Library Archives

 
Jeff Slye

Attracting new revenue and saving money is more important than ever in this economic climate and many hotels now recognize both of these goals can be realized through green programs. As a result, many hotel or hotel companies are claiming they have programs in place, but are they actually being implemented successfully? Is the full value of these programs being realized? This article examines how critical it is that eco-programs are implemented internally and successfully managed, plus it outlines the subsequent benefits that come from doing so. Read on...

Jim Poad

When you consider the number of washers, dryers, vacuums, lighting fixtures, elevators, and other electronic devices needed to run a hotel, it's no wonder electric bills have become a towering expense for operators. Indeed, the hotel industry uses 69 billion kilowatts of electricity a year, at a cost of $5.3 billion annually, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, making it one of the highest expenditures for hotel franchisees. It's also one of the most overlooked expenses of running a hotel. Hotel operators are most concerned with buying amenities that ensure a pleasant stay for their customers, and increase return business. They excel at purchasing appliances, wall decor, furniture, carpeting, even restaurant equipment. But when tasked with finding the best rate for their electric needs, since it doesn't directly affect the customer experience, the job tends to fall to the wayside. Read on...

Jim Poad

The "No Vacancy" sign is the hotel operator's best friend. No matter where it's shining-from the top of Maine to the tip of Florida; from the Hudson River to the Grand Canyon; or from the Seattle Space Needle to the San Diego Zoo - the neon light signals a strong industry. It also indicates a stable economy. The more rooms that are booked means more cars on the road, and more people traveling on planes and trains. And it means restaurants, shops, and amusement centers packed full with visitors. But there's an underlying component that, if not addressed, can limit an operator's end profit. A crucial element here is energy costs. Read on...

Jim Poad

Many hotel operators calculate their energy usage in a vacuum. The singular focus on achieving the highest possible 'heads-to-beds' rate leaves little time for tracking energy usage. Some hotel managers commit to tracking this data but without the thorough understanding of how these usage rates vary across multiple site locations. Others have no idea how their rates compare to those of competitors in the hotel marketplace. This offers little insight into what their organization is doing well, or, more importantly, where they can improve. The result: Exorbitant energy costs negatively offset the profits from strong heads-to-beds rates, leaving operators to wonder where they went wrong. And if they don't figure it out soon, their business-and their bottom line-will pay. Literally. Read on...

Jim Poad

Small hotel franchisees and independent hotel operators concerns are the same as larger chains, in that they must pay employees, stock inventory, buy furnishings, and deal with heads-to-beds issues. Also like larger hotels, smaller operators have little time to manage the costs of the one thing hotels couldn't be without: utilities. But unlike larger establishments, they often don't have the capital to spend on full-service solutions that manage utility expenditures. That's about to change. Some energy management companies are providing a solution that gets smaller operators in on the ground floor of energy management. In fact it's so easy to use, all they need is a fax machine or a scanner. Read on...

Jim Poad

With oil prices recently hitting an all time high of $100 a barrel, business leaders have never been more motivated to optimize their energy use. Thanks to market forces, going green now makes good business sense. And there's no better industry to make the business case for going green than hospitality. The hotel industry spends nearly $5 billion annually on energy. Much of that is wasted on empty rooms, inefficient equipment, and poor energy management practices. That's the bad news.With that in mind, here are some basic, yet effective demand-side initiatives to lower hotel operating costs. Some of these ideas apply to existing buildings; some are for those still on the drawing board. All will have a measurable impact on the bottom line. Read on...

Jim Poad

The first businesses to feel the immediate effects of pending federal legislations will be the energy producers, and in turn, every energy consuming business. Regulations on carbon emissions production and requirements to be greener can be safely associated with higher costs and higher prices for end consumers. Companies who purchase energy to operate multiple sites, like big box retailers, restaurant chains, and hotel chains should take a close look at changes happening at the state level to be prepared for the day when their own states' energy producers are expected to meet similar guidelines, and they in turn see prices jump. Read on...

Sam Small

Changing outdated notions regarding construction is like pouring refrigerated maple syrup - slow, but worth it. Unfortunately, time is tight for adopting environmentally sensitive practices; we need to do it now. Utilizing prefabrication and modular building techniques and choosing innovative and sustainable building materials like Structural Bamboo can play an important role in establishing a conservative and sustainable eco-footprint and identity for a hotel or resort development. Read on...

Bill Meade

Most hoteliers have stopped short in their environmental programs with the misconception that guests equate quality with excess and that technologies guests will rebel against the poor quality lighting of compact fluorescent bulbs or low flow rates of efficient showerheads. Those trying to demonstrate their corporate commitment to sustainability have felt that a linen or towel reuse tent card on the nightstand proves the hotel management's commitment to "save the environment". The reality is that guests are becoming increasingly environmentally-conscious and have a much better appreciation for technologies and practices in hotels that share their interests. Read on...

Arthur Weissman

With the dizzying amount of environmentally responsible planning, development, and operational incentives currently offered by local governments, the analysis and decisions for how to engineer and operate your lodging property can feel like more of a hassle than a benefit. In this article, we will try to outline how local governments are streamlining this market and, especially for hotels, make the implementation of environmentally responsible polices and practices a faster and cheaper process. Read on...

Jim Poad

For obvious reasons, cost cutting is at the top of every business owner's to-do list. Surprisingly, energy expenses are often overlooked as operating costs are evaluated for their impact on a company's bottom line. Energy expenses can be a controllable cost when consumption behaviors are evaluated. According to ENERGY STARR, typical energy expenses account for more than 6 percent of a hotel's total operating costs. These costs have increased approximately 25 percent from 2004 to 2008. By investigating procurement options, analyzing a history of utility invoices, exploring what rates you should be paying, and implementing green energy practices, operators can drive down utility costs without negatively impacting the comfort of their hotels or quality of the guest accommodations. Read on...

Bill Meade

The Caribbean tourism sector has long been recognized for its leadership in sustainability. The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association set up a non-profit subsidiary Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) to promote environmental management and sustainability best practices among hotels and other tourism operators. Individual hoteliers have won global recognition for extending the benefits of tourism to visitors, local business, communities and even municipalities. Read on...

Jim Poad

In January, the United States inaugurated its forty-fourth commander in chief and ushered in what's largely considered to be a landmark administration. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their cabinet, have promised sweeping policy changes in several areas. Among the list of Obama's priority issues are the economy, healthcare, foreign policy, and of course energy and the environment as global climate change is one of the fastest growing points of anxiety for America. His plans to address global climate change caused by carbon emissions have been intensely analyzed by policy makers and the media. Read on...

Roger G. Hill

Surely, you know what your company's mission statement is. But, do you have a green mission statement? Sitting down and working through all of the possible intentions and outcomes of a green mission is the first step to setting a green strategy that is authentic. What are you looking to accomplish? Who are you trying to engage with your green message? What does green mean to your company today? What will it mean in 5 years? Use this mission as your "roadmap" to the greening of your company. It will provide an anchor that will keep you on track with your goals - if followed; it will literally show the way as you live your new mission. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

The U.S. lodging industry spends close to $4 billion on energy every year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If hotels could improve their energy performance by an average of 30 percent, the hotel industry would see a savings of approximately $365 per available room night per year for every hotel room in the country. The good news is that there are many simple steps your staff can take to use energy more efficiently. And the great news is that electric utilities can help you. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.