The recently renovated, 54-room SureStay Hotel by Best Western Wenatchee in Wenatchee, Wash., was an independent property until August 31 of last year. Then, it joined SureStay. Sean Verma, the hotel’s general manager, spoke with LODGING about what it was like to transition the hotel to the SureStay flag.
What is it like to be a SureStay franchisee?
There are very open lines of communication. We’re able to reach marketing, revenue management, and other support people from Best Western very easily. They were of great help during the onboarding process and are personally keeping in touch now that we’re up and running. This is a rare occurrence with big brands and we really appreciate it.
What’s working with Best Western like?
They’re very easy to work with. I don’t have to go up a bureaucratic chain to get in touch with someone I want to talk to, and the brand standards are quite flexible. The business has also been running really well since we took on the SureStay flag. We have more guests and they’re taking advantage of Best Western’s rewards program. And, once they make the connection that SureStay is Best Western, they look for opportunities to stay at these properties in the future so that they can continue to receive rewards. Having that loyal base is a huge plus.
What kinds of hoteliers are attracted to the SureStay brand?
Hoteliers with older properties who might not be able to meet strict brand standards. Also, hoteliers who aren’t able to invest too much money in their hotels, but still want to be a part of a franchise. While the investment requirements aren’t as high as some other brands, being a part of SureStay requires a lot of dedication to service. You have to keep your scores high on TripAdvisor, so guest experience is very important. If you’re unable to maintain a quality of service, SureStay would not be a good fit.