NORWALK, Conn., June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- HEI Hotels & Resorts, a socially responsible investor and employer in the hospitality industry, reported today that its success in growing hotel occupancy rates throughout the economic recession led to an almost 18 percent increased earning potential for its employees over the past four years, according to year-end data for 2011. Additionally, since 2007 the company has invested in the construction of three new hotels in Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Hollywood that created 757 local jobs, and purchased two troubled hotels that preserved another 228 jobs.
"We take our responsibilities seriously," said HEI CEO Gary Mendell, "and this includes our commitments to our associates and their earning potential, to our communities and the economic and tax base that we represent, and to our guests and their comfort and safety. We work very hard to make smart decisions that benefit many people."
The company operates 42 hotels as part of investment portfolios benefitting higher-education endowment funds. As it acquires select hotels and resorts, HEI reinvests significantly in the properties through physical renovations, increased marketing and advertising campaigns, associate-engagement programs, and other initiatives. Even in the midst of the devastating economic recession, this reinvestment led to organic growth in room occupancy of 10.2 percent annually on average, which created increased job security and income opportunities for associates, as well as added economic development and tax revenues for local communities.
In turn, the company's success in increasing guest activity provided associates with 7.6 percent more available working hours between 2008 and 2011, which is vitally important for hotel employees who work banquets and other special events. With more hours to work – compounded with pay increases averaging three percent per year – HEI associates on average realized a potential earnings increase of 17.6 percent from 2008 to 2011.
Results from annual employee-satisfaction surveys, which are conducted by an independent research organization, are carefully studied throughout the year to find ways to create even stronger bonds with the company's 5,500 associates nationally. The company recently launched a company-wide wellness program that is free-of-charge for every associate, and so far more than 1,000 employees have joined the initiative with new commitments to their health and wellness.
"Our employee-satisfaction scores are consistently higher than other companies in the industry, and our employee tenure is double the industry average," said Pradeep Bobba, General Manager of HEI's Le Meridien hotel in San Francisco. "These results make me proud in what we're accomplishing together at HEI. We are like family, and I think it shows."
HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut with 42 properties in 16 states, creates socially responsible investment and employment opportunities through real estate portfolios of hotels and resorts throughout the United States under such well-known brand names as Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, Embassy Suites, and Hilton. HEI takes a holistic approach to creating value for its investors and employees by setting the highest standards across all aspects of hotel management and operation and focusing on the central principles of excellence and continuous improvement. HEI prides itself on some of the highest employee satisfaction scores in the hospitality industry, fuels local economic prosperity by investing in communities and is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. For more information about HEI, visit the company's website, www.heihotels.com.
SOURCE HEI Hotels & Resorts