Depending on her role in the operations of the hotel, an owner of a hotel can choose to pay herself a salary or collect the profits from the business. Most larger hotels are owned by corporations, so this situation is relatively rare, but the owner of a hotel has every right to hire herself to work for the business in any capacity she sees fit, and there can be tax and other advantages to doing so. Hotel owners who are actively involved in management of the business typically carry the title of general manager or owner-manager.
Hotel Ownership and Management
Hotels traditionally were managed by their owners. In many cases, the owners literally considered themselves as hosts for their guests and managed almost every aspect of the hotel operation. However, the hotel industry evolved over time, and at a certain economy of scale the concept of a host-owner overseeing everything simply becomes impossible, and employing managers becomes a necessary part of the business model. That said, many owners of smaller boutique hotels hearken back to the traditional past and are full-time salaried owner-managers of their establishments.
Hotel General Manager Salaries
According to All Culinary Schools, the middle 50 percent range for hotel managers/general managers is $68,000 to $124,756 as of 2011. CNN Money lists hotel general managers as the 32nd best job in America with a median annual salary of $76,800.
Hotel Industry Profits
The hotel industry was hit hard by the Great Recession. Demand for rooms was down 7 percent in 2008-2009, and while things started to improve in 2010, the industry is still in recovery mode. Occupancy rates are in some sense the bottom line in the hotel and lodging industry, but other factors also come into play. Overhead, or the cost of operations, is a major factor as it must be balanced against occupancy rates. Other business operations like restaurants and guest services can be profit centers for hotels in resort communities, but tend to be relatively high overhead.
Hotel General Manager Duties
The duties of a hotel general manager vary significantly based on the size and type of hotel. A general manager at a small 12-room boutique hotel will typically be a lot more "hands-on" than a general manager at a 1,500-room resort hotel. Typical hotel general manager responsibilities include accounting and financial control as well as oversight of guest services, food establishments and the general maintenance and upkeep of the facility. In larger hotels, a general manager will typically have several assistant managers who report to her.