Preparing for Winter

By Ken Hutcheson President, U.S. Lawns | September 13, 2015

By following these simple steps you can ensure your hotel will be ready for one of the busiest seasons of the year.

Step 1. Winterizing Irrigation Systems

In order to prevent damages and costly repairs, hoteliers need to winterize their property's irrigation system. For hotels in seasonal and non-seasonal markets alike, winterization is key in ensuring your sprinkler system works properly in the future. Particularly in regions that reach freezing temperatures, the colder climates can freeze and break pipe walls, ruining your irrigation system come spring. But even those in temperate areas need to take certain precautions, as the year-round demands on the irrigation systems will need to be checked and cleaned more often. Your winterization approach will vary depending on where your system is located, but all hoteliers should follow the basic method: turn off the water, shut down the controller, and drain the pipes.

The first step in shutting off the water supply is by turning it off using the main valve. The second step is to turn off the sprinkler's control system. This step can be more complex since there are many different types of sprinkler systems, so if you're working with a landscaping company, it's crucial that they do it correctly.

The third and most important step is removing the water from your system's sprinklers, as it prevents your pipes from freezing, expanding, and bursting. It also ensures that the system's pipes are clean and working efficiently. Draining the pipes is a key step in minimizing damages and optimizing the functionality of the system, but it is also complicated, so professional help is highly recommended.

Step 2. Fall Fertilization

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.