Gallows Point Resort is in new hands with Akhil Deshwal — the former resident manager for four years — who took over as general manager at the 60-unit Cruz Bay condominium and hotel complex on May 1.
Deshwal, who earned his MBA in hospitality from Johnson and Wales, will be focusing on improving the resort’s marketing.
“I am going to put more emphasis on marketing,” said Deshwal. “That is the biggest thing we want right now. Marketing is what I, as well as the Board of Directors, see as our most important focus.”
The general manager jumped into his new position head first, explained Deshwal.
“The first week I started we had an owners’ meeting, a marketing meeting and Board of Directors meeting,” he said. “So I started the job with these meetings on my head, but they went really well. A really good thing was the marketing meeting with the Board.”
While the resort has enjoyed popularity throughout the years, management has not efficiently reached its target audience, Deshwal explained.
“We used to announce special rates and discounts across the board which made for a lot of confusion especially from guests who had already booked their stays,” he said. “Now we will be focusing more on our target market and repeat guests. It’s more efficient to reach these people than send out across-the-board messages.”
Deshwal will also help usher the resort into the 21st century.
Focusing on Internet Marketing
“We’re planning some new changes especially with new technology and internet marketing,” said Gallows’ new general manager. “We are doing a lot of print and other advertising, but I will switch that to concentrate on internet marketing.”
Gallows will also set up an account with online travel Web sites, Deshwal added.
“We’re going to set up accounts with Orbitz and Travelocity, which we haven’t done yet,” he said. “It’s time for us to tap into the internet market and really get ourselves out there.”
The main goal of the new marketing campaign is to increase occupancy rates, according to Deshwal.
“We must improve our occupancy rates,” he said. “Last year we had a yearly average of 65 percent. That includes September and the fall months which are always slow.”
Improving Occupancy Rates
“I want to get that up to at least 75 percent for the yearly average next year,” added Deshwal.
Summer numbers are also down from last year, with low bookings in May, Deshwal explained.
“This month is slow, but we have a few weddings in June and then Carnival and a few more wedding parties in July,” he said. “Our numbers compared to last year aren’t good, but we’re going to turn that around.”
Hiring a resident manager — which might give the general manager a day off — is another one of Deshwal’s priorities.
Resident Manager Needed
“My first thing is hiring a resident manager,” Deshwal said. “I plan to recruit at Johnson and Wales and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which both have great hospitality schools. I am looking to get someone with experience, but who also has a fresh marketing mind.”
The units themselves at Gallows are also looking different these days, Deshwal added.
“This summer we’re remodeling kitchens in eight units and we’ve already done two,” he said. “We’re putting brand new kitchens into the units and they look great.”
New Pool Furniture and More
Other improvements around the grounds at Gallows include new pool furniture, a new generator and the installation of a hot tub by the pool.
The resort is also a good corporate citizen and routinely makes donations to local charities as well as offers stays for numerous fund raiser raffle drawing, added Deshwal.
Check out special summer rates, which should be announced soon. For more information call the resort at 776-6434, or toll-free at 800-323-7229.