104 – TMG Hospitality Trailblazers: Thomas Magnuson

by | November 16, 2022

*DISCLAIMER* Thank you for listening to the Suite Spot. During episode 104, you will hear slight audio distortion due to a disrupted signal connection at the time of recording. We apologize in advance and hope you enjoy the episode.

Host and Marketing Director Ryan Embree and Tom Magnuson of Magnuson Hotels take time to reflect on and analyze the past of the hospitality industry while providing hopeful foresight for the future. They discuss many relevant topics for hoteliers, which means there is no shortage of content and information from this episode.

Episode Transcript

Our podcast is produced as an audio resource. Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and human editing and may contain errors. Before republishing quotes, we ask that you reference the audio.

Ryan Embree:
Welcome to Suite Spot, where hoteliers check in and we check out what’s trending in hotel marketing. I’m your host, Ryan Embree. Okay. Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of The Suite Spot. This is your host, Ryan Embree, and we are today continuing our TMG Hospitality Trailblazers series. Very excited about the special guests that we have on today. For those that might be just listening for the first time. This is our second series 2021. We really highlighted hospitality heroes, those individual workers that were going above and beyond during the pandemic and sharing their stories on this podcast. In 2022, we’re looking towards the future and we’re talking with some of the best and brightest in our industry, the people that are paving the way forward and really trailblazing our industry as a whole. And with me today, I think I have a great guest that can speak to that because, he’s got a global foot mark on his brand, Mr. Tom Magnuson, the co-founder and CEO of Magnuson Hotels Worldwide. Tom, welcome to the Suite Spot.

Thomas Magnuson:
Thank you, Ryan. It’s great to be here and to, visit with all of our friends out there who are in the hotel industry.

Ryan Embree:
Yeah. And one of the questions that I love to ask, because we have such different answers, is everyone’s journey through the hospitality industry. Now, it’s not every day that I get to interview someone who founded a brand like Magnuson Hotels. So walk me through that journey, you know, where you started in the hotel industry and ultimately how you founded Magnuson Hotels Worldwide.

Thomas Magnuson:
Well, I’m gonna compress about 55 years into about, into about 30 seconds, Ryan. I have a very interesting background. I started working for my father and my grandfather in a small motel, in a little mining town, Wallace, Idaho, up on the Montana border when I was eight years old, I think I just said. So I got a really unique insight, hands on into running and living and breathing, small business ownership of an independent hotel. I spent many years, you know, in the family company, like many people do, you know, working every single job there is. You, do what has to be done, did every job in the house, you know, waited tables, cleaned rooms, front desk, grinded keys in the basement when you had actually actual keys in the old days. But quickly through that path, as the years went on, when I was in actually, in my forties, I came back to help my father retire and he had a handful of hotels still and asked me to kind of package these up for the next phase. And part of that was becoming a Best Western franchisee, a great global company, but it really articulated the struggle of a small, unique hotel to be heard in today’s world. And what we found being a franchisee, a unique minded hotel, and a unique market being a franchisee is the struggle of maintaining your identity versus the weight of sameness. That’s been perpetuated for, you know, 50 years since, you know, the big brand started coming out with Hilton in the 1950s. And it’s also the difficulty of being heard and being seen and accessing the proper market segments when the traditional marketing environment of the late 20th century and early 21st century was franchise standardization driven. Through that, my wife Melissa and I partnered and we thought, there’s gotta be a better way, Ryan. There’s gotta be a better way for hotels. And we ended up starting Magnuson Hotels in 2003. We were the first company to bring complete global GDS, OTA, global distribution, central reservation services on a wide scale, two small independence. That struggle was the impetus for us starting up that company. And at that time we just made a promise. We had 12 clients that we started with and were friends and family. Wow. And we just made a promise to them that we would always be there for you and we will do what we say we are going to do and just try to increase their revenue with, you know, fairness and kindness. And so because we were small, because we were not publicly funded, we really stuck to fundamentals. And I’m gonna talk a lot about that today as far as vision and what works, where are we going in this world. But when we started this, we took our playbook of surviving with fundamentals through ups and downs and recessions and how do you scale that, those those principles of, of operations, revenue management and marketing and, and amplify that so that you can take uniqueness of a hotel, amplify it, but still achieve scalability at the same time. So that’s a little bit about how we started, probably takes us quickly to where we are.

