Landscaping During a Drought

By Ken Hutcheson President, U.S. Lawns | November 22, 2015

According to a 2014 study from the University of California-Davis, last year’s drought was likely to inflict $2.2 billion in losses on the agricultural industry. Harsh drought seasons have led to habitat destruction, wildfires, and have also caused entire landscapes to change. In severe and prolonged seasons, droughts reduce the quality of soil and promote soil erosion, which can result in the loss of the landscape all together.

However, by working with your contractor to create the right preparation plan that includes vegetation selection and proper irrigation methods, hoteliers can protect and increase the durability of their landscapes.

Preparation

Implementing a comprehensive drought preparation plan is the key to preventing landscape upheaval during periods of drought. One way hoteliers can achieve this is by choosing grass, flowers, trees, and other vegetation that require less water. These landscape features are particularly important because they’re features that hoteliers can plan and control before drought season begins. Below you will find a more in depth look at each of these landscape features.

Grass

Hoteliers understand how important it is for their properties to maintain a crisp, clean, and overall attractive appearance. And since grass is one of the largest components of the exterior landscape, it’s critical that it upholds both its green color and strength. In order to accomplish this, hoteliers should work with their contractors to identify which species of grass is the most appropriate for their climate and location. Hoteliers need to look for options that are both drought tolerant and low maintenance. It’s important to point out that there’s a direct correlation between maintenance and drought-tolerance, so choosing a low maintenance grass can also help you reduce water runoff, lower irrigation costs, and increase its overall lifecycle.

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.