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As Occupancy Rates Rise, Hospitality Employees Face Increased Stress with Help of Chaplains



According to national industry statistics, hotel occupancy rates are up 4.4 percent nationwide, and hotel owners and property management companies are looking to chaplains to take care of their employees in a unique way with the addition of Marketplace Chaplains.


Several Southeastern hotel companies including McKibbon Hotel Management, Inc., The Generation Companies, The Biltmore Company and South Asheville Hotel Associates, LLC, have been using chaplains to take care of their employees, and sometimes guests, in an industry that runs 24/7.


“We never want to lose focus on the most important thing – employee’s lives, hopes and dreams,” said John McKibbon, III, Chairman of the Board for McKibbon Hotel Management, Inc., a Florida-based company that owns and manages dozens of hotel properties for Marriott, Hilton and Starwood in the Southeast, with more than 1,000 employees.


“We wouldn’t provide chaplain care if we did not know this was an important benefit used by our employees and families,” he said.  “We have seen our turnover rate go down because our chaplains are showing that we care and value our people.”


According to Hotel News Resource,  in year-over-year comparisons, occupancy was up 4.4 percent to 66.4 percent in early 2013, the average daily rate rose 5.4 percent to US $112.42 and revenue per available room increased 10.1 percent to US $74.61.


The ever-growing, non-stop nature of the hospitality industry is what led The Biltmore Company, one of America’s most unique and successfully run family-owned businesses, to use the unique strategic initiative of Marketplace Chaplains.


“I believe employees are this company’s greatest assets and providing them with sound leadership, support and long-term strategy for growth is my goal,” said Bill Cecil, President and CEO of The Biltmore Company, with more than 1,800 employees.


“Much of the success and growth of our business is due to the emphasis on hiring the right people, and giving them the tools needed to do their job well,” continued Cecil.

The Generation Companies, based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, was concerned about its growing employee base which is required to work at various times of the day and night to take care of their customers and clients.


“In the last several years, we’ve had a lot of changes in our associates (employees) population,” said Generation’s Vice President of Operations Ron Jacobsen. “You can get worn out in this industry doing the same thing every day, but when an individual (chaplain) takes an interest in you, that’s a great benefit.”


Mark Daley, III, Generation’s President and CEO, said it was important to have a central purpose to take care of people in a very turbulent and ever-changing industry. “We needed a defining purpose as a company to say what we were about,” Daley said. “After learning about Marketplace, that is exactly what we wanted to do.”


Marketplace Chaplains currently serves nearly 3,000 client locations in 44 states and 963 cities, with 2,762 chaplains serving and caring for employees and their family members in 23 different industry types nationally.


“As business people are travelling more frequently and families are preparing for their summer vacations, it’s encouraging to see these large hotel companies taking care of both their employees and their guests.  We are privileged to be able to help them care for their greatest assets - employees,” said Marketplace Chaplains’ President and COO Dick De Witt.


For more information on this fast-growing international and domestic corporate strategic initiative featured on NBC Nightly News, CNN, Washington Post, the New York Times and Bloomberg BusinessWeek, visit


To arrange an interview with a client company or local chaplain, contact Art Stricklin at or 1-800-775-7657.

More From 7/17/2013 on FacilitiesNet