Ryan Embree:
Yeah. You know, I’m sure those fundamentals that you were talking about really served you in these past couple years, right. With the pandemic, especially having, you’re our first guest with a global portfolio and brand Tom. What were the lessons kind of learned during this time? Cause this was a unique time, you know, you mentioned recessions before, but this was, this was different. This was different from, from anything we had experienced, right? So what were some lessons that you learned, whether internationally, globally, if you wanna talk from that, that perspective, and then how will it really, these lessons shape your vision for the future of Magnuson Hotels?

Thomas Magnuson:
A fabulous question. A very wide ranging question that eventually boils down to a few things for our company, our franchisees and our affiliates. We took the matter as if we were going through the biggest storm in history and we knew, we knew where we were leaving from and we knew where the coast was that we were going to get to. And when you do that, you know, in my years, you don’t hate to keep quoting them, but you learn a lot when you’ve been through a few decades of cycles of what works and what doesn’t is what works are the fundamentals of really watching your costs, keeping things focused. I’ll get to that in a minute, but you also asked what lessons the industry learned. And I’m kind of sorry to say I don’t think the industry’s learned lessons. We’ve been through 20 years of battering. Prior to 2001, things were pretty stable. You had a little recession here, you had a little blip here. There was always cycles and there was seasons and there was day of the week pricing and you always had some kind of thing you could kind of fall back on. Budgets were pretty stable. It rose with inflation. They were very, very steady. Well, when nine 11 happened, everybody knows that from history took seven years to recover. What happened in seven years, ’08, boom punch with the left hook. Now we come out of, out of that and you come up in and we have 2020. What I worry a lot about are young hotelers, what if you’re 30 years old and the 20 years since you’ve been 10 years old, all you’ve seen are chaos, destabilization, crisis. The headlines are always, the sky’s gonna fall. When you talk about lessons learned, what we’ve seen happen is that during times of stress, especially nonstop for 20 years, the promise of better days becomes a very alluring message. And what’s happened with a lot of us, everyone in the world, we’ve all outsourced our, our lives, our finances, our personal details to mobile phones, apps, technologies. We give it up during Covid. I think we all know that. We all gave our identities up freely. If you ever traveled through Europe, you gave them up daily to different countries, the different provinces that you went through. So you outsource everything. But what we saw also about what can be learned from the last couple years and also I loop in the last 20 years is looking for better days. How do we get out of this mess? Oh my god, it’s another crisis hotel owners have, they’ve just surrendered complete control and decision making. It’s all complete history now. And it’s complete lore that a hotel owners surrendered a lot of control after 9/11 to OTAs. But at the same time there was significant rampant expansion of global franchisors, Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Wyndham, Choice, Best Western, all promising a way out of this thing. And now you have OTAs, global franchisors, rate automations all are saying, Don’t worry, we’ll get you out of this thing. And what’s a core that I want to talk about today is that, and you can see this from the perspective of decades, is we’ve moved as an industry in what we haven’t learned. The industry used to be proactive in prior to 9/11, if you were in the hotel business, you started your marketing close to home, you built your local market bases, you did contract marketing with schools, governments, construction companies, local industries. You built a bank of business that would cover about half your occupancy. But that was very proactive and you didn’t wait to see what came in, what’s coming in, you know, on my extranet today or through my central reservation service or whatever. So we’ve all moved from proactive to reactive. And what I worry is that as a result of this, everyone’s kind of gotten cooked and we’ve all engineered a coping mechanism for a captive situation. I won’t spend too much more time on this cause I wanna talk about where we wanna go out of this. But you know, some very significant signals are showing under this stress, the US there are several class action lawsuits under a movement called fair franchising. Thousands of hotel owners are filing suits against some of the largest chains. Even legislation at the state level alleging, you know, one sided business practices such as if I’m a franchisee, I have to buy my TVs from the brand standard franchise vendor when I could buy them at Costco down the street for 25% less. So we’re seeing real struggle there of against the entities who said they would try to take care of people over the last 20 years. One of the things we’re paying a lot of attention to in the UK and the US there are multiple government legislations trying to control the emergence of Airbnb. Airbnb room supply is not officially recognized in the UK and the census and it’s not officially recognized in terms of, you know, STR rooms or AHLA rooms.

