Growing up, Nancy Kern loved hotels. She loved the sound of her feet on the marble as she walked, the soft dings of the elevator as she arrived on a new floor to explore; she loved to press her forehead to soaring windows as she gazed out at the view of an unfamiliar city. No sooner would her family arrive then she’d be off on her own, exploring every inch of her temporary home until she knew the ins and outs and began to understand the parts that made up the humming whole of hotel life.
As the vice president of marketing for CoralTree, Kern leads the marketing efforts for the company focusing on both corporate and property initiatives. Her responsibilities range from traditional to digital marketing, guest acquisition programs, branding, public relations, and customer loyalty initiatives.
Kern’s hospitality career began as an intern for the Vail Valley Tourism and Convention Bureau (VVTCB). She remembers working at the visitor center and fielding guests’ funny questions, such as “Where do they store the moguls in the summer?” or “At what elevation do deer turn to elk?” Although she actually doesn’t enjoy snow or cold weather, she loved mountain life in summer and enjoyed sharing that experience with people visiting for the first time.
After her internship, she became special events manager for the VVTCB and proved to be masterful at multitasking, overseeing 15 employees, 50 volunteers, coordinating festivals and more. She caught the eye of the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau and was named public relations manager in 2003. During her tenure, she not only acted as the film commissioner for Boulder Film Commission, she brought national sporting events to the city and secured millions of impressions in media coverage.
In 2005, Destination Hotels offered her an opportunity to bring her skill set in tourism and hospitality to its team as a marketing manager. Over the next 12 years, she demonstrated her marketing expertise and rose to become assistant vice president, loyalty marketing and CRM. When Destination became Two Roads Hospitality, she again proved her prowess and was promoted to vice president. Now as vice president of marketing for CoralTree, she has been instrumental in propelling the brand’s awareness through numerous successful marketing initiatives from customer loyalty programs to public relations and digital marketing.
When looking back on her career, Kern is most proud of being a part of the opening team for Terranea, a popular seaside escape in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. As the marketing manager for Destination Hotels, she was involved in all aspects of pre-opening marketing from naming the hotel to watching the doors open on day one. To see a resort from concept to opening and now, a decade later, a thriving destination, is something she often reflects on.
Kern returns to Terranea often for business and personal travel. However, she’s part of a globetrotting family and is often traveling the world with her mother and sister. Her travels have taken her to Dubai, Russia, Patagonia, Iceland, Africa and beyond. But her most memorable family trip was in 2019 when she took her mother, sister and niece to Thailand and Laos, where they explored temples and markets, cruised the Mekong River, took part in the almsgiving with monks and even played in the river with elephants. The ultimate highlight was watching her 10-year-old niece experience the wonder and awe of seeing a new land, a new culture and falling in love with travel too. Her niece became a world traveler on that trip, and Kern can't wait for all of the future adventures they’ll share together.