As a member of the Extension Conference Centers Management team and under general supervision of the University of Wisconsin-Extension and Colleges Auxiliary Services Director, the Hotel General Manager is responsible for the total operation and management of the Lowell Center. This position includes managing a 24/7 hotel operation with 137 guestrooms, a dining facility for 400 people, 7 conference rooms, a fitness center, and a swimming pool. The position also serves as facility manager to a number of UW departmental offices, which includes overseeing the security and housekeeping of the spaces.
A successful candidate will have experience in hotel management; experience in staff supervision; a thorough understanding of fiscal and budget management; construction and remodeling project coordination; the ability to work successfully within a larger organization; a keen awareness of working in a higher education environment and with the State of Wisconsin; and demonstrated ability to thrive in a team oriented approach to management.
Revenue from the hotel operation is essential to help underwrite programs and services provided by ECC and the University of Wisconsin-Extension and, as such, occupied room nights must be maximized. Strong relationship building and networking skills and a reputation for quality service will need to be maintained at all times.
An unrelenting focus on customer service, an impeccable eye for details and cleanliness, and a strong commitment to hospitality are essential to providing a superb guest experience. Excellent communication skills are necessary in order to interact with customers and staff, resolve customer and staff concerns, and work cooperatively with partnering service departments.
Due to the nature of the hotel, conference, meetings, and events industry, non-traditional hours (nights and weekends) may be required based on business, time of year, and staffing levels.
Bachelor’s degree in Business, Hotel, or Hospitality Management or related field or industry
3 years combined work experience in a managerial capacity including developing and overseeing budgets and leading teams
5 years combined work experience as a supervisor of a department and its employees following personnel practices
2 years of work experience in the hotel, hospitality, or event planning type of position.
Fluent skills in modern technologies, including productivity tools such as mobile devices, e-mail, spreadsheets, word processing, project management software, and web-based business applications
Demonstrated effectiveness in change management and proven success in driving improvements in business processes, systems and technology, and organizational structure
5 years of experience managing business practices including financial analysis, forecasting, strategic planning, budgeting, capital planning, business processes, and annual reporting.
A working understanding of accounting practices and processes
Experience in construction project management including architectural, capital projects, and building maintenance.
Demonstrated knowledge and successful experience working in hotel management.
Certifications and continuing education credits in business practices, human resources, leadership skills, and cultural competencies
Knowledge of software required to operate a successful hotel operation including hotel booking and customer relations software and event booking software. Fluent in creating spreadsheets, documents, and using data-based and transaction oriented systems.
Capable of learning and administering the complex State of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin System, and University of Wisconsin - Extension policies and procedures for all business processes and procedures
Understanding of PCI compliance and best practices for handling secure credit card payment data
Ability to develop and maintain a strong network of UW colleagues, city partners, and association memberships for the purpose of building name recognition and loyalty to the Lowell Center.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Strong oral and written communication skills
Understanding of the hospitality industry
Ability to work evenings and weekends as part of a non-traditional business hours
Culturally competent and has the skills to work with diverse groups of individuals
Excellent public relations, customer service and hospitality skills
Excellent organizational and multi-tasking skills with the ability to manage many varying events, details, and customers at one time prioritizing as needed.
Knowledge of computerized reservations systems and/or a strong aptitude and desire for learning and working with complex software quickly and accurately.
Knowledge of catering and other food and beverage services as they relate to a hotel and event operation.
Knowledge of desktop computers utilizing standard business hardware and software, e.g. database, spreadsheets, word processing, electronic mail, and the internet.
Ability to work under pressure and handle multiple tasks simultaneously while receiving continual interruptions.
Quality negotiation skills to assist customers and service department providers.
Quality listening skills to gather every detail when speaking with clients to understand each client’s needs
Ability to work efficiently with solid decision-making capabilities. The work must be performed within time constraints, meeting delivery schedules and internal deadlines, and often independently.
Ability to maintain excellent communication and internal/external relationships. The work environment requires that the incumbent communicate courteously, following customer service standards, to vendors, customers, and coworkers, often under stressful circumstances.
Knowledge of effective sales practices and systems.
Knowledge of marketing tools, practices and methods.
The University of Wisconsin Extension Conference Centers (ECC), serving more than 102,641 people year round, are two full-service conference centers specializing in comprehensive event management which includes lodging, meals/catering, meeting rooms, recreation and academic facilities. One of two ECC facilities and sitting on the shores of beautiful Lake Mendota, the Pyle Center is located in th...e heart of the downtown UW campus. With more than 135,000 square feet of meeting space, the Pyle Center is comprised of 28 meeting rooms and five banquet/event spaces. The Lowell Center, located one block from the Pyle Center, with 16,624 square feet of meeting and event space, 137 guest rooms, a full breakfast buffet, and an indoor pool offered exceptional hospitality to 35,568 overnight conferees in 27,320 guest rooms in fiscal ’16.