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August 18, 2018

Why do some experiences last while others fade

According to Trip Advisor, there are 356 hotels in Los Angeles. As one would expect, the top-rated hotels are The Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton and Hotel Bel-Air. If you can get a room rate of $700, Trip Advisor, says you’re getting great value.

Why then is the Magic Castle Hotel ranked #2 in Los Angeles? This is based on 3,271 customer reviews of which 94% are “excellent” or “very good”. Even more surprising, the Magic Castle Hotel only has a room rate of $199. While its pricier competitor hotels pay attention to every detail in the building, the Magic Castle Hotel does not have the nicest furnishings and the rooms are dated. Moreover, the Magic Castle is actually a converted two-story apartment complex from the 1950s. Why is the hotel ranked so highly by customers?

According to authors Dan and Chip Heath, they describe in their book The Power of Moments, the Magic Castle Hotel gets is right by focussing on a few “defining moments”. A defining moment is simply a short experience that is memorable and meaningful. One of the Magic Castle’s defining moments is the “Popsicle Hotline”. When a guest at the pool picks up the cherry-red phone, someone answers, “Hello, Popsicle Hotline”. The guest orders a popsicle with a variety of flavors. A few minutes later, a server in white gloves delivers the popsicle on a silver tray for free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another defining moment is the snack menu. Snacks range from chocolate bars to root beer to Cheetos and can be ordered for free. There’s a board game menu and a DVD menu that are loaned out for free. Guests can also drop off as many loads of laundry. The clothes are washed and returned in less than 24 hours. Moreover, the clothes are wrapped and tied in twine with a dash of lavender.

The guest reviews for the Magic Castle Hotel don’t talk about every moment of the guest experience. Instead, guests rave about a few touch point moments that stuck like the Popsicle Hotline, the snacks, and the laundry service.

The most memorable and meaningful moments don’t require attention to every second and minute. They focus on a few touch points.

Do fans and creators have moments?

In 2013, Patrick Stewart attended Comicpalooza in Houston and took questions from a big crowd of fans. He’s has done hundreds of conventions.

Most fans waiting in line often ask a light-hearted question or make a funny comment because all eyes are on them. This is often due to the crowd. The fan feels uncomfortable asking a burning personal question and may want to be viewed as popular or cool by other fans.

In a rare exchange, a young female fan demonstrated incredible strength and vulnerability and created a defining moment that lasted a few minutes. The young adult woman thanked Patrick Stewart for a 2009 speech he gave about domestic violence against women that helped her move forward. Her question was not about domestic abuse but instead what Patrick Stewart was most proud of doing in his life outside of acting.

Patrick Stewart said he was proud of his charity work around domestic violence against women. He talked about his personal experience and the suffering his father inflicted on his mother and him as a child. The young woman said she too suffered abuse at which point Patrick Stewart asked if she is ok. gave her a hug and comforted her. The memorable exchanged was captured on video here.

The woman later blogged about the experience:

“They were about to move onto the next question when Sir Patrick looked at me and asked me ‘My Dear, are you okay?’ I said yes, and that I was finally able to move on from that part of my life. He then passionately said that his mother had done nothing to provoke his father and that even if she had, violence was never, ever a choice a man should make. That it is in the power of men to stop violence towards women. The¬†moderator then asked ‘Do you want a hug?’

“Sir Patrick didn’t even hesitate, he smiled, hopped off the stage and came over to embrace me in a hug. … He held me there for a long while. He told me ‘You never have to go through that again, you’re safe now.’ I couldn’t stop thanking him. His embrace was so warm and genuine. It was two people, two strangers, supporting and giving love. And when we pulled away he looked straight in my eyes, like he was promising that. He told me to take care. And I will.”

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