When Staying In Arlington VA Many Choices Are Offered Essay

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Westin Arlington Gateway Situational Analysis of Westin Arlington Gateway

The customers that patronize the Westin Arlington Gateway cannot be easily stereotyped or generalized, even though this is an expensive hotel. Typically the guests at the hotel include: a) the business traveler in his mid-fifties; b) the science instructor visiting the National Science Foundation nearby; c) the family visiting Washington D.C. (and the famous sites) with two children; and d) and the recent college graduate applying for an internship at the Smithsonian. For the recent graduate, Arlington is ranked #1 for the Best Places for Recent Grads to Find Jobs, according to the Arlington Economic Development website. Arlington is also ranked #6 among the top 10 healthiest cities, and this appeals to the person or family that care about clean air, public transportation and efficient services.

As for the family with two children (who also have a gentle dog that the family idolizes) who came to the Westin hotel because the hotel's website offered a dog-friendly "oasis of calm," so this family took the hotel up on it. They brought their dog, and even though they forgot to ask the concierge about the "Heavenly Dog Bed" the marketing literature offered, there was a knock on their hotel room door and a housekeeping staffer brought the bed and a pair of bowls for the dogs. Everything else seemed to be perfect except one showerhead leaked, and "the toilet screeched like a banshee when flushed" and they were situated in a room directly across from a loud construction site (Kyrstal, 2010).

Customer Issues / Complaints

Clearly not everyone that stays at the Westin Arlington Gateway is fully satisfied, nor are everyone's needs fulfilled. The "Guest Reviews" reveal problems and negative issues. On March 10, of this year a customer vowed never to come back. The room he was in smelled of stale cigarette smoke. The handle on the shower came off in his hand. The hallways smelled of chlorine, and after notifying the front desk, "nothing was ever done."

Another guest (March 12, 2016) also complained of cigarette smoke, in rooms and on the elevator. After complaints, "The staff didn't seem to care and offered nothing in return for the inconvenience." A guest on March 6, 2016, said the "service was mediocre," the check in process was "slow" (a long line of guests waiting to check in were not assisted), and the water in the shower "was tepid rather than hot." On January 28, 2016, a guest claimed he was overcharged for his room (he found out when he got his credit card statement). On January 13 a guest complained that the ice machine was not working, the room was noisy, and dirty clothes from another guest were found under the bed. Also, no utensils were delivered with the room service food.

On January 12, there was no soap in the room and the restaurant and bar was "badly understaffed," a guest wrote. A lot of noise kept guests awake when pipes were knocking. On August 3 another problem with the restaurant was raised; a party of 12 waited over an hour for their food and one meal that was supposed to be with shrimp had no shrimp. On June 18, 2015, a guest mentioned noisy pipes again. And the air conditioning did not cool off the room. (Guest Reviews).

Company: There are approximately 200 Westin Hotels and Resorts, and the company overall has a good reputation. The "Well-Being Movement" is a very positive marketing tool but judging from some of the complaints from customers Westin has some work to do to improve services.

As to company ownership, a Chinese consortium is "challenging Marriott International's $12 billion takeover of Starwood Hotels, operator of upscale hotel brands including Westin" (Gara, 2016). That consortium is offering $76 a share for Starwood, but Marriott is due a $400 million breakup fee if Starwood accepts the Chinese offer (Gara, p. 6).

Competition: A number of hotels are located in the Ballston region of Arlington. The traveler has a wide choice in terms of price and location. The Econo Lodge Metro (for the budget traveler) is a few blocks from the Westin (from $135 a night; free parking; no pets). The Hilton Hotel Arlington & Towers starts at $218 a night, is about 6 blocks from the Westin, has 209 rooms, and is next to the Ballston Metro Station (no pets allowed). The Comfort Inn (from $225 a night) has 126 rooms (no pets; free parking) and is right on the busy Memorial Parkway leading into Washington, D.C. (10 blocks from the Westin). The Holiday Inn at Ballston (from $299; no pets; parking $14 per night) offers 221 rooms and is the closest competitor to the Westin. And the Westin Arlington Gateway has 336 rooms (pet friendly; $26 per night for parking) and starts at $324 per night (HotelGuides.com).

Collaborators: The Westin Arlington Gateway collaborates with vendors like the...

...

The Westin buys seafood from Metro Seafood, and the electronics used in the hotel (digital technologies in rooms, including WiFi and television) are provided by the corporate owner, Starwood.
Context (Climate): The Westin Arlington Gateway is in a physical position close to Washington, D.C., so it will always be a place for visitors and businessmen to visit.

