- Too much guesswork about rates seasonally
- Too much time spent on manual revenue management tasks
- Inability to fully capitalize on historical revenue trends, market dynamics and data insights
- Over 30% increase in revenue
- 40 point ADR lift in most months
- More time to focus on providing high-quality guest service and maintaining a pristine property
Nestled between large oaks and resting on a crystal lake in North Texas sits the Inn on Lake Granbury. The elegant, three-acre property was opened in 2005 by husband and wife Jim Leitch and Cathy Casey who left their day jobs behind to begin a new adventure in hospitality.
The couple had never owned a business before—nor did they possess any hotel industry experience—but had always dreamed of providing a luxurious escape where people could unwind and create lasting memories. Relying on their own fortitude, and forging some key strategic partnerships along the way, the dedicated duo spent two years getting the property ready before its original opening.
“When we started our business, we were counseled really well. We took the advice given, and we ran with it,” said Jim Leitch. “We deliberately designed the property to be the most upscale small lodging in Granbury. It’s a boutique style inn—a Hill Country-inspired bed and breakfast meets a modern hotel—and it’s just a few blocks away from all that historic downtown Granbury has to offer.”
Since opening, the determined couple has expanded an initial eight rooms into 15 luxury dwellings. The property also features a glorious saltwater pool and waterfall, a full-service conference facility, and wide-open sitting areas by the lake, making it a wonderful destination for romance, relaxation, weddings, and group business retreats.
Keeping the Dream Alive
The inn, which hosts a small staff of about ten employees, requires significant attention from its owners. With so much to do to run their small business, the duo couldn’t continue dedicating so much time to manually determining the most optimal rate changes and monitoring competitive pricing trends.
“As owners and operators, we’re very involved on the property every day, and we like to get to know our guests personally,” said Leitch. “Behind the scenes, our whole revenue management strategy was really just us setting rates manually and giving it our best shot. We had no way of understanding trends, what our competitors were doing, or what we had done historically. We didn’t have the time to sit and noodle over those things on a daily basis.”
In an effort to streamline their revenue management process, and optimize profits and productivity, the couple began their search for an automated revenue management system (RMS) in early 2020. They knew this solution would become a pivotal part of their tech stack. They investigated a multitude of different solutions, hoping to find one that fit the tailored needs of their small property.
“We looked at RMS solutions for over a year. Even though we’re a small property, I thought IDeaS clearly had the top system across the board,” said Leitch. “We wanted to pick the best, the one with the greatest depth of experience and the longest track record of success with properties of all types and sizes.”
With IDeaS G3 RMS, Jim and Cathy were able to trust the system to provide real-time changes based on the dynamic hospitality market. Instead of constant monitoring of the system and overriding of decisions, the couple found success letting the system do its thing.
“Once we had G3 RMS set up and configured, we knew we could just let it run and feel confident it would deliver the right rate decisions and results we needed,” said Leitch.
The Secrets of Their Success
Jim and Cathy are self-made successful business owners who’ve put their own blood, sweat, tears, and cash into making the Inn on Lake Granbury a perfect getaway. But a huge element of their success has always been their ability to find and foster the right relationships with others to enhance their business strategies and capabilities.
Implementing IDeaS turned out to be absolutely the best decision for us. Our revenue numbers have shown over 30 percent growth since implementation, and our average daily rate has jumped 40 points from where it was before.
IDeaS also allowed Jim and Cathy to understand trends in their occupancy and revenue and use that information to gain headway against their competition. They now were able to make direct comparisons from previous months and understand their flow of reservations based on G3 RMS’s tailored data reports.
“IDeaS has provided great support from configuration onward,” said Leitch. “The team at IDeaS knows what they’re doing and what they’re talking about. IDeaS certainly lives up to its leading reputation.”
When asked to provide advice for others venturing into small business and hotel ownership, Cathy Casey said, “You need to stay true to what you are and not try to be everything to everybody or focus on too narrow of a niche. Have a clear plan for what you want your business to be. Carve out a space to differentiate yourself and market this differentiation in multiple ways.”
“Another key is to choose good partners you can trust,” Leitch added. “Find people and companies who are going to help you achieve what you want to achieve with your business and avoid the pitfalls. Rely on knowledgeable minds who have done this before—and don’t give up.”