Guest Experience Director

by Ben Petersen
Category
Communities with Openings
Location
Breitenbush Hot Springs in Detroit, Oregon
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Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat & Conference Center is an off-grid, holistic center located in the Cascades, along the Breitenbush River. Breitenbush operates as a worker-owned cooperative. Workers live in a quaint village of cottages across a footbridge from the guest facilities. In an average year, Breitenbush attracts over 35,000 guests to the natural, mineral springs and workshop offerings.

Last year, the COVID pandemic posed new challenges, requiring the co-op to rethink communal aspects of the facilities and redesign them to fit with COVID safety protocols. Just over a month after successfully opening to guests with these new protocols in place, the Beachie Creek and Lionshead fires converged on Highway 46 and burned through the Breitenbush property, destroying more than half of our buildings. Our staff and guests all safely evacuated before the fires hit, but with the level of devastation wrought, we had to lay off more than three-quarters of the staff and now are in the process of regrouping and planning to rebuild. Breitenbush is working to rebuild and reopen the front gates to guests by the end of May 2021.

The Guest Experience Director (GXD) is an important leadership position within the Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat & Conference Center (BHS), and is responsible for all stages of the Guest Journey. The GXD is one of four managing directors and will collaborate closely with the Financial Controller, Facilities Director, and Business Director to ensure the smooth operation of the Guest Experience Department. The GXD reports to the Business Director and the Board of Directors. The GXD will drive the excellence of the guest experience through building and overseeing the Guest Experience Department. The GXD will also inform and advise the Board of Directors and Co-op Membership.

The GXD is responsible for the seamless guest experience, from their discovery of Breitenbush in media and other modalities, through the guest’s direct experience as a visitor, to the ongoing relationship between Breitenbush and former guests. Guests come to Breitenbush for Personal Retreats, Events, or Day Use.

Key values this position would ideally center on and cultivate within the Guest Experience Department:

  • Excellence in oversight and management

  • Accountability

  • Empowerment

  • Collaboration

  • Expertise

  • Fostering leadership

  • Developing and holding vision

  • Encouraging work-life balance

The GXD is responsible for effective oversight, management, delegation, and execution in the following areas:

Administration in Support of Guest Services

The GXD is:

  • Responsible for the budget that supports all guest services and marketing, including: labor, supplies, vendors & services, equipment needs, etc.

  • Responsible to oversee the management of the Office, Kitchen, Housekeeping and Healing Arts (Massage) staff in support of the Guest Journey

  • Drive the development of BLISS (Breitenbush’s registration system)

  • Responsible to propose rate changes to the BOD (in conjunction with the Finance Director) on an annual basis

Guest Services

The GXD is responsible for guest services:

  • Ensure that Breitenbush maintains a welcoming environment for our guests that promotes holistic healing and personal growth

  • Ensure the guest environment and all guest services meet Breitenbush standards for quality of service and aesthetics

  • Implement procedures that comply with legal requirements (ADA, service animals, protected classes, etc.), as they affect guest services

  • Respond to and resolve guest service issues, complaints, or guest behavior issues

  • Maintain a Daily Well Being Program and Concert & Speakers series

  • Maintain Guest Information Binder for the cabins, Grounds Map, Hiking Trail Map

Marketing

The GXD has overall responsibility for the quality and content of the Breitenbush brand communications. This includes, but is not limited to, management of the following:

  • Content of the Website, including web analytics and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Conducting market research and identifying target demographics

  • Researching consumer demand for products and services

  • Develop useful market decision-making metrics and key performance indicators

  • Social Media presence: Facebook, YouTube, etc.

  • The BHS Internet presence, including online reviews (Google, Yelp, Travel Advisor, etc.)

  • Email notifications regarding Events and Workshops coming up

  • Solicit Guest Feedback and compile into reports that can be used to further improve on the Guest Experience

  • Develop CRM

  • Print Advertising (minimal)

  • Radio Advertising (minimal)

  • Assembly, monitoring and analysis of metrics to assess trends and evaluate effectiveness

  • Response to media requests for written content and photography (guide books, websites, blogs, magazines, newspapers)

  • Curation of photography, maintaining an organized image library

  • Exterior and interior signage

  • Final review and edit of official communications to guests

  • Response to in-kind donation requests

Events

BHS hosts approximately 150 workshops, conferences and gatherings annually.  Consistent with our mission, the GXD is responsible to:

  • Maintain excellent relationships with the faculty of presenters

  • Negotiate the details of presenter contracts

  • Solicit and evaluating proposals from new presenters

  • Schedule events that fit with our mission, facilities, market and calendar

  • Schedule annual closed periods for work necessary that conflict with guest presence

  • Propose Member Meeting dates to the Members

  • Stay abreast of trends in retreat center offerings and the human potential movement

  • Direct the work of Event Coordinators who work directly with the presenters on the details of specific events

  • Maintain the Events Database and all other pertinent records

Incident Management

The GXD is a member of the Incident Management Team and often takes a leadership role in coordinating the response to and resolution of an incident.

The benefits of the job include salary, potential for membership in the Breitenbush worker-owned cooperative, housing, medical and dental insurance, life insurance, and right livelihood. Workshops and other retreat benefits are available.

Required Qualifications

  • 5+ years of experience in organizational management and leadership

  • 3+ years of experience in the hospitality industry

  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills

  • Strong business finance background

  • Conflict de-escalation skills

  • Strong computer skills, ideally comfort with using G-Suite, social media sites (including Facebook, Twitter), CRM databases, and website content management

  • Ability to work seated at a computer for up to 8 hours/day

  • Ability to multitask and prioritize effectively

  • Proven ability to build and lead an effective team

  • Interest in holistic health and education

Desired Qualifications

  • Higher education degree in business administration, hospitality management, or other relevant subject area

  • Experience with worker-owned cooperatives

  • 5+ years management experience in hospitality

Compensation and Benefits

  • $36,000-$58,000, depending on experience, annual salary, overtime exempt

  • Full employer-sponsored HSA or HRA medical, dental, and vision insurance plan

  • Employer HSA contribution

  • Employer-provided housing at hot springs retreat

  • Free utilities (including long distance phone and high speed internet)

  • Generous vacation package (Paid, Wellness, Birthday)

  • Community living in the Cascade Mountains

  • Use of hot springs, sauna

  • Commute to work across a footbridge that spans the Breitenbush River

  • Co-op membership and ownership possibilities including dividends (profit sharing)

Breitenbush Hot Springs is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Breitenbush does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, retaliation, parental status, military service, or association with a protected class.