SPOTLIGHT ON Dustin Imbesi, Area Director of Sales, Marketing and Events, Thompson and tommie Austin

Dustin Imbesi reveals the strategies that he uses to attract a diverse range of guests and events to the Thompson Hotel in Austin. In a post-COVID world, the hotel’s focus is on providing an overall experience for guests, with non-traditional amenities such as a fourth-floor amenity deck, fitness center, and four culinary offerings on-site. The hotel’s marketing strategy is centered around encouraging guests to tap into its sister hotel, tommie Austin, which is directly connected to Thompson, and by cultivating local partnerships to offer exclusive access to what Austin has to offer. Imbesi emphasizes the importance of looking not only at traditional metrics but also at progress forward in the market. 

What strategies do you use to attract a diverse range of guests and events to the Thompson Hotel in Austin, and how do you adapt these strategies to changing market conditions?

After COVID-19, the entire dynamic and culture of how hotels operated changed. On the business travel front, employees no longer looked at business trips as a task but rather, as an overall experience. Companies nationwide began scaling back meetings and prioritizing time together in the cities they were visiting, making our main strategy to attract guests centered around our nontraditional amenities. With four culinary offerings on-site, a fourth-floor amenity deck and an expansive fitness center complete with a golf simulator, companies are immersed in uniquely curated offerings within the building itself, while our ideal location in downtown Austin puts the city at our guest’s fingertips. By marketing ourselves as an experience in itself and encouraging guests to tap into our sister hotel, tommie Austin, which is directly connected to Thompson, we have attracted a diverse range of guests throughout the ever-changing market. 

How do you measure the success of marketing and sales initiatives, and what metrics do you use to track progress toward revenue and occupancy goals?

Like other hotels, we have all the traditional measurements to track our success. However, I constantly encourage my team to look not only at the numbers on paper but also at our progress forward in the market. For example, if, on paper, we had a great March, but so did every other hotel around us, then we need to see how we can reimagine our tactics and rise above our competitors in the future. I’ve also made it a priority for my team to look at our overall growth trajectory. As a young hotel that opened just last year, we must look at our metrics daily, monthly and yearly to understand how we are sitting in the market and how we can continue to succeed. 

Dustin Imbesi, Area Director of Sales, Marketing and Events, Thompson and tommie Austin

Can you describe any recent successful marketing campaigns or events that have generated significant revenue for the hotel?

For us, when people think of Austin, TX, we want them to think Thompson + tommie Austin, so our marketing campaigns are both memorable and positioned to boost sales. Recently, our campaigns that have generated significant revenue are our point packages and inclusions. However, we are constantly cultivating local partnerships to also implement packages that are not only fun but stay true to the brand and the city itself. Serving as a great example, we recently engaged Aspen Hatter, a bespoke custom hat maker, for immersive lobby activations, giving guests and visitors an opportunity to create a cowboy hat that’s the perfect fit.

How does the Thompson Hotel work with local partners and businesses to create memorable guest experiences, and what role do partnerships play in the hotel’s marketing strategy?

Local partnerships are one of our main priorities when marketing our hotel. We look to tap into brands that are Austin-based and truly tell a story that is uniquely Texas. We want to connect with brands that are engrained in the culture of the community and give our guests exclusive access to what Austin has to offer. For example, we implemented a Kick Up Those Boots package with Austin-born Tecovas, a handmade cowboy boot company, to give our guests a one-of-a-kind experience within the city that they can also take home with them. 

What plans does the Thompson Hotel have for future expansion or development, and how will these plans impact sales and marketing efforts in the Austin market?

Here at Thompson + tommie Austin, we learn from feedback and continually build upon it in the future. We are always acting on guests’ experiences and trying to improve visit after visit to strategically grow our impact in Austin and elevate the overall Thompson brand. Recently, we officially launched The Residences at Thompson Austin—a lavish collection of 17 fully livable residential suites, available at a nightly rate. The only Thompson Hotel property in the U.S. to offer such an accommodation, the Residences build “home” right into the guest experience, offering a more personalized, elevated and safer approach than other popular rental home options—with the added amenities, service and confidence of a luxury hotel. At the end of the day, our main goal, when it comes to expansion and development, is to better the neighborhood we join and focus on the history we are currently fostering.