Ryan Embree:
But they certainly have an impact, you know, on that.

Thomas Magnuson:
Impact is absolutely in the USA we calculate that Airbnb supply equals about 25% of the US supply. And in 2026 we’re projecting that it’s going to surpass over 800,000 rooms in the UK, which means they’re going to surpass the traditional rooms. I’m telling you all of this to ask, what is our vision going forward? And that’s that despite the struggles of people saying, how do I get heard? How do I access business? How do I do this without losing my identity? How do I do this without giving up all of my revenue structure? We’re very optimistic that what has worked with us for decades, what’s worked with Magnuson for the last 20 years of going back to basics, local marketing, starting marketing close to home, that when times are challenging you can really go back to the fundamentals. And so control the things you can control and the things you can’t, don’t focus on. Only focus on the things you can control.

Ryan Embree:
I love that and it certainly a story that we’re sharing with our hotel partners. I mean one, one of the things that you mentioned pre 9/11 if you think about it as far as marketing that we didn’t have was the access to things like social media channels, right? How powerful can a hotel tell its story on its own social media channels, review responses, You know, if you’re, if you’re leveraging those things in the right way, certainly can help you create that identity that you’re talking about. Cause there is that balance, right? We speak to it every single day, how much is that brand telling my story and how much am I able to impact that story? And I think that is a big thing that came out of the pandemic because a lot of hotels got in a situation where they needed a quick way to access or message their prospects and customers. They stood back and they go, I don’t know how to do this or I don’t have access to this. How can I reach a big audience at a very quick way? And I think that goes right into tech adoption for the hotel industry. Cause I think you’re right. One of the things that our industry has really had a weird relationship is with technology. It takes a little while for us to adapt to technology and implement it. To say the least, right? But I think also we’re learning that our guests are open to it in every part of the travel experience, right? More use of mobile tickets for your airlines. This stuff is becoming more and more kind of into our everyday travel journey. So I’m wondering what’s a mindset from Magnuson Hotels on implementing more technology into the guest experience? And do you see the evolution of technology in our industry evolving over the next couple years?

Thomas Magnuson:
From Magnuson’s perspective, the first priority is survival for hotels coming out of 2020. It just seems like every hotelier just gets hammered with bigger and badder stresses than they’ve ever had. The labor shortage inflation, the technology focus that we, we go first is prior to the guest experience. It’s number one distribution, especially when you look at US or UK occupancy and REVpar rates get as many lines out as possible. Secondly, make sure that the distribution is tailored of build the base. We’ll probably talk about this in a few minutes, but we redefine business travel as essential business and we saw essential business emerge during 2020 as key worker sectors. So we make sure that wide distribution, distribution targeted towards the proper sustainable recession proof business segments. And then of course OTAs at the end, but not as, not as, as the core technologies that we focus heavily on. Especially now automations, we’ve all found that we’ve all moved toward dynamic pricing 24/7 and a few cents here, 5 cents, 10 cents, 24 hours a day, times 365 days a year could be a couple hundred grand for a hotel. Oh yeah. And so we focus on that. Know from a guest perspective, we, we’ve all become acclimated to some of the, precepts that you outlined a couple of minutes ago and we’re working with hotels every single day. Service is really been kind of redefined by Amazon really. Maybe I don’t want talk to about you people, I’m tired, I just wanna push the button and get my key. Also, you know, the world is working with that through the labor shortage. So definitely those kinds of things like mobile checkin, auto automated checkin really is the world that you work so much in, in terms of developing local content. Because when I talk about survival for a hotel, I’m gonna make sure that their products get on the shelf and all the right shelfs and at arms length from anybody, any time. But the content that Travel Media talks about or that we talk about is, okay, what’s so special about what’s on that shelf that’s available right now at the right price? How does it stand out? It has to stand out with its local story. And we talked about with that really focus thing on being authentic. The more authentic one could become about what their product, their service, the location is, the better story it can tell, it’s the one that really puts over the top with the content and then the proper reviews and beat some of the largest competitors anytime.

