His first taste of business began helping his father in the store they owned, and by the age of 21 he was running it. His first hotel was the Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas which would turn out to be one of many hotels for sale in Texas he purchased including the Dallas Hilton, his first high-rise hotel.
Despite his initial runaway success, Conrad Hilton almost lost everything during the Great Depression, including several of the hotels he had so carefully built up, and even ended up working as a manager for the new owners. This was only a temporary setback however, and in the late 1940s the Hilton Hotels Corporation and Hilton International Company were formed.
The next two decades saw the Hilton group expand globally and become the first international hotel chain. Despite being a global chain of hotels, Conrad Hilton believed that each hotel should have some individual character, incorporating elements from the local culture and making each hotel unique.
The company was handed over to his son, Barron, in the 1960s, but Conrad Hilton continued to play a part as Chairman of the Board. When he died in 1979 at the age of 91, he had already earned his place in the history books as one of the most successful businessmen in history. His son, Barron Hilton, attributed his father’s success to a number of factors:
• Conrad Hilton learnt every aspect of the hotel business, from cleaning rooms to serving guests.
• He knew the financial side of the business, rather than leaving it all to an accountant.
• He respected different cultures and rather than exporting an American hotel to other countries, built international hotels in harmony with local cultures.
• He incorporated new technology, and was one of the first hotels to introduce direct-dial phones, air-conditioning and computer reservations.
• He believed in fair employment practices and encouraged his managers to employ minorities and people with disabilities.
Conrad Hilton was a visionary who incorporated business principles that many hoteliers fail to capitalise on even today, even though they proved so successful for the Hilton Hotels:
1. Be economical with resources
2. Always stay ahead of the competition
3. Make employees and investors feel part of the hotel family
Many hotels have tried to copy the exclusive service offered by Conrad Hilton, but have failed to grasp the holistic approach that he took. He was the owner of the one of the most important hotel chains in the world, but was humble enough to have learned each aspect of the running of the hotel; he respected other cultures, employees and investors, trying to get them involved in the overall success of the hotel; he made sure that the hotel was always innovative in order to make the guests’ stay more comfortable, convenient and pleasurable.
Conrad Hilton built an empire on simple success principles that can be used to this day by hoteliers looking to follow in the footsteps of this hotel giant.
Conrad Hilton Quotes
Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.
Enthusiasm is a vital element toward the individual success of every man or woman.
I know when I have a problem and have done all I can: thinking, figuring, planning, I keep listening in a sort of inside silence until something clicks and I feel a right answer.
Rachel is a freelance blogger on a variety of topics, including business advice and buying a hotel.
No related posts.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.