“Why stay at a gay friendly hotel, when you can stay at a friendly gay hotel?” Word!
Hotel Gaythering’s MiMo style 1958 building is located in the heart of the Miami beach gayborhood and caters exclusively to gay guests who want to experience a local’s life in Miami Beach.
They have a mixtures of spaces - from private rooms to shared spaces - and have been busy transforming their tech stack over the last few years. We spoke to GM Matt Downey about the challenges of serving a niche market and how technology has helped.
Old school frustrations
" A couple of years ago we switched our PMS to Mews. Technology wise, we really wanted to get staff away from data entry and all the bureaucratic check-in stuff and Mews was perfect. It allows our staff to have real conversations with guests again. We use their kiosk and online check-in and the messaging has been great. We even use QR codes to explain whats going on at the hotel.
Soon after we started browsing the revenue management options in their Marketplace. To be honest, none of us wanted to do RM! We were looking for something that was easy to use and could run on its own and had a seamless direct integration with Mews. Pace Revenue jumped out from the list. We just plugged it in and it only took a few days to get up and running.
We are a small team and training on Pace has been so easy. Learning the system and working with the Customer Success folks was so simple and we’ve all learnt to really trust Pace. You don’t need any RM experience to use it - for example, one of our staff with zero revenue management experience did not even need to be walked through the Pace system. He was able to just start using it and do everything himself. No manual needed!
Furthermore, we used to be really focused on looking at CompSets. But we serve a niche market - the gay community - and we were really shooting ourselves in the foot by looking at comps all the time. In Miami, there is almost no direct competition in our niche. We were having to the compare ourselves to other hotels that are popular with the gay community but are in a completely different bracket, like The W. Pace has really showed us the way forward as the pricing is focused on primary demand and not CompSets like so many other systems."
“In general, our goal post-Covid was to get our ADR up and Pace has helped massively. Our ADR used to be $98 before Pace. Now it’s $170…
We actually thought that keeping a lower rate was the best strategy during the recovery…but Pace recommended some higher rates based on the demand data they were receiving. For example, we never thought we could get higher than $99 dollars for a shared space but we sold one for over $200.
Also - we’ve been able to get much higher rates around events than we ever dreamed of before. Whether it’s Winter Party, Pride, Art Basel or Ultra Music Festival, we’re pulling in rates much higher than before. To give you another example, previously our normal rate during Art Basel would be $280 but Pace was selling at $380 and that was when we had only just started with Pace!
Occupancy has also recovered from 80 percent at the start of last year to 97 percent although our guests are now mainly from the US, which was not the case before.”