Like owners of a newly constructed house who need weeks to feel truly comfortable in their new home, hotel owners and managers consider the first initial weeks of operation to be a “soft opening,” a period before any grand-opening celebration when glitches are expected and everyone is on the alert to address them.
It all begins before the first guest steps into the lobby, when contractors work feverishly in the final hours before opening to complete repairs specified in the owner’s punch list. But today’s hotels are vastly complex, and the opportunities for complications range from sophisticated communications technology to traditional housekeeping.
Minor though any problems they be, the hotel’s owners and managers want everything to be as close to perfect as possible to enhance their guests’ experience. Those initial guests are, by and large, unaware of these kinks as managers and rank-and-file associates work to resolve them quietly and efficiently.
M&R Hotel Management’s newest hotel, the 271-room Holiday Inn New York City – Times Square, is in the midst of its soft opening, having opened its doors last month. We are working with all deliberate speed to resolve even the smallest issue before we formally celebrate the opening.
Preview performances in the theater serve a similar purpose as a soft opening in our business. Once the actors have had the opportunity to perform enough times before a live audience, they are ready for the official opening night.