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Ken Hutcheson

Hoteliers place a significant investment in their grounds that can be dramatically diminished without proper care and oversight. Given how important it is to protect this asset, you should have a grounds care provider you can rely on. Someone who knows the specific needs of your hotel, what challenges your region can expect, and how to take care of your landscape. Otherwise you risk the health and overall appearance of your landscape. Your grounds care provider should have a plan in place to handle the various dangers your property might encounter. Depending on the location of your hotel, your landscape can face several threats throughout the year, either as a result of natural causes or human error. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

As temperatures start to warm up and thawing begins, many hoteliers across the country are thrilled to say goodbye to winter. In some regions, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, this winter proved to be a hotelier's worst nightmare. With above freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, it was difficult for some guests to even travel to their destinations. Keeping entrance ways, parking lots and sidewalks clean and safe was another challenge many hotel owners and managers faced this winter. Now that winter has officially come to an end, it's time to prepare your landscapes for spring. Read on...

Grace Kang

It's that time of year when everyone is working hard towards their ambitious new year's resolutions. Here's one more I would like to recommend hotel owners and operators to put on their list. Join the Hotel Owners for Tomorrow (HOT) coalition to help advance sustainability for the hotel community. HOT is a no-cost initiative, bringing hotel owners, hotel brands, management companies, industry bodies, and other supporters in hotel development to build awareness and get the important discussion of sustainability started among the hotel community. Read on...

Grace Kang

The Green Lodging Trends Report 2016 launched last month with the objective to catalyze green practices and innovation across the hotel industry worldwide. The report is a result of a survey open to all hotels around the world regardless of service type, location, segment or size. One of the main benefits to the participants was the ability to benchmark against its peers on over 100 sustainability related best practices. Each participant received a confidential compare report showing the uptake of best practices, segmented by global, region, country, city, service type and hotel type, where applicable. The result was the production and release of the Green Lodging Trends Report 2016, which summarizes data collected from 2,161 hotels located in 44 countries. Read on...

James Gieselman

Start discussing a technical topic and watch as people's eyes glaze over, even if those people are fully aware that it's something they should be paying attention to. Embarking on a path toward a more sustainable and energy efficient hotel operation qualifies as one of these ‘glazed' subjects, so to eliminate any possibility of eyelid fatigue, let's talk about this extremely important issue in terms of something just a bit more fun - golf. Read on...

Michael Barbera

Most hotels have a sign in each bathroom that ask the guest to be environmentally friendly by reusing their towels. When a guest re-uses their towels, the hotel saves money on laundry expenses, which includes a reduced use of water. However, many hotels find these signs to be ineffective. The cards cost a fee to print, and they use employee resources for placement in the rooms, but hoteliers find little to no return on investment for these paper signs. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

As hoteliers, you rely on your irrigation systems to help protect the investment you've made on your property's landscape. It is critical for the overall health and appearance of your landscape that the irrigation system is properly installed, operated, and maintained. Otherwise, your system is at risk of wasting water and damaging your property. Scheduling a technician to perform routine maintenance checks can ensure early detection of a problem, increase the efficiency of your irrigation system, and conserve water. Here are three common challenges grounds managers often face with their irrigation system, and how technicians overcome them. Read on...

Larry Gillanders

Americans are increasingly concerned with their water quality. But you should be, too. You may not even know that your property could be liable for delivering lead-contaminated water to guests. But what causes high lead levels in water, anyway? What actions can you take to ensure your hotel's water is safe and healthy? How do insurance companies leave you liable? This article will help provide vital knowledge about the current lead problem and how you can make your property's water safe. Read on...

Mark Sisson

In 2012, my business partner and I invented a line of self­cleaning surfaces for healthcare facilities which we named NanoSeptic because they were based on nanotechnology. We knew hospitals were having a challenge with hospital­acquired infections (HAI), some of which were being spread through contact with high traffic touch points. So our mission was to deliver an actual health benefit, creating healthier hospital environments by creating self­cleaning surfaces for places that had the greatest chance of cross contamination. We never dreamed that these surfaces would be adopted by other industries, and more surprisingly, why they would be adopted. We found that the visible nature of the products fundamentally change how people viewed the concept of "clean." What we came to understand was just how scared people are about the cleanliness of public facilities and how much their perception of a facility changed when a visible indication of cleaning efforts was present. Read on...

Joseph Ricci

Good relationships with all vendors in a hotel's supply chain are critical for smooth, efficient operations. With laundry, the stakes are higher than with many others; encountering stained linens or being forced to wait for towels can sour a guest's experience of a hotel. In this article, we take a close look at what a great hotel-laundry relationship looks like through a case study of the relationship between a large hotel and their commercial laundry contractor. We identify the principles underlying this successful partnership and what it means for hotels looking to close an on-premise laundry or select a new laundry provider. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

Making guests feel comfortable during their stay is a critical part of a guests' overall experience. Whether they're traveling for business or pleasure, hoteliers to create the right environment—from the interior to the exterior—to satisfy guests' expectations and make them feel at home. For example, business travelers are looking for clean and efficient features, while vacationers are looking for features that will help them unwind and relax. Read on...

Joseph Ricci

"Going green" has been as much a regulatory mandate as a moral responsibility for many businesses. The commercial laundry industry—and by extension the hospitality industry—has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency to meet one critical environmental goal: eliminating the pollutant NPE, once a common component of laundry detergent, from the laundry process. Eliminating and improving laundry chemicals has many environmental benefits, and taking action in favor of the environment can boost the reputation of a hotel. In this article, Joseph Ricci, head of the TRSA commercial laundry association, explains the implications for the hospitality industry. Read on...

Bob Cerrone

Water was once considered an endless resource in the U.S. As a commodity, it appeared to be both plentiful and inexpensive. But due to the lasting effects of climate change, parts of the country are experiencing higher temperatures and less rainfall, preventing fresh water reservoirs and basins from keeping up with the demand of personal and agricultural use.The state of California is in its fifth year of a devastating drought, it won't be the only state to experience strained supply in the near future. It's everyone's responsibility, including hotel owners, to help combat the dwindling water supply before every state reaches critically low resources. Read on...

Joseph Ricci

The four-year drought in the western United States has caused businesses and the public to find new and innovate ways to conserve and reuse water. And despite the promise of eased drought conditions this winter, recent reports from California have the state's snowpack at below-average levels, prompting state officials to call for additional and more restrictive water conservation efforts - a trend likely to be mirrored elsewhere. As a major consumer of water within the American business landscape, the hotel industry is both a large water user and a leading voice in the water conservation movement. In this article we'll explore major steps taken by industry leaders as well as trends shaping the future of hotel water usage and conservation. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

As temperatures start to warm up and thawing begins, many hoteliers across the country are thrilled to say goodbye to winter. In some regions, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, this winter proved to be a hotelier's worst nightmare. With above freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, it was difficult for some guests to even travel to their destinations. Keeping entranceways, parking lots and sidewalks clean and safe was another challenge many hotel owners and managers faced this winter. Now that winter has officially come to an end, it's time to prepare your landscapes for spring. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.