Hotel Business Review: Week of Nov 30, 2015

David Muller
  • Meetings & Conventions
  • Practicing the Art of Stagecraft Within a Hotel
  • Making that road show a permanent fixture within a hotel should be as important as creating the exhibit in the first place because the hotel writ mobile and interactive – with its menagerie of decorative and mechanized birds and giraffes, and the choreographed locomotion of a wintertime scene of holiday revelry centered around a incandescent spruce – is a statement of purpose and a reminder, to visitors and staff alike, that a hotel – your hotel – has a story to tell. Read on...

Jeff  Catlin
  • Technology
  • Common Mistakes in Text Analytics of Consumer Reviews
  • This article lists the top mistakes that we’ve seen people make when attempting to implement and use automated text analytics of consumer reviews. More importantly, this article gives advice as to how to proceed methodically thus avoiding most of the minefield, and getting the most value for dollar out of your automated review analysis. From “starting from the question” to “don’t think too small,” we’ll cover the top nine mistakes and corresponding fixes. Read on...

Ted Fifelski
  • Mobile Technology
  • Payments in the Cloud
  • Mobile payment technologies have captured the spotlight of the retail, banking and restaurant industries, and the hospitality industry is no exception. One solution in particular can help mobilize the guest experience and put hotels back in control of it. Host card emulation (HCE) is a cloud-based technology that leverages the Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities right within an Android phone to virtually store a guest’s credentials – room keys, credit cards, reward cards and more. Read on...

Jane  Coloccia
  • Social Media & PR
  • The Next Generation of Social Media:
  • If you were to ask consumer-facing companies where the greatest future opportunity lies in terms of engaging customers, a relatively high portion would point to the social space. In fact, more and more companies are investing greater amounts of their marketing dollars into social media. And, with good reason. Trend reports are continuing to show people are watching less and less television, and reading fewer print publications. If you want to influence today’s consumer — aka your potential guest — you need to reach them where they are spending their downtime. And that, my friends, is with their mobile device. Read on...


NOVEMBER: Hotel Architecture and Design: Unique, Timeless and Memorable Design

Lema Khorshid

With new players constantly opening their doors, the hotel industry has become an extremely competitive game. One day, a hotel is the only one of its kind in its ZIP code, and the next, one opens around the corner and another right across the street. Hotel companies and operations constantly innovate novel and differentiated concepts to draw new customers in, and as a result the hospitality industry bears a surplus of very comparable brands. Whatever the concept and whatever the location, hotel executives need to differentiate their properties from the mass of competition. Using both the law and business of brands is the best tool at the hotel executive’s disposal. Read on...

Justin  Thompson

A couple of notable recent legal developments have paved the way for a resurgence in developer interest in condo hotel projects. This is especially true in major luxury markets across the U.S., such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New York, where numerous condo hotel projects are in the development and pre-sale phases. By way of background, a condo hotel is a condominium project located immediately adjacent to or within a hotel. In a condo hotel project, the condominium unit owners are entitled to certain hotel amenities by virtue of their unit ownership. Many unit owners elect or are restricted from living in their condo hotel unit year round; when the unit is not occupied, it is rented. Read on...

Rob Elvin

There have been a significant number of cases reported in the press recently in relation to hotels that are being prosecuted for health and safety breaches. The increased visibility of such cases highlights a need for stronger emphasis on compliance within the industry. This article aims to increase awareness of health and safety issues amongst hoteliers by examining key health and safety obligations in relations to hotels; considering the legal, reputational and financial impact of failures to comply with health and safety duties; and providing some practical examples of how to ensure compliance with legal obligations. Read on...

Robert E. Braun

The basics of the hotel business have traditionally been simple: good location, fair prices, appropriate amenities and good service were the keys to success. While those factors are important today, hotels are no longer simply a “heads in beds” business; hotels are increasingly brand-oriented. Brands focus not only on the services and products they sell, but on developing the perception and recognition of the brand associated with those goods and services. That means that hotels, like all brands, need to focus more and more on understanding their customers and how to reach them, whether through loyalty programs, advertising, social media or otherwise. Read on...

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Legal Issues Looming Large in 2015
In an industry where people are on-property 24/7/365, the possibilities are endless for legal issues to arise stemming from hotel guest concerns. And given the sheer enormity of the international hotel industry, issues pertaining to business, franchise, investment and real estate law are equally immense. Finally, given the huge numbers of diverse people who are employed in the hospitality industry, whether in hotel operations or food and beverage, legal issues pertaining to labor, union, immigration and employment law are also significant and substantial. The expertise of all kinds of specialists and practitioners is required to administer the legal issues within the hotel industry, and though the subject areas are vast and varied, there are numerous issues which will be in the forefront in 2015 and beyond. One issue that is gaining traction is how hotels are dealing with the use of marijuana by employees, given its ever-changing legal status. The use of marijuana is now legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia for certain medical conditions. Two other states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized recreational marijuana use for individuals who are 21 years old or older, and Alaska and Oregon currently have similar legislation pending. Most state laws legalizing marijuana do not address the employment issues implicated by these statutes. Therefore, it is incumbent on all hotel operators to be aware of the laws in their states and to adjust their employment policies accordingly regarding marijuana use by their employees. Other issues that are currently looming large pertain to guest identity theft by hotel employees and the legal liabilities which ensue; issues of property surveillance versus a guest’s right to privacy; and immigration reform could also be a major compliance issue. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine some of the more critical issues involving hotel law and how some managers are addressing them in their operations.