Scott Acton

"What happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas" may help save relationships, jobs and reputations by hiding mistakes made by visitors to Sin City. It does little to protect the global hospitality industry from repeating the same mistakes made by hotel properties. Las Vegas-based Forte Specialty Contractors CEO Scott Acton takes a look at the design successes and failures in a city where hospitality properties are punished by high-energy, high-occupancy conditions that accelerate wear and tear and provide quicker assessment of design decisions. This article shares what Forte has learned in this hospitality-design laboratory and shares best practices with the industry. Read on...

Aaron Koppelberger

Is an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the guest list at your hotel? Currently, there is no federal mandate requiring hotels to have AEDs. However, a recent Harris Poll found that 69 percent of Americans believe hotels should have an AED installed. In the U.S., there are 350,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) each year, and 90 percent of out-of-hospital SCA events are fatal. AEDs, however, greatly improve a person's chance of survival. This article explains the need for AEDs and includes steps for implementing an AED program at your property. It could help you earn more business and more importantly, potentially save a life. Read on...

Shahin Sharifi

This research examines consumer reactions to types of consumer reviews and finds that when a satisfaction guarantee is not provided, the most favorable evaluations belong to positive reviews, followed by mixed reviews, and then negative reviews. With a satisfaction guarantee, consumers react the most favorably to mixed reviews and have similar evaluations of positive and negative reviews. Furthermore, this research concludes that uncertainty intolerance (i.e., the need for cognitive closure) enhances the evaluations of positive and negative reviews but lowers the evaluations of mixed reviews. Nonetheless, with a satisfaction guarantee, consumers' uncertainty intolerance enhances also the evaluations of mixed reviews. Read on...

Dianna Vaughan

This year, the All Suites brands by Hilton, comprised of Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton, opened their 1,000th property, reaching a major milestone in the brands' explosive growth. Global Head and Senior Vice President of the All Suites Brands by Hilton Dianna Vaughan lends her insight on how the brands work closely with their owners to drive strong demand for the brand, leading to industry-leading growth in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and Latin America. Read on...

Library Archives

 
Dana Kravetz

Hotel and resorts are jumping on the gig economy bandwagon, satisfying their short-term employment needs by (literally) tapping into the ever-growing pool of freelance hospitality workers available via app or online. But as more and more hoteliers avail themselves to the flexibility and considerable costs savings that are part and parcel to the on-demand staffing model, they are wading into potentially perilous waters, with legal and reputational issues lurking just below the surface. Here, a light is shined on would-be problems inherent in the gig economy that management should be mindful of. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

Eleven years from now the U.S. population will reach a tipping point. The year 2030 will mark the moment when all baby boomers will be at least 65 years of age; in other words, 20 percent of our population will be of retirement age. Jonathan Vespa, a U.S. demographer, puts it this way: "The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. By 2035, there will be 78 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18." So, what does this have to do with hotels? A lot. In this article, you read about two unique opportunities for your hotel to take advantage of the longevity trend. Read on...

Zoe Connolly

From things like being up to date on the latest job board or careers site, through finding the time to screen every qualified potential candidate, hiring can be a brutal experience. This is among the chief reasons that the recruiting industry came into being; recruiters can make things easier for hiring managers. But not all roles and situations merit the help of a seasoned hiring professional. In facat, there are a number of circumstances that travel tech and hotel leaders should consider before bringing on a recruiting partner. This article identifies when it is, and when it is not time for hiring help. Read on...

David Allison

The Lodging industry in all price categories is going through a period of disruption, with huge forces at play. New technologies, mergers, acquisitions, online competition, Airbnb, new travel behaviours, new types of travelers: these are not small adjustments to an ecosystem. In the midst of that chaos it's valuable to step back and ask our consumers, directly, what they value, want, need and expect. And that's where the 75,000 surveys in the Valuegraphics Database come in. We've done that work of asking hotel guests those questions for you. Read on...

John R. Hunt

In recent years, employers in the hospitality industry have faced an onslaught of claims and litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal law that establishes minimum wage and overtime requirements. Among the kinds of cases that employers have confronted are those alleging violations of the Department of Labor's "80/20" rule for tipped employees. This "rule" provided that an employer could not take a "tip credit" where a tipped employee spent over 20 percent of his or her time on activities that did not directly generate tips. The following discusses the rule and the significant changes made by the DOL. Read on...

Ryan Kunzer

General Manager, Ryan Kunzer of The Duniway, a bold lifestyle hotel located in downtown Portland, OR, comments on the changing city that celebrates the independent and progressive spirit for which Portland is best known. His leadership at this uniquely modern property boldly sets the stage for conversations between urban cyclists, entrepreneurs, locals and travelers alike. Ryan shares his views on the maturing city and why visitors should stay at The Duniway to unwind and recharge when visiting the city for business or pleasure. Read on...

