It may not seem like a big a deal, but when Jeff Mahan, general manager of Santa Fe Sage Inn, says his property is doing "much better" than last summer, it's a promising development.
For one thing, Santa Fe Sage Inn is the city's fifth-largest hotel.
In addition, Santa Fe's tourism economy has been hurting for the last four years as joblessness and uncertainty about the future resulted in many people have stayed home rather than hitting the road and staying in hotels and motels.
But, hotel general managers say, things may have finally started to turn around.
At the Santa Fe Sage Inn, which is on Cerrillos Road, across from the Railyard Park, there have been some additional developments intended to boost tourism numbers and bring back the good times.
At the top of the inn's list is the naming of Jeff Mahan, who previously worked at Encantado, as the property's general manager. Mahan has 25 years of executive hotel experience in the Santa Fe area and elsewhere.
Mahan was the choice of David Delgado, Ernie Romero and Owen Van Essen, the owners of the Santa Fe Sage Inn. The three owners hired Mahan after installing a management company at the hotel that didn't work out.
"They were only in place for six months," Romero said
Mahan said his goal in joining the Santa Fe Sage Inn is to "lend things that an operator and someone with a lot of experience can lend."
He added: "There are a number of things that can be done to make the hotel better. That could include a wine and beer license, which would give us extra revenue and additional profit at the same time."
One executive at Santa Fe Sage Inn had worked for the property before.
That was Marissa Oakeley, director of sales and marketing.
"I worked here for about four years," Oakeley said. "I left because of the management company. Things weren't working out for my long-term goals."
As for the Santa Fe Sage Inn and the people who work at the property now, "I love it here," she said.
Danielle Auckerman, director of guest services and revenue management, has 10 years of hotel experience in Santa Fe, at the Courtyard By Marriott and also at the Eldorado Hotel and Spa.
As for the Santa Fe Sage Inn, "it's a great place to work with a huge amount of potential," she said. "I'm very excited to be working here with Jeff and Marissa and the whole Sage Inn team."
The owners and managers of the hotel are confident that Santa Fe Sage Inn will benefit from the proximity of the Railyard Park and a new development farther up Cerrillos Road called the Luna project. There's also the new judicial complex going up on Sandoval Road at Montezuma Street, which will no doubt need hotel rooms from time to time.
It's also a plus that earlier this year Santa Fe Sage Inn was named a three-diamond property by Triple A, Mahan said.
Now that the A-team is in place, the owners of Santa Fe Sage Inn are hopeful that results will improve, returning to the time period between 2004 and 2008, when the property's revenue growth came to 300 percent, with an average of more than 30 percent annual growth. Staff at that time rose from 12 to more than 25.
Ernie Romero -
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