Richard LeBrun, the hotel's general manager, said that business was greater was anticipated, as was the workload.
"All of the staff worked very, very hard," LeBrun
..."The first year of operation was extraordinarily successful by any measure - guest feedback, financial indicators, future reservations," said Richard LeBrun, Edelweiss' general manager.The Edelweiss
averaged 94 percent occupancy in its first year, LeBrun
said, compared with the U.S. industry standard of 75-80 percent.LeBrun, who has managed AFRC hotels in southern Germany for 10 years, said the former hotels typically averaged 80-82 percent occupancy.
About 84 percent of available rooms are already booked for its second year, LeBrun
The hotels, as well as their AFRC counterparts in Florida, Hawaii and South Korea, are used by U.S. troops, Defense Department employees and retirees, and other eligible guests.LeBrun
credited the new facility itself for the booming business.
The old AFRC lineup in Europe included the General Patton and Von Steuben hotels in Garmisch, and the Park and Lake hotels in Chiemsee, and had a total of 337 rooms, compared with the Edelweiss' 330.
But the old AFRC hotels, which closed in 2003 and 2004, offered only rooms and no bells and whistles.
"They were just that - hotels, just a place to sleep while doing something else," LeBrun
has made adjustments along the way, LeBrun
said.Breakfast hours were made later on weekends.An a la carte restaurant was changed to buffet- style, pay-one-price.The juice bar at the fitness center was made into a grab-and-go snack bar.
Weekly meetings are held to decide what needs to be tweaked.
"The real measurement comes with how wide your ears and eyes are open in the first 30 to 60 days," LeBrun
staff has taken training to be sensitive toward troops who have been downrange.
"Most of those guests are coming here to rest, and if they're coming with their family, to reconnect with them," LeBrun
said."It's not a celebratory time, not a time of exuberance.Usually it's a time of quiet reflection."LeBrun
said the troops who have to return downrange go to bed early, don't necessarily patronize the lounge, and work out and eat a lot.
Others are on 30-day block leave, having already finished their tours.
"Those soldiers are done, they're back and they're taking a well-deserved vacation," LeBrun