Do You Get it…Hospitality?

The following article first appeared on Linkedin on April 8th, 2015. We wanted to share the following post, because we felt that client Sherry Beck got “it.” She captures the reason so many of us chose to work in the hospitality industry. Whether it is because you were born into it, fell into it, or simply enjoy the business like Beck does, we can all agree it is a great space to be in, and Beck’s anecdotes prove that nonetheless. Enjoy the following post, and share why you are in the industry below in the comments!

One year ago, I made the move from full service, franchised GM to limited service, non franchised owner. The idea of becoming a property owner in an industry that I love and have thrived in for 20+ years was intriguing. Being my own boss and creating my own reality were certainly something I had thought about over the past few years. So when all the signs pointed to making the move and the stars aligned, my husband and I took the leap. We sold our home, quit our jobs and liquidated as many of our assets as possible, so we could live out our American Dream, purchasing the Bavarian Inn in Custer, SD.

As we were waiting to close on the property, panic set in. I knew this job was bigger than me, and to make it happen we would need to team up with the best people and make sure that we created an environment that they could grow and thrive. Having the weight of so many families livelihood on my shoulders was a stress I had never felt before. A year later, even with a banner 1st year and a very promising season ahead, it still feels heavy. I suspect it always will.

Our 1st season, we increased room revenue by 48%. I’m so proud of the many improvements, systems and updates that we implemented but I am most humbled by the lives we’ve impacted and better yet, the impact on my own life. I’ve been in the hospitality business for 2 decades and I finally got it. I know I’ve taught it and led by it but I’ve never got it. Not in the sense of Feeling it anyway. WHAT IS IT?

IT is seeing a dad checking in with his kids every weekend. Utilizing our property as a home during his visits. Playing tennis, shooting hoops, swimming in the pool, & eating more than their fair share of warm cookies at Cookie Time. The visit ends with a hug and, “I’ll see you next weekend, Milo” (my dog)

IT is the older couple on the patio talking about fulfilling a bucket list to see Mt. Rushmore, strolling down memory lane and giving sound advice to a young couple(Marcel & I) starting their new careers.

IT is a woman on vacation with her best friend, her German shepherd, named Molly. Walking on the fitness trail, planning out daily hikes and adventures that the two of them can do together. Granting her request for the small room in the back with the private balcony was all it took to make sure that both she and Molly had an exceptional stay.

IT is granting a dying man’s last wish to come to the Black Hills during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Feeling so honored to have had the opportunity to hear about his journey on this earth.

IT is a kind 60 year old woman volunteering her weekends to help with laundry and filling her daughter’s fridge before she leaves. (Thanks MOM)

IT is providing a challenge and ongoing positive encouragement for those that have joined the team. Making personal sacrifices to be able to provide for them, much like being a mom.

IT is feeding the turkeys in the freezing winter, welcoming the stray kitty into our home, and allowing the squirrels to plant tulips wherever they like.

It’s really pretty simple. The hospitality business is about feeling the connection with every interaction. It’s humbling that as I sit in the beautiful, fresh, inspiring Black Hills of South Dakota, the world comes to me.

If you are ever find yourself in the Black Hills area, make sure to check out Beck’s property, The Bavarian Inn.