Library Archives

 
David Lund

Hotel forecast magic. The how to vs. the want to. Have you ever wondered why it's so hard to get the non-financial manages in your hotel to do their forecasts? It's like pulling teeth, it's so hard to get the leaders in your hotel to willingly come to the plate. What if you're asking for their forecasts in the wrong way? Here is what I learned and I want to call myself out on this because it took me 20 years to figure it out. Maybe it will work for you too and you won't have to waste 20 years. Read on...

David Chitlik

Regardless of property type, tax assessment valuation would appear simple enough. A generally accepted definition of market value is: The probable price, as of a specified date, in cash, or in terms equivalent to cash, or in other precisely revealed terms, for which the specified property rights should sell after reasonable exposure in a competitive market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, with the buyer and seller each acting prudently, knowledgeably, and for self-interest, and assuming that neither is under undue duress. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

Driving Maximum Profit through More Direct Booking: In today's ultra-competitive hotel environment, every dollar counts. Any competitive edge that translates into a stronger bottom line is sought out, and every piece of hotel business is evaluated to determine its true worth. With rising costs associated with acquiring new guests through third-party platforms, hotels are rightly considering their most effective booking channels and looking to maximize business from owned assets like their own website. Read on...

Bob Mattler

There is a new innovative way to pay for hospitality construction projects: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACE, adopted as enabling legislation in 32 states and with active programs in about half of them, is gaining momentum as a flexible, available and creative tool in which to finance almost any technology that saves energy and/ or water. PACE can take the place of expensive loans or additional owner equity to finance construction projects that can be repaid long term from those very same energy and water savings. This article will explain Property Assessed Clean Energy, who pays for PACE, some common building systems ripe for PACE financing, who is using PACE and why. We'll take a closer look through some case studies how hospitality developers and owners are already taking advantage of this new economic development tool. Read on...

Bernard Ellis

Technology is often blamed for raising the biggest barrier to embracing a "total revenue management" approach. But chances are that you have systems in place that are already up to the task, if only you would set them up to succeed. You may need to make PMS configuration changes and refine certain business practices, but it will be more than worth it. It seems like every time RevPAR growth slows down, as it is now in the US, hoteliers instinctively turn first to investigate their revenue management systems, which surely must have blown a fuse or broken a fan belt or something. Read on...

Tammy Farley

There is an old adage that says, "The only constant is change." Although attributed to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher who lived around 500 B.C., apparently that statement is as true now as it has ever been – perhaps even more so. 2016 has proven to be a year of tumultuous change in the hospitality industry, from the dizzying pace of technological advancements and fluctuating global economies to the introduction and adoption of entire new segments of the business. With rapidly advancing technologies in just about every sector of the industry, hospitality has experienced an exponential transformation over the past several years, dramatically changing the face of one of the world's oldest occupations. Read on...

Trevor Stuart-Hill

Reliance on growing ADR to drive RevPAR when occupancy levels plateau isn't as easy as it sounds. Reactionary pricing moves, whether they be automated or human in origin will undoubtedly result in subpar performance. This article serves as an early warning that now is the time to take action to ensure that you don't fall victim to your dumbest competitor. Projections for 2017 and beyond by STR, CBRE and PKF all call for anemic occupancy growth at best, notwithstanding record occupancy levels for the U.S. hospitality industry. With Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) growth projections at inflationary levels (2.5 – 3.5 percent, or so), it is clear that expectations call for Average Daily Rate (ADR) growth to continue, but will it? Read on...

Ravneet Bhandari

Revenue managers spend considerable time observing and reviewing their competitive set. After all, they've had historical success looking at the hotels with similar pricing and amenities. It's been the stalwart approach to decoding the price forecasting puzzle. As an industry, we've commonly accepted this is the right way to do things. But be warned, this approach is like looking at a spectacular mountain. Every angle around the mountain looks different to the observer, with each view revealing bite sized pieces of the overall picture. The reader starts with a full-page image, but when seen from another angle, an entirely different picture is revealed. Revenue managers are so busy looking at their competition through a ‘partial' image, they cannot see the full picture. Read on...

David Chitlik

A hotel is not the same as a house or a warehouse or an apartment or office building, and assessors often don't understand why. The hospitality sector is frequently the most challenging part of a jurisdiction's property tax base. The only way to derive a hotel's real property value from a purchase price is for an assessor to spend time and energy understanding the adjustments needed to accurately determine what part of that purchase price relates to real property and whether or not it can be used as a sales comparable for other hotels in that jurisdiction. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

The hospitality industry experiences change every single day. Each day sees changes in guests, rates, menus, events and staff. At a higher level, hotels across the globe experience changes in management, brands, job responsibilities, revenue strategy and guest expectations. Sweeping changes in distribution, technology, analytics and merging industry conglomerates also affect nearly every hotel in every region. Read on...

Ravneet Bhandari

Big data, more than a buzzword, has by now become a conundrum that we, consumers and providers of information, try to crack and make sense of it. Essentially, we know that data is becoming larger with wider access to complex algorithms and connections. The onion metaphor – the peeling back of many layers - can be used to reflect the multifaceted aspects of machine learning technology. These swaths of data or rather layered strings of data sets turn these complex entities into a more accurate view of customer demand for the hotelier. Read on...

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

A consistent misconception among hoteliers is that pricing for profits means operating at the highest price level within your competitive set. This is as far from the truth as anything. Pricing for profits is an approach which takes into account how well your pricing strategy deals with one of the most common phenomenon in hotel or any form of business - price resistance. Price resistance is a price point where customers feel the need to look elsewhere. A superior indication of price leadership and pricing for profits is to see where you stand in terms of REVPAR against the Market Average. This is principally because if you are well above the market average REVPAR, you are exhibiting price leadership more than merely an average daily rate in the higher levels. Read on...

David Chitlik

Your hospitality business is small, with a single hotel or locations in only a few tax jurisdictions. Your accountant is taking care of compliance quite well, with the help of a local, seasonal tax specialist. But as you grow, expanding to another state, another region, it's time to seek tax expertise. Hiring an in-house state and local tax professional is often part of the evolution of a hospitality business. Its decision criterion is generally the same as that of any other position, arrived at through a cost-benefit analysis, and there are any number of metrics that can be used. Read on...

EJ Schanfarber

The revenue manager of an individual hotel or hospitality entity has become the "quarterback" of modern hospitality strategy and, in many ways, operations. He or she reviews past game data, surveys the competitive environment, consults with coaching staff (ownership and brand standards) and listens to teammates (especially the general manager and director of sales) before hitting the field on any given day and making a complex play call. As we know, with revenue management, a lot of things are in motion at once before we can determine and allocate "which rooms, when, at what rates." Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

It is commonly accepted today that revenue management is critical to the successful operation of any hotel. However, while the adoption of this strategic approach to pricing - and the advanced systems that support this - are becoming more widespread, there is still no industry standard for how to evaluate revenue management outcomes. This lack of universal criteria around how to assess revenue management can pose challenges in trying to sell the success of a program within a hotel, as well challenging how to accurately benchmark a hotel's revenue performance against its competitors. 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.