New York City

Manager Named for Holiday Inn New York City – Times Square

M&R Hotel ManagementTracey Rucks, General Manager of the 271-room Holiday Inn New York City - Times Square today announced the appointment of Tracey Rucks as general manager of the new 271-room Holiday Inn New York City – Times Square at 585 Eighth Ave., between 38th and 39th streets.

The 36-story, newly constructed hotel is the 13th New York hotel in M&R Hotel Management’s 16-hotel portfolio and fifth Holiday Inn hotel.

Rucks, an 11-year hospitality industry veteran who has managed hotels in Indiana, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, will oversee all aspects of the hotel’s operations, including sales, marketing, security, maintenance, housekeeping and accounting.

She previously served M&R Hotel Management as general manager of the Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Midtown West on West 48th Street. Prior to joining M&R, she was general manager of the Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel. From 2010 to 2014, she was general manager of the Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Manhattan/Fifth Avenue. From 2008 to 2009, she was general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Edison/Raritan Center in New Jersey, and from 2007 to 2008 she was general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn-Danbury in Connecticut.

Holiday Inn New York City – Times Square guest bedroom

Holiday Inn New York City – Times Square

In 2007, Rucks was an area director of sales for Alliance Hospitality, a hotel owner and management company based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and oversaw sales strategy for nine hotels representing four brands. From 2006 to 2007, she was general manager of the former Holiday Inn Tinton Falls-Eatontown in New Jersey.

As Alliance Hospitality’s area director of revenue management from 2004 to 2006, she helped develop and lead a training course required for general managers and sales managers. Rucks has been certified as a general manager by InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and a fire safety director certificate of fitness from the New York City Fire Department. She is a member of the Professional Women’s Business Association.

“Tracey’s years of experience as a general manager in the hotel industry, especially with M&R in the increasingly competitive West Side of Manhattan, makes her an excellent choice to lead the team at our new Holiday Inn,” said Brian M. McSherry, M&R Hotel Management chief operating officer.

The Holiday Inn New York City – Times Square features king and queen rooms, full-service Rattle N Hum West Craft Beer Bar & Kitchen, 24-hour-a-day business and fitness centers and complimentary high-speed Internet access.

The Holiday Inn New York City – Times Square joins M&R Hotel Management’s existing hotels in Manhattan: the Holiday Inn NYC – Lower East Side, Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Midtown West and Comfort Inn Midtown West. The company also operates six hotels in Queens and three in Staten Island. Outside of New York, M&R operates a hotel in the Boston suburb of Braintree, Massachusetts, and hotels on the Caribbean islands of St. Maarten Dominica.

In addition to InterContinental Hotels Group, parent company of the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands, M&R Hotel Management’s portfolio includes the brands of Choice Hotels International, Wyndham Hotel Group and Best Western International. M&R Hotel Management has also been certified to manage selected brands of Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

In addition to management, M&R Hotel Management provides consulting services in hotel site and contractor selection, feasibility analysis, permitting, financing, franchising, human resources support, sales and marketing, revenue management, food and beverage management, risk management audits, e-commerce, design, procurement, accounting audits and engineering.

M&R Hotel Management to Operate Holiday Inn Near Times Square

exterior rendering of the 271-room Holiday Inn New York - Times Square SouthM&R Hotel Management today announced it will manage the new 271-room Holiday Inn New York – Times Square South, scheduled to open this year at 585 Eighth Ave., between 38th and 39th streets.

The 35-story hotel, now under construction, becomes the 13th New York hotel in M&R Hotel Management’s 15-hotel portfolio and fifth Holiday Inn hotel. M&R also manages five Holiday Inn Express hotels. Both brands are franchised by InterContinental Hotels Group.

M&R also manages hotels under the brands of Choice Hotels International, Wyndham Hotel Group and Best Western International. The company has been certified to manage selected brands of Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

“Each of our brand partners has its own special profile and niche in the market,” said Brian McSherry, M&R Hotel Management chief operating officer. “We are proud to work with InterContinental Hotels Group to serve Times Square South, an emerging market that is attractive to business and leisure travelers alike.”

The new hotel is located three blocks from West 42nd Street with convenient access to mass transit including the Port Authority Bus Terminal and New York Penn Station and proximity to the Jacob Javits Convention Center, the Broadway theater district, world-class restaurants and shopping.

The Holiday Inn New York – Times Square South features king and queen rooms, a full-service restaurant, meeting facilities for up to 35 people, 24-hour business and fitness centers and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Guest rooms and public spaces will be decorated in keeping with Holiday Inn’s contemporary approach to design.

Brand Standards Can Require a Balancing Act

At the heart of every hotel brand is a set of standards and procedures carefully crafted by the brand’s parent company to help ensure consistency across hundreds and even thousands of individual hotels across any number of countries.

Holiday Inn Express Staten Island guest bedroom

Photo: Holiday Inn Express Staten Island

For operators, standards define the brand’s personality, right down to the way the bed sheets are folded. For guests, standards provide the assurance of consistency. They know that when they check into a Holiday Inn Express in Staten Island, they’ll find the same services and features they enjoyed at a Holiday Inn Express hotel in Seattle.

Consistency is at the core of the “brand promise” and the value proposition. Yet individual hotels differ in age, location and type: suburban, highway, airport and city center, among others. So the major brands build in a degree of flexibility to account for these differences.