Mark Ricketts

Charting a path for growth is an enviable and exciting journey for any hospitality organization. It takes a bold, yet careful blend of vision, strategy and technical expertise in a wide variety of areas, including property identification, financing, human resources and organization building, and day-to-day hotel operations. Regardless, as in all successful business endeavors, this journey ultimately depends on the relationships of trust and mutual benefit, with everyone from investors and brand partners to our staff, that we cultivate and secure along the way. Read on...

Rocco Bova

Reputation used to be word of mouth, recommendations and built over years of hard work and professional behavior. Today, thanks (or not) to social media, reputation can be built in very short time (see ''influencers'') and destroyed as quickly. Needless to say that your online behavior is as important as your public one. Ensure you follow these basic rules to not fall in the sea of sameness. I am not an expert, and neither I want to be, but I want to share what helped me become a trusted and respected hotelier. Read on...

Cate Farmer

The way travelers are taking vacations has changed. Expectations are higher. Travelers want a worry-free vacation with personality. It is all about the experiences and maybe more importantly how those experiences translate to an emotional connection. The story, the people, the adventure is as important as, maybe even more important than, the physical deliverable. The team at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort's mission is to deliver Fun and Escapism to our guests. We provide something unique and somewhat intangible and that ultimately differentiates and makes us successful. We take tremendous pride in knowing that our guests return again and again to the Resort because of this emotional connection. Read on...

Cristine Henderson

Everything from clothing to condos are now produced with some degree of sustainable measures in mind. The extension of this practice to the hospitality industry might come as a surprise to some, especially with the added competition of short-term rental services such as Airbnb. However, sustainability has made its mark on the hotel industry and shows no signs of slowing down. Not only does this innovation help the environment and perpetuate social responsibility, but consumers love it. Read ahead for a more thorough investigation by Cristine Henderson, AIA, NCARB of Hoefer Wysocki of how the hospitality industry is incorporating sustainable measures to rebuild its foundations through design. Read on...

David Dionne

In an ever-increasingly competitive hospitality marketplace, owners and operators look to enhance their competitive advantage by providing uniquely positive, memorable experiences. Hotel and resort owners and operators agree that a hospitality brand holds the potential to create such novel guest experiences through the amenities leaders select for the brand's identity. What is a really unique and novel amenity? A really great playground. What makes a great playground? A great playground stimulates a child's imagination, allows children to build confidence through experience and skill building opportunities and can be designed for kids of all abilities and ages. Read on...

Justin Laxton

Providing your hotel guests with the essential items they want and need is an important ingredient of overall customer satisfaction. In this article, we'll dive into tactics you could use to identify the essentials your customers need, and discuss how the brands you stock can lead to a delightful customer experience. We'll also discuss the role local trends and sustainability can play in creating a strong customer impression. At the end of the article, you will have a good idea of how to build and maintain a continuous process to create memorable experiences for your customers. Read on...

Mark Heymann

A persistent labor shortage means the hospitality industry is facing tough workforce questions: How can a hotel deliver the level of service it promises with a smaller staff? Will tougher competition for workers impact average wage rates in a historically low-paying industry? What solutions, like cross-utilization, can hotels implement now? And what solutions will require larger-scale legal and societal change? Among the more transformational ideas this article will explore are rethinking current minimum shift requirements and looking to nontraditional sources, from retirees to training the formerly incarcerated, for future hospitality work. Read on...

Lisa Ross

The vast millennial population makes them a major target group for all businesses. That's why, hoteliers must find effective ways to attract this young, tech-savvy and demanding generation. Millennials are more well-travelled and adventurous than the previous generation. Their exposure to technology sets them apart as the first to grow up fully connected. They expect something new from the hospitality industry, throughout their entire experience – from making the reservation to checkout and beyond. Read on to learn how to cater to millennial desires for customization over generalization, need to stay super connected, and appreciation for brand engagement on social media. Read on...

Daniel Lafferty

Hoteliers are well-versed in the art of visual branding and the creation of ambient spaces, recognising the significance of brand image in attracting customers. Yet how a leisure brand sounds is becoming as important as how it looks when ensuring business success. But how do you create a unique brand soundtrack that best reflects specific brand values and personality? Daniel Lafferty, Director of Music and Voice at global audio branding specialist PHMG, explains how hoteliers can harness the power of audio to differentiate their venue from competitors by using the right combination of custom composed music, voice and script. Read on...

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.