What's in a name? Plenty, if that name includes “Resort” or “Spa” or anything else that connotes ostentatious luxury. I've heard recently from several hoteliers who say (depending on their circumstances) they've lost or won business because the name of their properties included (or didn't include) these once-innocuous, now inflammatory designations.
Now a lodging property in North Carolina is doing something about it: It's dropping the word “Resort” from its name. The former Ballantyne Resort near Charlotte is now called The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge. According to a recent story in the local press, owner/operator Joe Hallow of Bissell Hotels says it was done because “many of our customers are seeing a lot of pressure over meeting in hotels with the name â€˜resort'.” Nothing else has changed about the property: It's an upscale property part of Starwood's Luxury Collection with a range of resort-like amenities, including golf and a spa. But don't call it a Resort.
Whether it's the name change or the beginnings of an economic turnaround, but Hallow says the property has begun to see more inquiries from companies looking to hold meetings at the resort, er, hotel. They're not booking yet, he says, but the signs are encouraging.