Context / Politics: Moreover, since Washington D.C. is the political capitol of the United States, Arlington's hotels and business centers are often linked to political events in the nearby U.S. capitol. Washington D.C. is a hotbed of struggles between conservatives and progressives and the polarization of the American society is manifest throughout the region.

Context / Social: Part of visiting Washington D.C. -- whether for business or vacation -- involves taking part in social events, like dining, sight-seeing, attending conventions and participating in cocktail hours and important meetings.

Context / Technology: Arlington is ranked #1 among best cities for Black Entrepreneurs and #1 on the list of best cities for Young Entrepreneurs (Arlington Economic Development). It also ranks high with Highly Educated Millennials, and when you have educated people and entrepreneurs, technology is always part of what drives these groups.

Context / Economics: The Arlington Economic Development group reports that "gross wages" for workers in Arlington is $1,545 per week; the unemployment rate is 2.5%; in 2015 there was a 6.4% growth in new listings; in 2015 the occupancy rate in Arlington hotels was 75.9%; and in 2015 there was a 1.1% increase in retail sales.

SWOT / TOWS Matrix

Strengths

Westin is a big hotel with a good name and is located near the nation's capitol.

It offers many services and has access to museums, many restaurants and entertainment

It is very close to public transportation (Metro)

Weaknesses

Guests complain of poor service when there are problems.

Check-in is often sluggish.

The restaurant does not always satisfy customers

Finding local / interesting tourist-related venues is not always easy

Opportunities

The Westin is located in a great spot and has a reputation for opening doors to nonprofit community groups. It could enhance its image.

It could provide a daily board of activities currently available in Washington, D.C. -- and which Metro train to take to get there

SO Strategies

The "Westin Well-Being" campaign is smart, if the hotel can truly live up to the hype;

The Westin name needs to be more fully utilized in marketing campaigns

WO Strategies

Instead of just expecting visitors to the nation's capitol to be guests, Westin could reach out to middle class families by offering special rates for weekday stays for families

Threats

Another terrorist attack could hurt the Westin; another recession could also hurt the Westin.

ST Strategies

Becoming more involved in the local nonprofit community could produce an image of corporate social caring

WT Strategies

A new marketing campaign could be launched featuring half-price admission to Washington D.C.'s most popular venues (the Smithsonian, for example).

Porter's Five Forces

Threat of Substitutes: The nearby hotels mentioned under "competition" could undercut Westin by lowering their room prices and offering more services for families and business guests. Moreover, because there is a Metro Station nearby, a group of homeless people are drawn to the station. But some homeless people come inside the Westin lobby to get warm, and some sleep in the lobby and around the hotel presenting an ugly scene. Also the neighboring bars are a problem because drunken behaviors often occur and create a poor image for the Westin.

Threat of New Entrants: If Starwood sells its hotels or merges with a big Chinese corporation, the new company must pay close attention to its competition, because newer and perhaps less expensive hotels (with greater customer service) could come into the Arlington area and steal the spotlight (and customers) from Westin.

Intensity of Competitive Rivalry: The competition is very stiff in Arlington due to the nation's capitol being right next door. Every hospitality company wants to assure that its rooms are sold as many nights as possible, so Westin can be smart, look ahead, and plan to have a better plan than any new rival coming into the market.

Bargaining Power of Customers: It is…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Arlington Economic Development (2016). Economic Indicators / Information on Arlington's Economy. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from http://www.arlingtoneconomicdevelopment.com.

Charterback.com. (2015). The Lost and Found Solutions Company. Retrieved March 19,

2016, from http://www.chargerback.com.

Gara, A. (2016). Merger Mania. Forbes. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com.
Goff, K.G. (2009). Brides get a bargain, help the sick, too. The Washington Times. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from http://www.washingtontimes.com.
Hotel Guides. (2015). Ballston Hotels -- Arlington, Virginia. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from http://hotelguides.com.
Kennedy, D. (2007). Your hotel's lost and found process is an essential viral marketing tool. Hoteliers.com. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from http://www.4hoteliers.com.
Krystal, B. (2010). Bed check: Westin Arlington Gateway offers a getaway in Arlington's bustling Ballston Area. The Washington Post. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from http://www.washingtonpost.com.
Post. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from http://www.washingtonpost.com.
PRWeb. (2016). The Westin Arlington Gateway Turns Ten! Retrieved March 19, 2016, from http://www.prweb.com.
from http://setupmyhotel.com.
Retrieved March 19, 2016, from http://www.westinarlingtongateway.com.
The Westin Arlington Gateway (2016). Guest Reviews. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from http://www.westinarlingtongateway.com.
from http://www.tripadvisor.com.


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