI Hotel Group has the expertise to open your project’s doors to an environment that is ready and able to receive guests who will desire to return again and again.

Ownership Asks that MMI Add Hotel

downloadWhen Hari Patel approached us about managing the other hotel he owned in Jackson, we knew we could create change.  Hari knew he needed the depth and breadth of MMI Hotel Group’s Home Office team after turnover escalated, internal controls slipped, and less than great guest scores became common place in an asset that had much more potential.

MMI Hotel Group appreciates relationships and agreed to accept the challenge.  Managing a broad range of product types, room rates, and guest expectations provide MMI with a depth of experience.  Beginning this month, Baymont Inn & Suites – Jackson/Ridgeland becomes the latest hotel and, more importantly, body of team members to join the MMI family.  Our winning ways are already being received well and the response from team members and the guests they serve alike are bearing fruit.

MMI actually manages more hotels in what our industry has termed “a third-party management contract”, but we view every hotel investment as if it is our own.  We look forward to serving Mr. Patel well and are confident that he will be happy in his decision for MMI to add
hotel.

MMI & Cabot Lodge Recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs

15895995_10154905296951310_517088770299510639_oBoys & Girls Clubs of Central MS held its annual Youth of the Year competition Tuesday night at Cabot Lodge in Jackson, Mississippi.  “It is an honor for the Cabot Lodge team to host this event and see the development that Youth-of-the-Year provides for our City’s young people,” stated James McLeod, General Manager of Cabot Lodge – Milsaps College.

After crowning Iyanla Thomas as greater Jackson’s winner and representative in next month’s statewide competition, local advocates where recognized with awards.

MMI Hospitality Group was awarded as for its annual commitment to the Movement.  As the nation’s largest facility-based youth development program, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a great partner for regional company.  “Regardless of where our hotels or dining facilities may be located, our Team Members share positive stories of their association in some way with the Boys & Girls Club Movement either as an alum, parent or grandparent.  We appreciate the opportunities Boys & Girls Clubs provide to our community and, specifically, our Team Members,” stated Micajah Sturdivant, MMI Hotel Group President and Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi Chairman of the Board.

Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club members.  Each year, one exceptional Club member is selected to be the National Youth of the Year.  The National Youth of the Year serves as both an exemplary ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth and as a strong voice for all of our nation’s young people.

New Year. New Experience.

downloadThe Holiday Inn Express in Grenada might best be summed up simply as “New.”  2017 brings with it recently added leadership, a major renovation, and fresh perspective on hospitality.  General Manager Mary Graydon had no hotel management experience before being hired by MMI Hotel Group to lead the team at Holiday Inn Express.  “Mary has not only hit the mark, but exceeded expectations for our Team Members and guests alike,” states Scott Sledge, MMI’s VP of Operations.  “Her experience in getting The Polar Express ‘down the tracks’ is similar to what we do in the hotel business.  It’s all about the people.”

The hotel business is about hosting an environment that is safe, fresh and welcoming.  With guest service scores putting the Grenada property in the top ranks nationally, ownership knew it was time to ensure that the quality of product was appropriate.  As a result, Holiday Inn Express-Grenada is undergoing a significant renovation that pretty much touches every surface of the hotel –inside and out, guestrooms and common areas.  With a design that puts sleep quality, simplicity, and ease of maintenance at the center of its concept, Formula Blue, the franchisor’s latest prototype design is meant to appeal to Holiday Inn Express’s target guest—the “smart traveler.”   The renovation is being completed one floor at a time to ensure that guest impact is minimal before a schedule completion date in the second quarter of 2017.

Aviation Garden Sets Home2 Suites St Simons Island Apart

img_2516MMI Hospitality Group will expand its hospitality offerings on St Simons Island with the opening of the Home2 Suites at Malcolm McKinnon Airport on St. Simons.  Recognizing the site’s legacy and association with aeronautics, owners engaged Sea Island Landscaping to create an “Aviation Garden” based off the most basic principle of flight – the airfoil.

Upon entering the garden, it becomes clear that the pool is different than most standard commercial pools…it is in the basic shape of an airfoil.  However, in looking closer, it becomes obvious that the concept is not confined to simply the pool.  It is carried out throughout the entire pool (Aviation) garden.

From the pavers, to the shape of the seating areas, to the selection and placement of the plant materials, the basic principles of the physics of the airfoil are carried out through the garden.  David Wentworth of Sea Island Landscaping, states, “It becomes a living wind tunnel.  The placement of the airfoil, allows for the wind to funnel between the hotel building and the terminal building.  When one enters through the main gate and takes their eye across the airfoil, they virtually take flight out to the tarmac.”

