2012 Check List: Is Your Property ADA Friendly?

By Clara Rose President & Creative Director, Creative Alliance | September 02, 2012

The deadline for compliance to the new ADA laws has come and gone. To the relief of many, the White house issued a 60 day extension that pushed the compliance date for the pool lift requirements back to May 15th, offering extra time to come into compliance on that component.

Some conscientious hospitality properties have taken a proactive approach to the ADA changes and hired an independent firm to conduct an ADA compliance inspection or survey, others have decided to wait and see.
While these new regulations promise positive change for those with different abilities; much more can be done in an effort to offer an ADA Friendly environment for those guests. To that end, a checklist can be helpful; by outlining some steps that can be taken to help ensure a truly ADA friendly property.

Parking and Loading Zones

The need for specialized parking, to accommodate vehicles with lifts and extra space to maneuver, is obvious. Guidelines for part of this requirement can be found in the ADA Standards 4.1.2(5).

Beyond this required access, consider adding the following measures or ADA Friendly features:

  • Additional accessible spaces beyond the requirements
  • Wider parking spaces closest to the entrance
  • Drive up call button for special assistance
  • Valet parking with staff trained to assist

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.