Robert J. Newman, Corcoran Jennison Hospitality, Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club

Robert J. Newman

DIAMOND Standards

Editors’ Note

In 2010, Robert J. Newman was named President of Corcoran Jennison Hospitality, LLC, overseeing management and operations of Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Doubletree Downtown Hotel, Boston; Doubletree Bayside Hotel, Boston; and the Hampton Inn at Crosstown Center, Boston. For three years prior, Newman had been the General Manager of Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club. Newman was the recipient of the 2008 Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for his many contributions to the Cape Cod community where he serves on the Board of Directors for Latham Centers Inc.

Property Brief

The 429-acre Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club (www.oceanedge.com) is located in the quaint town of Brewster, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The centerpiece of Ocean Edge is the historic Nickerson family Mansion and Carriage House that sits on a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay. Ocean Edge Golf Club is one of only a few private golf course clubs on Cape Cod. The course is available to members and hotel guests, who have exclusive access to the resort’s recreational and social privileges. In addition to the Nicklaus Design golf course, the resort boasts a 750-foot private beach, four outdoor and two indoor swimming pools, a USPTA-certified tennis complex, fitness and cardio rooms, and three restaurants, including the Ocean Terrace bar and restaurant in the back of the Mansion with sweeping views of Cape Cod Bay. In 2009, Ocean Edge opened the Mansion Ballroom, Cape Cod’s newest and largest luxury ballroom that can accommodate groups of up to 300 people.

What was the origin of Corcoran Jennison Hospitality?

It was founded in 1985, and the original goal behind establishing the company was to open and operate Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club on Cape Cod.

Since that time, Corcoran Jennison Hospitality (CJH) has been providing real estate development and management services to investors, clients, and partners in the hospitality industry.

Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club opened in 1986 and was our sole property for many years. In 1999, we opened the Doubletree by Hilton Boston Bayside Hotel, which is 197 keys and within a mile of downtown Boston.

A year later, CJH opened the 268-room Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Boston downtown; this full-service hotel is in the theatre district.

In June 2004, CJH opened a 175-key Hampton Inn and Suites in Boston. This hotel is in a multiuse office complex that includes residential and retail space.

The historic Nickerson family mansion

The historic Nickerson family mansion

How has Ocean Edge evolved since it opened?

Ocean Edge Resort encompasses about 429 acres. The centerpiece of the resort is the historic Nickerson Family Mansion and Carriage House, which both sit on a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay with magnificent views. These entities date back to the early 20th century.

The Mansion-side of the property encompasses 90 hotel bedrooms and 31 multi-bedroom villas.

The Villages side of the property contains the balance of our inventory. These are one-bedroom villas adjacent to our Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, which was created in 2006.

Since 2006, we have invested approximately $55 million in significant capital upgrades. This included the unveiling of Cape Cod’s only Nicklaus Design golf course, a redesign and addition to our Linx restaurant and Clubhouse, construction of Cape Cod’s most luxurious Ballroom, the launch of Ocean Terrace, an outdoor dining restaurant with commanding views of Cape Cod Bay, and the introduction of a private Member’s Sports Club. We also completed a remodel of all of our Mansion-side guest room inventory over the past 18 months including the launch of Cape Cod’s most luxurious guest accommodations – The Presidential Bay Collection.

How broad is your market?

The resort targets transient and leisure guests during our peak summer travel periods. Outside of that, we have leisure travelers but nowhere near the levels we reach in the summer. Much of our leisure travel outside of the peak summer months is Golf related. The demand outside of this time is focused on the group market.

Our Group market contributes approximately 40 percent of all Room Nights annually, and begins as early as February and remains strong through Thanksgiving every year.

Finally, we host many weddings annually, attracting couples from every New England state as well as destination weddings.

The Mansion side is targeted to a well-traveled discerning guest, while The Villages are geared towards a family-friendly economical offering.

Three-bedroom waterfront suite

Three-bedroom waterfront suite

How have your memberships to the club fared?

We have had great success over the past few years with the club, even during the recession. We have a maximum cap on the club at 1,000 members, and that breaks down between 700 for sports and 300 for golf.

We are about 85 percent sold out at this point.

The golf membership entitles you to the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course plus the other benefits, while our sports beach category will entitle you to the amenities at the resort with the exclusion of golf.

How important is it to implement the technology guests expect without losing the human touch?

In 2014, we will be implementing Interactive Television that promotes restaurant offerings, and allows guests to select entertainment options and order amenities straight from their in-room televisions. This service does not take the place of the human element; rather, it complements the DIAMOND Standards that we have employed at the Resort. These DIAMOND Standards were born out of the desire to achieve a Four-Diamond rating for our property for the first time, which we were successful in doing this past year.

D is for dress and living the part; I is to initiate contact, inquire about satisfaction, and be gracious; A is for accountability always; M is for maintaining a positive attitude; O is for owning the solution; N is now is the moment of opportunity; and D is to deliver hospitality with passion and pride.

We have also adopted something called Oz accountability training. The Oz Principle requires that employees look within themselves for solutions to problems employing a culture of what else they can do to support the organization.

Over the past few years, one of my major missions has been to shift the culture of how we treat our guests, members, team members, and the community, and we have made great strides in doing so. We hold Knowledge is Power meetings, which were born out of the idea of the General Manager taking time at the end of every season to meet with every team member in group settings to find out what worked well and what didn’t work, and how to improve. As a result, over the past four years, we have made double-digit satisfaction improvements in all areas.

We are not content to say we have a great property; we want to continue to cater to new tastes and we always want to stay ahead of the competition, be it with technology or the human touch.