Ryan Embree:
Absolutely. I love this, this concept that we’ve kind of found ourselves in of, I think people in the past did want that sameness, that consistency. If you see where our world is headed, we’re going for more unique experiences. They want to be able to say, I experience this and share that experience, you know, with their friends and family. So the hotels that are able to tell that story the best and share their uniqueness, authenticity, I love that term because we’re able to see through things now. We’re able to see when a business or a hotel is authentic. And trust me, there’s guests out there. Hotelers can tell you, they’re not afraid to call you out when they don’t think you’re being authentic. So I love that concept. Tom, I think you hit the nail on the head with it. I wanna go back to some of the challenges that we’ve been talking about though, right? You brought it up. Inflation, historic staffing shortages in our industry that we haven’t seen and higher rates in some markets that that guests are actually paying. So we’re also at this balance where we’re actually charging a little bit more than we have in the past. But I think what that now creates is a very slim margin for error for hotels. Again, working in reputation, doing review responses for hotels. Guests are not afraid to tell you when they do not think that your hotel is worth it or it’s too expensive. I’m curious how you can show extra value to guests so they’re not writing that narrative online and controlling that narrative. Because right now guests, the fact is guests are paying more and we do have less staff. How do you find that balance there Tom?

Thomas Magnuson:
There’s an old saying, people quibble when they’re not getting the value that they anticipated. So it’s really important to go back to authenticity and clearly say who you are, what you stand for, and what you provide and match your pricing. I focus on my location first. Say I own a mid, okay, If I over promise myself, people are gonna be disappointed. If I under promise myself I might not charge enough. But what I do is I say I’m the closest hotel to the convention center, the hospital, the courthouse, the rodeo, differentiate. Differentiate like there’s no tomorrow. Everywhere you can get a razor edge in differentiation, take pride in who you are and what you are. Somebody’s gonna say, oh, that’s not a new build IHG, of course it’s not. It’s family owned for 20 years. We have exterior corridors with easy drive up parking so I can drive my tool truck right outside and keep an eye outside on my tools, which are my livelihood because I’m owner operated with my family. We smile, we welcome people by name. You don’t need to do a lot of things. You don’t need to spend $25,000 per room renovating when the guy across the street just got hit by a requirement from choice. To do that, you can do little things like give a free bottle of water at check-in, free Netflix and popcorn. These are the little things and one of the things I’ve really learned a lot as a kid and then through all the years is remember the first and last impressions of your hotel. The friendly welcome bottle of water place to eat. You must be tired, but easy ways to attain rate tied to your value are things like extra large fluffy towels. This sounds so minor, this sounds so trivial, but extra huge, thick, fluffy towels. People will go, oh my god, that really stuck out. This is the old one. You guys know this. Just hand a card. Here’s my direct website address, my direct number. All of these little aspects of friendliness and personalization are what stands out when every chain in the world is cutting 10, 20, 30,000 people from their support staff. You know, when you talked about airlines or anything, when there are no people to say, Ryan, hope you have a great flight today. You remember that now? And so we really say focus on who you are, what you are, focus on, yes, we’re human oriented. Give people those little touches. Those are the builders that can get you the rate. But then most importantly they’ll get you the loyalty cuz people will remember that as other larger corporations are doing away with personal touch

