My Life, My Words: Tammie Thompson-Booker — A career majored in hotels
July 25, 2011
"I've been here since we opened in 2008. I'm responsible for negotiating rates with companies or groups, sometimes individuals, or finding people who want to stay with us. My job is basically called business development, or in other words, to develop the business of the hotel.
"I've been in hotels since 1992. I started out in Steamboat at the Holiday Inn and up until 2006 I basically worked for the same company.
"I graduated from college and my cousin was the general manager at the Holiday Inn in Steamboat and I didn't have a job so she said to come out, and I did because I thought I was going to go out soon and do the Peace Corps or something cool like that. I ended up becoming the front desk manager six months after I started and I have been doing this ever since.
"I have lived mostly in Colorado and in Arizona. I have both been in the operational side as in the general manager and front desk parts of the industry and I have also been in sales.
"In Arizona, one of my big clients was an international tour so I used to work with a lot of companies from France, Germany, and other Asian companies. The only difference between there and Craig was the type of customers. Here, we don't have many leisure guests; in Craig we have a lot of people that come in because they are doing a certain job here, whereas in Arizona, most of the people who came were leisure guests. It is a little bit different customer bases, but it's still the same thing, just a different approach.
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"I not only oversee the sales here at this hotel, but also in four other hotels. They are all Holiday Inns in Casper, (Wyo.), Grand Junction, Vernal, (Utah), and Limon. The two bigger hotels in Casper and Junction I have sales people there. The other two are smaller, so I have more control over those two hotels. I am also in charge of revenue management over all of those hotels.
"Our business is very much like airlines. When you book an airline ticket and book it six months before you go as compared to two weeks before I go, the price will be very different. Hotels kind of work that same way — it is based upon the demand and the supply, and we use revenue management tools to determine what the best price is.
"I have an English and history degree from my time at college. They finally asked me to graduate and pick a major so I decided to do English and history because I had taken a lot of classes in those areas. I started out thinking I was going to be a business major, then I thought about doing anthropology. I had all sorts of phases, the major of the day kind of thing. Honestly, looking back on it, though, my mother was right in saying that I should have majored in hotel and restaurants.
"I have 5 children: 17-year-old twins, a 4-year-old, 3-year-old, and a 1-year-old. My hobby is my children, just whatever they are in to whether it be hockey, football, or musicals. Whatever my children do, I support those things. There will be plenty of times when I'm older for hobbies.
"I'm involved with the Craig Lions Club. I was president a few years back, but now I'm busy and can only make it to a couple meetings. For the past two days we have been serving breakfast to miners who are up at the competition at the high school. We also have our duck races coming up soon where we send ducks down the Yampa, which will be a fun time for sure. I try to participate in all of our service functions."
— Interview by Skyler Leonard, Special to the Daily Press
Director of sales at Candlewood Suites