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Steve Kiesner

Electric company energy efficiency programs are familiar to many hotel executives. These can include incentives to purchase energy-efficient equipment and build energy-efficient facilities. The benefits extend to both your company and the electric utility industry. A closer look at some individual electric company incentive programs, and a glimpse at what the future may hold, will give you a better understanding of how to save energy and money in today's, and tomorrow's, energy markets. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

The extraordinary events that have rippled through the nation's electric power industry during the past few years have touched businesses and consumers alike. Electricity competition. Regional reliability concerns. Enron. In the hotel industry, perhaps the most visible impact has been the energy surcharge that many hotels placed on customer bills. Questions about the cost of power, and in some locations, even its availability, were two issues that caused turmoil for hotel guests and managers alike. Understanding where we are now, and what to expect down the road, will help hotel executives prepare an energy strategy to improve their profitability in the future. Read on...

Arthur Weissman

As a hotel executive, the last thing you may want to think about is whether your hotel is considered "green." You are worried about filling your rooms, satisfying your guests, and perhaps getting the big business of government and companies. But being designated as "green" can actually help you do all of these things: it can increase your room-nights, enhance your guests' satisfaction, and boost your business with big customers. This series will show you how. We begin by examining what it means for a hotel to be "green." The word is, of course, shorthand for being environmentally responsible (or sustainable) so as to minimize environmental impacts in purchasing, operations, and plant management. Read on...

Tyler Tatum

Part 2 - Leveraging your environmental policy in your marketing and sales efforts. You may not realize that a number of the initiatives you have started in your hotel in order to cut costs and survive during the last four tough years can actually be turned into marketing and sales tools. I am referring to everything you have pursued in order to reduce your waste, energy usage, and water usage. Many guests are currently looking for reasons to visit your property over the property next door. An increasing number of guests are looking for properties where they can feel their stay is in harmony with the environment. Just imagine if you could add 5% more loyal guests by publicizing your environmental efforts. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

An issue of interest to the nation's hotel industry-chains as well as independents-is appearing on ballots in a number of city elections this year: Who should be the electricity provider-the existing electric utility or a newly created city department? Iowa is one state where a number of local ballot initiatives are asking residents if their city should municipalize, or more accurately, takeover the role of electricity provider. California is another. And in recent years the question has come up in Florida, Nevada, and New York and elsewhere. The bait is typically lower prices and greater reliability. But government takeovers can't guarantee either. To make improvements here, we must look beyond local control issues and address the national issues that are affecting the country's electricity system. And this can only be accomplished through comprehensive national energy legislation. Read on...

Tyler Tatum

Part 3 - Measuring and tracking the impact of your policy with guests. Have you wondered what the true impact of your environmental efforts is on your sales as well as your operational cost? Have you struggled with ways to quantify the impact of these efforts? This article will outline how you can begin to put some numbers around your efforts. I will discuss simple tips on tracking your company's reduction in energy, water, and waste as well as your company's increase in guest sales and loyalty. By the end of this article you will be able to look at your environmental efforts in a completely new light, which can give you a better ability to inspire your employees, peers and superiors to support your efforts. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

With the U.S. Senate expected to consider the 'Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2005' and other bills this summer that address the global climate change issue, every hotel executive should be paying attention. The 'Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act', being offered by Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Lieberman (D-CT), would cap the nation's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at year 2000 levels by 2010. To do that, it would impose limits on how much CO2 the economy could produce in activities such as generating electricity, refining and importing transportation fuels, and manufacturing. Putting a mandatory cap on the country's CO2 emissions would lead to higher energy bills for you, and it would also most likely put a cap on the economy as a whole, which would slow down your guest traffic as well. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), here's what could happen if the McCain/Lieberman bill was passed... Read on...

Steve Kiesner

The newly signed National Energy Policy Energy Policy Act of 2005 gives the country the foundation for a more secure, reliable and affordable energy future. Importantly for the nation's hotel industry, the new law also presents the potential for greater profitability, thanks to its promotion and support of energy efficiency. Read on...

Arthur Weissman

The idea of making a property green or environmentally responsible may not automatically bring to mind images of guest enjoyment and aesthetic pleasure, yet a truly sustainable property should, in fact, enhance these aspects of a guest's stay. This article will analyze and explain how several key areas of a property can improve its aesthetic appeal when they are made more sustainable. The aesthetic potential of sustainability has particular ramifications for the spa industry, as we will see. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

You know that getting more value from your energy dollar is always important. This winter it will be imperative. According to the latest Short Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the price of natural gas, heating oil and propane will all be higher this winter. The EIA predicts natural gas prices, for example, to rise by 50 percent, on average, compared with last year. Even if your company has locked in lower prices through long-term fuel contracts, you still should be making sure you are doing everything you can to get the most value from your energy dollar. The lodging industry spends over $5.5 billion per year on energy. That is a lot room for potential savings. And greater profitability. Read on...

Arthur Weissman

Almost every property is a part of the community around it. As such, it affects the community's economic condition in some way. In this article, we explore the ways in which a sustainable lodging property can positively affect the community's economic vitality. We will discuss this from the following perspectives: the property's environmental footprint; the property's effect on the health of its workers; the property as community leader or model; the property as educator; the property as donor; and the property as a magnet for business. Read on...

Jeff Slye

With the ever increasing demand from organizations and travelers to stay in socially responsible hotels, adding environmental responsibility to your hotel's identity can translate directly into new revenues. The Ecological Lifestyles market is now estimated at $81.2 Billion (2005) with over 63 Million consumers wanting to open their wallets for environmentally responsible companies. Read on...

Jeff Slye

We all know that when it comes to setting the style standards for hospitality, boutique hotels are among the industry's most formidable trendsetters. Often, Kimpton Hotels have led the pack with innovative design and unique programs such as in-room yoga, tall rooms, and goldfish to keep the guest company. In 2005, they decided to make one statement that will never go out of style - green is the new black. Read on...

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Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.