Ryan Embree:
And they’ll get you the lasting impression of what you spoke about Tom. And you see that a lot on your reviews and I think you’re right. This is a great reminder to all of our, our listeners out there. Sometimes when we talk about providing extra value, I think Tom is absolutely right on this point. This does not mean that we’ve gotta wait, you know, five to seven years for this entirety renovation that’s going to, to cost us all this capital. It’s about doing the simple things even better than before. If you walk around the hotel, there are probably a ton of places that you can see where it’s like, you know what, we haven’t tried providing a list to our guests at the front desk at check in about all the things that are near us or a bottled water. As Tom mentioned. These are simple things but they add up. The great part about a guest experience at a hotel is we have so many touchpoints, so many places that we can impact their stay. So with that, if we add simple things to each aspect of those, they add up and we don’t have to wait for that big renovation or that or that big game changer. Those are really the easy things cuz they speak for themselves. It’s doing, it’s doing the simple things right, which are sometimes the toughest. I love that, that mindset that you have Tom, were going to shift over to business travel. It was funny you mentioned this because I do think we had an exercise of saying, okay, really who is a business traveler? I think we just found that that out right in the middle of 2020. The definition of that. And I love that you’ve, you’ve kind of termed that essential business and now you look at that as essential business. But let’s talk about maybe the historic way that we look at at business travel. Cause this is something where I’ve, I’ve talked to several guests, I’ve seen, I’ve read articles and there seems to still be a very conflicting, conflicting opinions. Sometimes direct conflicting saying it’s back, it’s on its way back or it’s not gonna return for a decade. Where do you predict the business travel trending and follow up question to that, should hotelers be marketing the same way in reaching them as they did pre 2020?

Thomas Magnuson:
I love what you just said. When will it be back? When will things get better? When you hand a bottle of water to somebody you know and say, I’m so glad you’re here. I mean, throw everything you know out and go back to ground zero. The biggest thing that I have learned personally and professionally and one of in life is when things get so confusing, when things get so unstable and unsteady and so stressful, always go back to a couple core basics. Take a deep breath and put your feet on the ground and go, who am I? Where am I? What’s around me? What do I gotta do? And this is where I really wanna go back to this aspect. Will never let a hotel down. You draw a 50 mile radius around your hotel. When I say the future of business travel is essential business travel, it always was, it’s always been the bedrock, but it got ignored. You go back to the basics, you get real, go to the local chamber of commerce, have lunch once a month with all these people. Stand up in front of everybody and say, hey, what’s new at Ryan’s hotel this month is X, Y, Z. You go to the chamber of commerce, you get to know your local people, you get to know the local companies, who are the new companies who moved in town. Be the first to call ’em up and say, hey, you know what, we would love to have everyone over at our hotel from Ajax Industries. We’ll give you 20% off contract, 365 days a year. We won’t have any closeouts cause we want your base business. You go to the CVBs, you go to the chamber, you find out what’s going on. Some very simple things. I love doing this. I do this a dozen times a day when I’m talking to new hotel owners, is just go online and look up the largest local employers within a 50 mile radius of any hotel. And there are so many potential clients that are very invisible. They’re not flashy, they’re like water treatment plants, distribution hubs, all kinds of things. So you go to this 50 mile radius, you pick up the phone, you get a card, a business card you call people, you shoot them an email that says, I’d love to have you 365 days a year. Pretty soon you can stack up a lot of contract business. And we generally think that you should go for a level of 50% of your projected occupancy is contract. That’s your base. That covers your overhead, that covers your labor, that covers your operation. And then from there, you then you really look at how do you yield up the other times. Everybody on this line on this call already knows that, but that’s what’s gotta work. I mean, I was just in San Francisco a couple weeks ago down in the financial district for three days. Ghost town. Sorry, not only from a corporate perspective, but from an international perspective. So my advice is for hotel owners don’t wait for a cycle because you can’t sell yesterday’s room. So you just get on it. It just has to take a different aspect of getting it. It’s always there. It’s just a different approach to get it.

Ryan Embree:
Yeah. And once you have that occupancy built into your mix, it’s just everything else you can get is just gravy. So I think you’re absolutely right with that, Tom. And I love that exercise of the 50 mile radius, you know, and it’s something, you know, that we talk to hoteliers all about. Another powerful tool, LinkedIn, right? A lot of these companies are on LinkedIn, they’re looking for opportunity there. There’s some cool stuff that you can do. Should be a hotelier’s dream, right? We, we finally found a social channel that is B2B and where you can find a lot of your business there. You mentioned it before when you, you spoke to San Francisco, but about international travel and you probably have the best perspective on this, coming to the Suite Spot live from France. That’s another type of traveler we welcome back in 2021. Can you speak to the importance of international travel for this industry? We, we certainly saw it when it, when it disappeared for us and why it’s important to have it in, in our, our global marketing efforts.

