Is it Time to Spruce up Your Landscape?

By Ken Hutcheson President, U.S. Lawns | June 25, 2017

Now that summer is here, it might be time to enhance the appearance of your hotel's grounds. If you think that trimming, edging, and mowing every other week will be enough, think again. Your landscape deserves the best in full-service grounds care carried out by trained experts with an eye for keeping your landscape healthy.
Commercial grounds care is very different than residential landscaping, so even if your hotel has the best looking landscaping in the area, there are still circumstances you'll need to consider in order to keep your grounds safe, healthy, and looking great. As a hotelier, ask yourself these five questions to help decide if it's time to upgrade your landscape.

  1. When Was the Last Time You Assessed Your Surroundings?

    Routine property assessments should be part of any hotelier's to-do list.
    While maintaining the inside of a property might be a higher priority to
    some hoteliers, inspecting the grounds should be just as important. Your
    landscape is the first thing your guests see when they arrive, and you never
    have a second chance to make a good first impression. Typically, inspections
    should be carried out with two viewpoints in mind: first, from a landscape
    professional's perspective, and second through the eyes of a guest.

    Most professional landscape service providers recommend having a walk
    through with you or your maintenance manager to assess your property. A
    grounds care provider should check in on their clients' properties on a
    consistent, regularly-scheduled basis. Some hoteliers trust that their
    on-site maintenance manager would be capable of overseeing maintenance
    issues regarding landscaping, but there are some things only a seasoned
    landscape expert will notice, including hazards that could potentially
    result in an accident. These issues, if not rectified early on, can prove
    costly in the long run. Investing in a professional grounds care company –
    one that makes frequent inspections an integral part of their operations –
    will almost always pay off over time. Not only will an expert be able to
    look out for hazards that may be costly in the event of an accident, but
    they can also keep a property updated, in terms of industry trends, plant
    health, and best practices, which will enhance a property's appearance.

  2. Have You Assessed the Entire Property, or Just the Obvious Parts?

    When assessing the grounds of a property, most people tend to focus first on
    the aesthetic – and for good reason. When guests pull into the
    porte-cochere, park in designated parking spots, or take a walk around to
    the back of the hotel, it's important that what they see is consistent with
    the hotel's brand. While a hotel's maintenance manager may spot hedges in
    need of trimming, pests on shrubs or turf, or hazardous wet spots due to a
    leaking irrigation system, you may need an expert eye to discover what is
    causing those problems and others, and to address the best solutions and
    future prevention. Routine inspections and service by a professional
    grounds care provider will protect the investment you've made in your
    hotel's landscape.

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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.