Looking closer, the aviation theme is carried out on a more intimate scale with the selection of aviation artwork including an area designated for “Sculptor of the Year”.  This provides for the area to continue to be updated by local artists for returning guests to experience.

Director of Human Resources Announced

renee-stormesWe are excited to share that Renee Stormes has joined MMI Hospitality Group as Director of Human Resources.  With a resume that includes leadership roles and degrees in human resources and labor relations as well as hotel, restaurant and travel administration, I am confident in knowing that she is well suited to support the MMI family.

Renee began her career with MMI this week and is studying our handbook, policies and procedures feverishly in advance of getting out to meet the many Team Members she will support in her role going forward.

She is excited about this new role where she will bring two loves (HR and hospitality) together!

To learn more about Renee, you can visit her LinkedIn Profile.

MMI Announces New Home Office Leaders

mmihospitalityfinaltransparentMMI Hospitality Group, a full-service hospitality development and management company, announces the addition of four, new Home Office Team Members.

MMI is excited to share that Renee Stormes has joined MMI Hospitality Group as Director of Human Resources.  “With a resume that includes leadership roles and degrees in human resources and labor relations as well as hotel, restaurant and travel administration, we am confident in knowing that she is well suited to support the MMI family,” stated Gaines Sturdivant, President of MMI Hospitality Group.

Amy Smith knows that excelling in IT requires a balance of technical and communication skills.  As MMI’s newest IT Specialist, Smith has already taken great strides in bolstering the full-service model that MMI Hospitality Group in known for.  The statement: “If you aren’t serving the guest, we at MMI are charged to serve those who are serving the guests.” is a company mantra.

Additionally, MMI Hotel Group, a division of MMI Hospitality Group, has selected Blake Butler to support its property teams as Resource Manager.  With operational experience at both Hilton and IHG-franchised hotels, Blake is qualified to tackle various tasks.  Just recently, Blake was recognized as Hotel Manager of the Year for the Holiday Inn Express he opened and led in Brookhaven, MS.

MMI Dining Systems, the company’s contract food service division, added Gene Pickardt to its team as Resource Manager.  Directly interacting with a number of organizations’ board and F&B Team Members, Pickardt demonstrates hospitality daily.

The Pilot House and Hotel Vue Expand Catering & Conference Capabilities in Natchez

After a year celebrating the City of Natchez’s 300th anniversary, domestic and international travelers are aware of the city’s hospitality and history.  Statewide association and corporate retreats continue to flock to historic Natchez while weddings and special celebrations are routine events.2

To ensure that event planners and brides-to-be are confident in the experience of their guests, Hotel Vue has expanded its conference and catering team.

Sidney Ashmore was recently named Restaurant Manager for The Pilot House located at Hotel Vue in Natchez, MS.  In taking the helm at The Pilot House, Ashmore returns to his home state after exercising his creative and professional training both at restaurants and event venues in greater Chicago.  He has over 15 years of experience in food and beverage, from casual to upscale fine dining, and private corporate parties and meetings, as well as weddings and grand receptions.

Victoria Antin was recently named Sales & Catering Coordinator for The Pilot House and Hotel Vue. Antin, originally from New Orleans, consulted and worked in different creative F&B outlets before  joining Hotel Vue where she works directly with planners in detailing meetings and receptions alike.

In addition to its river-facing bar, lounge, and private dining room, the hotel and restaurant have a large, bluff-topped lawn and over 3,000 square feet of dedicated event space for meetings and receptions.

MMI Selected to Manage Operations for Ridgeland Hotel

unnamedMMI Hotel Group, a full-service hospitality management company, has been appointed by Rambakir of America, LLC to oversee all operations and sales services for the 111-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites–Ridgeland.  Having recently completed a refresh of the property’s interiors and parking lot, the hotel is positioned well for IHG Reward Club members and highway-bookers alike.  The consistency that a traditional Holiday Inn Express guest has come to expect will be found in Ridgeland.

MMI will add Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Ridgeland to an already strong portfolio of independent and franchised select-service hotels across greater Jackson.  “Strength comes in numbers when one is looking to ensure a quality of experience across a community,” stated Scott Sledge, VP of Operations for MMI Hotel Group.  “Our reputation stands on the security and service provided in our hotels for first time visitors and long-term business relationships alike.  We believe the community will recognize the support MMI brings to the existing on-property and are grateful to the hotel’s owners for giving us this opportunity.”