Thomas Magnuson:
It’s critical because you always gotta play two games at the same time. You have to play the short term game of how am I pacing, what do I gotta fill up today? But you’ve always gotta play the long game building with a very sound foundation for the long game though, while the short game short to medium range game is yes, get my rooms filled up. Yes. Get, get some contracts stacked up. So I’ve got my occupancy built in. Yes. Get my rates set so that I can yield on special events and the FIT coming down the road. What we’ve all lost sight of, especially because of the travel restrictions, is that global travel is growing up four times the rate of the US and UK GDPs, that’s a very strong growth rate. US and UK GDPs are getting around 2% in change, but total global travel continues to increase. And we’re just following this the lovely phrase that democratization that, you know, Southwest Airlines led it, Ryan Air led it and now all airlines follow it, that as airfare gets cheaper and borders open, there are more and more reasons for fluid travel. It’s critically important to always remember the long game is build that local business base but be positioned for international travel. How do we do that? A hotel has got to be represented well on the GDSs, which is where 90% of good independent affiliations or different alternative franchises can help an independent hotel that doesn’t know how to do that. So the one has the proper amenities, locational attributes, all those are international or, wholesaler. And then the last thing goes back to what Travel Media specializes in is putting out the big word about uniqueness and individualization. If you have the location and you have the attributes, you have the quality ratings, you have fair pricing, you have availability. Then the last piece, what’s so special about me? How do I be the world’s biggest bester only at my hotel? Am I located in the birthplace of Justin Bieber or Winnie the poo? Am I located next to the NASCAR museum or am I the closest hotel to the Long Beach Convention Center? We call ’em stand tall differentiations. What can I be the biggest, only or best at? And putting that crown jewel and your reputation management and your content in your global distribution will set you apart because people do not want come from Japan or China to go to Winneba Nevada. They want a unique experience. So I’m, as you can tell, very optimistic about all sectors of travel properly managed, but obviously especially international.

Ryan Embree:
Oh, absolutely. And we know the importance of global and international travel as well. We just launched TMG Translations, where we’re responding to reviews in different languages. So we, we recognize this because that’s something our hotels asked for. They said, hey listen, we’re getting a lot of multi-language reviews out there, and we wanna respond in that native language so that travelers from that area will feel comfortable. And I love what you said cause there’s always something that you can stand out. One of my favorite exercises when I’m talking to a hotel, kind of doing a marketing consultation is asking them what makes them special and unique. And sometimes they come with those, those things that you just talked about, right? Oh, well, you know, actually this city is known for its incredible peaches or something like that. And I go, You just told me a great story here and I’m not seeing it told anywhere online. Now you might know that, hoteliers have a great sense of what goes on around them because they talk to travelers every day coming into town saying, hey, I’m traveling for this and I’m traveling for that. So you have a great sense of why people travel to us, but we need to tell that story and amplify that and it sounds like it, it sounds like definitely your brand does a great job of that and, has a high focus on that. So it’s fantastic to hear. And I wanna talk about your mission a little bit. Your mission and, and I’ll quote is “to empower hotel owners, not by telling them who to be, but by providing comprehensive, personalized support and customized technology to succeed in their local markets”. So I know we’ve spoke a lot about it today, but what does that mean to you and maybe the culture that you’re trying to instill at Magnuson Hotels Worldwide?