When a required room element doesn’t work or could actually be detrimental to the guest experience, the brand will consider a waiver. A hotel in New York with limited guest room space might, for example, waive a requirement for a desk and swivel chair in every room.

Comfort Inn NYC Midtown West guest bedroom

Photo: Comfort Inn Midtown West, New York, New York

Similarly, the brand will consider a waiver for other elements of its guest room furniture standard, should the size of the room present constraints. In the same spirit, brands require hotels to decorate the lobby and breakfast room seasonally but give each hotel considerable leeway as to what these decorations should be.

For the guest, the variations allow each hotel to be distinct to a degree, while still providing a reassuring consistency. Now that’s a balanced approach everyone can live with.

M&R Hotel Management Adds Long Island City Holiday Inn to Portfolio

Today M&R Hotel Management announced that it has been awarded a contract to manage the 136-room Holiday Inn L.I. City – Manhattan View hotel in Long Island City, Queens, which becomes the 14th hotel in the company’s portfolio.

Holiday Inn Long Island City exterior

The full-service hotel at 39-05 29th St., owned by Queens Plaza North LLC, features king and queen rooms and suites, each equipped with a Keurig coffee maker, refrigerator, premium cable TV channels, audio connection for iPhones and MP3 players, desk, speakerphone, voice mail, iron and ironing board. Top-floor suites and many other guest rooms feature views of the East River and Manhattan skyline.

Holiday Inn Long Island City guest bedroom

Complimentary amenities include wired and wireless high-speed Internet service, local calls, daily newspaper, bottled water, 24-hour fitness and business centers and on-site parking. The hotel also offers valet laundry service, an ATM and two function rooms that each can accommodate up to 60 people, theater-style.

breakfast tray in a guest bedroom at the Holiday Inn Manhattan View

Rio Grande, the hotel’s full-service Churascaria restaurant, serves traditional Brazilian barbecue in the main dining room. Breakfast is served in an enclosed patio, and a bar-lounge offers a limited menu every evening.

The Holiday Inn L.I. City – Manhattan View offers access to Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn as well as LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports via frequent subway service, taxicabs and private car service. The hotel is near LaGuardia Community College and offices of JetBlue Airways, MetLife, Citigroup and Barclay’s Bank.

For guests interested in exploring Long Island City, the hotel is near the Museum of the Moving Image, P.S. 1/Museum of Modern Art, Noguchi Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park and Gantry Plaza State Park.

Holiday Inn Long Island City exterior at night

Guests at the Holiday Inn L.I. City – Manhattan View can earn points in the IHG Rewards Club program redeemable for free hotel stays, merchandise and other benefits. Reservations can be made online at or by calling 800-315-2621.

Holiday Inn L.I. City – Manhattan View participates in the IHG Green Engage program, an online system that measures its day-to-day environmental impact, tracks energy, carbon and water consumption and waste management. IHG Green Engage provides tools to help hotels use fewer resources, improve their carbon footprint and reduce water use.

Holiday Inn L.I. City – Manhattan View complements the M&R Hotel Management portfolio of hotels in New York City, where we developed a reputation for consistently pleasing guests by providing high-quality accommodations and friendly, helpful service.

For Better or Worse, Guests Judge a Hotel by its Cover

With the arrival of summer, hotel managers again can focus on what’s known in the industry as “curb appeal:” the first impression guests make when they approach a hotel. A positive first opinion, coupled with welcoming service and a comfortable room, bodes well for a successful stay overall.

The challenge here is greater for older hotels. Buildings that appear out of style or suffer from worn exteriors aren’t likely to appeal to travelers of any age. This is especially true for millennials, with their preference for all things contemporary and stylish. Granted, little can be done about a building cursed by the forgettable architecture of the 50s or 60s.

M&R Hospitality Management is fortunate to operate hotels that either are new or of very recent vintage. “New” usually is good when it comes to aesthetics. But the curb appeal of even the newest hotel can benefit from enhanced landscaping, improved lighting and the addition of outdoor furniture, as space and place permit.

Travelers who research hotels and book stays online can be expected to scrutinize posted images, underscoring the importance of quality photography. It’s just as important for hotels to put their best photographic foot forward as it is for any other online retailer. Who is going to buy a shirt or hotel room online if it’s not available for visual inspection?

True road warriors – the ones who actually drive cars and work outside of the office – typically will seek a room in whatever community they reach at the end of the day. If they see two competing brands – both at the same price point – the appearance of the exterior definitely will play a role in deciding where they will stay for the night.

We continuously evaluate the exterior and interior appearance of our hotels and respond to guest comments on TripAdvisor regarding the perceived quality of our hotels, based on appearance. As a result of those efforts, three hotels operated by M&R Hotel Management currently are upgrading their curb appeal.

The Holiday Inn Express New York JFK Airport Area just finished expanding the porte cochere in front of the main entrance. General Manager Brent Hnatow said the protective outdoor roof gives the hotel more of a “sense of place.” It also serves a function, providing a shelter for guests waiting for the complimentary airport shuttle.

The Days Inn Jamaica-JFK Airport recently installed new outdoor furniture, creating what General Manager Faiza Nadeem describes as “an outdoor room.” Hotel guests already are enjoying this outdoor refuge, even though temperatures have been distinctly more spring-like than summer-like.

The Comfort Inn Midtown West on West 48th Street in Manhattan recently added more flowering plants. General Manager Juan Soto says the investment will be well spent. “Guests tell us that when they come back to the hotel, it’s like a touch of home in the middle of the city,” he said.