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SAGE Hospitality Group meets Pace

SAGE Hospitality Group is a leading hotel developer and operator with over 65 properties across the United States. Its portfolio includes full- and limited-service hotels operating under such banners as Marriott and Hilton; it also has independent properties such as Chicago’s Essex Inn and The Oxford Hotel in Denver.

With dozens of independent properties under management able to choose their own PMS and tech stack, SAGE’s team of over 20 revenue managers have been busy upgrading their own systems to help aid the group’s expansion. We spoke to Director of Revenue Management Matt Reich based in SAGE’s Denver HQ about how they are transforming things internally.

Old school frustrations

“With some of our old RMS - the pricing was not very accurate and everything was so manual. On top of that - the traditional guys are often expensive and it’s always trouble getting the system set up and getting pricing sorted.

“I love how it updates so fast. You can see Pace adjusting prices in near real-time whereas other RM software would take at least a day to change…”

We were looking to try a new way forward in a few hotels before potentially rolling out across the whole SAGE portfolio. Pace came recommended and straight away we noticed that it was extremely easy to use. It was clearly super quick at updating prices and the new restrictions management function was crucial for a business like ours. We were impressed with what we saw so we went ahead with trying it out in a few of our properties…”

Rapid implementation

“The onboarding experience with Pace was really tremendous. It took two days and everything was done. A typical RMS would take at least a month…and that would be just to get the ball rolling! A lot of all that typical RMS fine tuning is simply not needed with Pace.

After implementation, we switched on pricing automation pretty much straight away - it was all so simple. That’s in stark comparison to competitors, who are way too complicated. With Pace, pricing is so dynamic and it updates so quickly that our revenue managers can focus on getting new business in instead of constantly focusing on adjusting stuff that’s, technically, already been entered into the system!

Oh and the customer support is great unlike with the other vendors. The chat response is instant and always super helpful. With the traditional RMS guys one would have to send an email and wait two weeks for any reply, which is not cool.”

Instant results

“The pricing has been great - Pace always keeps the prices up at the higher levels we want. For the first property where we implemented Pace we beat our budget by 1.8x during the first full month of being live. It was an incredible eye-opener internally.

Another example that may seam less eyecatching but that has really impressed us considering the market, at the Catbird - our new property in Denver - we would like to ideally be getting an ADR of near $250 for our boutique rooms in a normal year and, despite the challenges in the market, Pace has helped get us to $235. If it was a normal year we would be targeting 75-80 percent occupancy and Pace has been helping us hit up to 60 percent during the pandemic.

“For the first property where we implemented Pace we beat our budget by 1.8x during the first full month of being live. It was an incredible eye-opener internally.”

But I really love how it updates our pricing so fast. I will see several bookings come in on the same day and Pace will respond and adjust prices immediately. You can see it working in near real-time whereas other RM software will always take at least a day to change those prices. Even though our booking window is still really short (just like everyone else), you can still see Pace is adjusting the rates a lot to the changes in demand further out.

All those little system tweaks and adjustments I constantly had to do with my previous RMS I no longer need to do anymore. That has meant some massive time savings for me and the team so we can focus on more important stuff.”

Pace Analytics

“A big plus about Pace is their BI tool Analytics and how it has helped with our reporting. I really like the portfolio screen. It helps me make sure every channel is open and check what’s happening.

For example, I often like to separate our transient business and see how it all fits into the bigger picture and Analytics helps me do that very easily. With our dashboards we can see what’s picking up and all our rate plans in one easy view. TRevPAR is another important metric we make sure to follow on our Analytics dashboard.”

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