Thomas Magnuson:
Well, Ryan, first it comes from the heart. We’re not a corporation. We’re not publicly traded. Melissa and I started this company because we were around a bunch of friends that we saw struggling and we saw other small hotel owners struggling. And we talked about those. And I personally was very connected to this being David to Goliath, you know, since I was age of eight. So our mission, our ethos just comes straight from the heart. We know from personal experience the struggles, and we know because our name is on the door that we are held accountable. We don’t hide behind a corporation, corporate shield. Every one of our clients has my cell phone number happy to call me 24 hours a day. Something’s not right. We’re gonna make it right. It goes back to the promise Melissa and I made to our very first clients, which we hold ever more dearly today is, is we are gonna do what we say we’re gonna do and doing what we say we’re going to do comes from a viewpoint that we have, that we are the emergency room for hotel owners. Every day I get calls. Our team, our, our company receives calls from an owner, a man or a woman sometimes in a very high degree of stress of help. This hotel is my family’s livelihood. We have guaranteed this hotel with our family home and our cars. All of our children work here. We have 30 employees. We’re the community center in Rawlands, Wyoming or Ironwood, Michigan and everything I’ve got, everything my family’s got is riding on this and the local oil plant just closed down and I just don’t know what we are going to do. Or there are three new franchise properties that just came in at my highway exit, a Mariott, a Hilton, and a Windham. And I just don’t know what I’m gonna do. And when people come to us, this level of concern, that’s a, that’s an ER. What we say to them is what we say to owners every day is, we’ve done this before. We’ll get you through. Just stick with us, we’ll get you through. And just like an ER, you focus on the vitals and that’s what we do. This theme that we’ve talked about today about the foundations of what times get wild, go back to the basics. We focus on the vital signs that we can control. And our ethos is to stay with the hotel and watch ’em grow, watch ’em stabilize, watch ’em grow. We’ve had so many wonderful success stories of people sending us letters saying thanks to Magnuson Hotels, the first child in our family has gotten to go to a college, to an American university, or buy that second car. This is an ethos that runs very deeply with us, and I’m so proud to say from Melissa and me that it runs right to the core with our entire organization. Everyone in our company has come from similar sets of experiences of that struggle. We are all in it together and we work great as a team to make sure that we uphold our promise of being there to always do what we say we’re going to do for hotels. Ryan,

Ryan Embree:
It sounds like you have a real passion. And again, from hearing your story at the very beginning of it, you know, you have that firsthand experience and it’s something that a lot of Hoteliers, listeners are familiar with. They’ve heard that story before of like what you’re saying. So, you know, and I love that advice of just keeping an eye on a destination and staying true to that because sometimes that path that we’re on it can get very rocky. But if you have that destination, that end goal in mind really, really pushes you to move forward. So absolutely love that, Tom. You know, as we wrap up this series is called TMG Hospitality Trailblazers. You’ve certainly shown everyone why you’re deservingly so of that title, but it is focused on people and the brands and groups that are pushing us forward. I’m curious what’s next for Magnuson Hotels Worldwide in 2023 and beyond?

Thomas Magnuson:
What’s next is we are now in a post covid era. The rising costs, the labor shortage, all of these struggles, and we feel so strongly that in times like this, the climbs getting steeper every day. The struggles are getting steeper every day, the costs are rising, the competition is getting more intense. That the fight for the individual hotel owner to stand tall and say, this is who I am. This is what I stand for. I am so proud of my business and my family and my employees and the town I’m from, the type of service that we provide. We see the call for need greater than ever. We wanna let them know that there is a way out. The way out is not to wait and hope that they go away like a recession or an inflation goes back to a normalized rate. The way out is simply to reach out, get some help. Our strategy, what are we doing? We’re just walking our talk. We hope that we can just help people achieve their potential, Ryan.

Ryan Embree:
I absolutely love that message. You certainly got me inspired. I’m ready to, I’m ready to draw my 50 mile radius and get to the front desk and get those waters and go in the extra mile. So, Well, I appreciate it, Tom, great takeaways, true embodiment of a hospitality trailblazer that has decades of experience. So I wanna thank you for being on the Suite Spot. Know that you’re welcome back here anytime.

Thomas Magnuson:
It has been absolutely a privilege to be with you and all of our friends out there. If anyone ever has any questions, I can be called anytime. My cell phone is (509) 994-2048. Happy to help anybody anywhere. And Ryan, congratulations on all the success.

Ryan Embree:
Thank you so much, Tom. That means a lot. And I wanna thank all of our hoteliers for listening. We really, appreciate Tom jumping on and we look forward to see what the future holds for Magnuson Hotels Worldwide. Thanks for listening to the Suite Spot, and we will talk to you next time. To join our loyalty program. Be sure to subscribe and give us a five star rating on iTunes. Suite Spot is produced by Travel Media Group. Our editor is Brandon Bell with Cover Art by Bary Gordon. I’m your host Ryan Embree, and we hope you enjoyed your stay.

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