With its central location in Silicon Valley and its close proximity to Stanford University, the Garden Court Hotel knows that the business community surrounding the property is full of tech startups that are developing ideas and applications for the future.
To help budget-strapped startups reach their goals and grow their businesses, the Garden Court is offering a special discounted package that allows small tech companies the use of the hotel’s facilities for conducting meetings and making presentations. The package is offered during non-peak hours and provides startups a 50 percent savings off of traditional meetings.
For Barbara Gross, general manager of the 62-room hotel, helping tech businesses get off the ground is an essential part of giving back to the local community.
“We are surrounded by fledgling startups with budgets as low or lower than most nonprofits,” she says. “As an anchor in our community, we want startups to know we are tangible—a tool to support their innovative ideas, host possible investors, and give their teams a break from daily routines.”
The package offers all the amenities required for businesses meetings. Startups receive a private event room with access to an outdoor balcony or patio; customized audio-visual equipment based on specific needs; wireless Internet access; coffee and snack service; and complimentary valet parking for guests.
“We provide the exact same service we would for any business holding a meeting at our hotel,” says Gross. “We want every guest, every time to experience what we do best. Every meeting is an opportunity to show off.”
Gross explains that the startup package wasn’t developed with the goal of generating revenue. Instead, she says that, right now, the hotel is focused on covering their costs and growing goodwill among its customer base.
“Our goal is to invest in the future of Palo Alto’s business community and to build mutual loyalty,” she says. “It is difficult to track ROI, but we have our arms around what we are doing and know it’s the right thing for us and our community. “
As the needs of small businesses continue to evolve, Gross says that hotels can use their facilities in innovative ways to facilitate growth within their communities. She explains that many of today’s startups require shorter booking windows for meeting space, and hotels that adapt will provide a much-needed service to both locals and out-of-town guests.
“Meetings are typically viewed as a support service on a group stay,” says Gross. “But hotel’s like ours see a high percentage of ‘meetings only’ business and consider this a growth opportunity. We had to get creative. I suspect more and more hotels will use their space and available resources to reach out to their communities.”