Venerts Hotel Management, Inc.
Business View Magazine interviews representatives from Venerts Hotel Management, Inc., as part of our focus on best practices in the hospitality sector.
Venerts Hotel Management, Inc., based in Watertown, South Dakota, is a hotel management company for limited service hotels, i.e. budget-friendly hotels that offer accommodation without a food and beverage component, such as a restaurant, although they may have other amenities, such as a business center, fitness room, pool, laundry facilities, or more.
The company provides consulting services covering a wide range of subjects including operations, accounting and finance, marketing, and employee training. Specific services include:
- Evaluation of Owner’s Goals and Objectives
- Operational and Marketing Analysis
- Repositioning and Rebranding
- Pro-forma Development
- Revenue Strategy Implementation
- Pre-Opening Procurement and Marketing
- Debt Sourcing
- Property Receivership
- Cost Controls and Financial Budgeting
- Capital Planning
- Human Resource Development
- Construction and Renovation Management including Design Assistance
- Technology Review, Trends and Implementation
- Investment Return Analysis
- Franchise Affiliation including Evaluations and Agreements
- Review and Assist in Preparation of Project Budgets of all kinds
Today, the company manages ten properties, nine of which are owned by LLCs or franchise groups, and one, which is an independent, non-branded hotel. They include:
- My Place Hotel – Hastings, NE
- Country Inn and Suites – Green Bay, WI
- My Place Hotel – Twin Falls, ID
- My Place Hotel – Brookings, SD
- Canby Inn and Suites – Canby, MN
- Evangeline Downs Hotel – Opelousas, LA
- Country Inn & Suites – Northwood, IA
- Quality Inn & Suites – Watertown, SD
- My Place Hotel – Avondale, AZ
- My Place Hotel, Watertown, SD
Venerts Hotel Management is a woman-owned company. Its three principles bought the company from its two original founders 14 years ago. Connie Ward is its Director of Operations and President, responsible for the daily operations of all properties managed by the firm. She joined Venerts in 1993, bringing with her experience in hotel management at various levels. She holds an A.A.S. Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management and is a Certified Hotel Administrator. Ward works with general managers to ensure optimal profitability for ownership and dependable, high-quality service levels that exceed guest expectations and demands. Ward is responsible for recruiting, hiring, supervising, and training of general managers and the purchasing of operating supplies, furniture, fixtures, and equipment. She also develops and manages operating budgets, compensation and benefits, and management.
Susan Dolney is the Director of Marketing & Training and Secretary. She holds a B.S. degree in Travel Industry Management and CLM certification, and has 10 years of experience as a hotel General Manager. Dolney is responsible for leading the hotel’s Sales & Marketing initiatives by providing marketing assistance and property support in an effort to help the properties increase room night production. She develops and helps implement marketing plans, advertising and promotional campaigns, social media, and targeted local and internet sales efforts. Dolney also works closely with general managers to create a total team effort approach to operations, and sales and marketing at each property. She ensures maximum utilization of franchise marketing services to secure a property’s position within a market, and tracks results from sales and marketing efforts.
Jodi Penrod is Director of Financial Operations and Treasurer. Penrod, who holds a Master of Business Administration and a B.A. degree in both Business Administration and Accounting, heads up the financial and accounting functions for Venerts and its managed hotel properties. She also prepares monthly financial statements and files the various tax forms required by state and federal law. In addition to the financial operations, Penrod also handles employee benefits, insurance, and IRAs. In this capacity, Penrod serves as the key financial link between Venerts Hotel Management Inc., property owners, and managers.
The mission of Venerts Hotel Management Inc. is to manage hotel properties at a quality level of product and service that will result in sustained growth in sales and profits. In a competitive arena, Ward says that the company’s niche is that it’s very hands-on. “We’re at the properties and we’re always willing to help,” she states. “Our slogan is ‘Teamwork from the Team that Works.’” “We added the slogan about three years ago, and I think it’s very appropriate,” Dolney adds. “We’re hands-on from the ground up. If it’s a brand new hotel build, we’re helping out, moving furniture in, directing people where they need to go, or even filling in if we happen to be in town.”
When it comes to signing up new properties, Penrod notes, “Most of our new customers have come either via referrals from other owners that we have done management work for in the past, or by word-of-mouth from ownership groups, or franchise people referring us or recommending us; it’s mostly based on relationships.”
Dolney says that, going forward, Venerts’ goals are to grow the company and have more properties in its portfolio. “We’re at a point, right now, with ten, that our company needs to hire more employees to take on more hotels,” she states. “Also, growing our number of properties and making sure that the current properties we have, we keep and they’re successful”. “I would echo that,” says Ward. “I think our main goal is going to be to run a successful investment for the owners.”
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Venerts Hotel Management, Inc.
WHAT: A hotel management company
WHERE: Watertown, SD