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Ken Hutcheson

To keep up with brand standards, hoteliers know they need to invest in renovating their hotel's interior every two years. Just as a hotel's interior features begin to age, the landscape also begins to show signs of aging and looks tired overtime. One of the biggest mistakes hotel property owners and managers make, however, is investing an immense amount of time and money into a lifeless landscape. In order to collaborate effectively, hoteliers should think about their long-term and short-term goals so they can invest wisely. This will also help determine which contractors they will need to involve at various points in their plan. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

To help decrease the drought in California, the state has required that all agricultural suppliers be in compliance with the 2015 agricultural water management plan (AWMP) guidebook. But even with the new regulations and management practices in place, drought continues to harm those living on the West Coast. According to a 2014 study from the University of California-Davis, last year's drought was likely to inflict $2.2 billion in losses on the agricultural industry. Harsh drought seasons have led to habitat destruction, wildfires, and have also caused entire landscapes to change. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

The 2014-2015 winter season impacted thousands of people nation-wide. While those in the Northeast were hit with snowstorm after snowstorm (or blizzard after blizzard if you lived in Boston) and below average temperatures, folks in the South (i.e. Atlanta) found themselves in a state of emergency. If The Old Farmer's Almanac 2015-2016 prediction mirrors last year's forecasts, hoteliers must be ready for anything that winter throws at them. Whether it's winterizing your hotel's irrigation systems, fertilizing your landscape for spring, creating a snow and ice management plan, or getting your hotel ready for the holidays, there's much work to be done before the end of the year. Read on...

Carl Kish

At the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego in June, Kate Heiny, Director of Sustainability for Target took the stage and said "When the CEO of Target is talking about the importance of sustainability in everything Target does, sustainability has officially become mainstream". She's right. Not only is sustainability now a mainstream business imperative, the hospitality industry is being told it needs to make sustainability changes to survive. Deloitte's 2015 Hospitality report Game Changers or Spectators was anything but ambiguous in its assessment that "Sustainability will become a defining issue for the industry in 2015 and beyond … sustainability will need to be embedded within all facets of the industry, rather than regarded as a stand alone issue". Read on...

Larry Gillanders

We have seen it all over the Internet and the news stations: California is facing its fourth year in a drought, and it is affecting every resident and every business in the state. The economic and financial consequences could be disastrous if water conservation strategies are not implemented immediately, and the state has promptly mandated that everyone do so. The hotel industry is one of the country's biggest users of clean water, out of all types of commercial and institutional facilities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Unsurprisingly, most water is used for bathrooms, laundry, landscaping and kitchens. This is the perfect opportunity to take heed of the moment and reduce your property's water usage. Read on...

Carl Kish

As the only hotel on Oahu's Fabled North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort takes its role in preserving and enhancing the North Shore's rich Hawaiian culture, surfing heritage, and fragile ecosystems very seriously. Since 2010, the resort has been transformed under the leadership of Replay Resorts and has significantly raised the bar in terms of sustainability best practices by introducing two conservation easements totalling 1,134 acres, green roof installations, rooftop solar panels, and integrating authentic Hawaiian culture into every facet of the operation. Read on...

Rebecca Hawkins

For many hotel businesses, measurement of energy, waste and water is a hit and miss affair. Those businesses that have developed effective procedures to 'hit' the resource measurement button have found that they can use their knowledge of resource consumption patterns to drive impressive cost and environmental savings. Those that have 'missed' have found their organizations mired in targets that cannot be met, staff who are not motivated and customers who are unconvinced by claims of sustainable practice. Read on...

Deborah Popely

As sustainable hospitality matures as a business discipline, hotel executives are increasingly called upon to evaluate, document and justify investments in sustainability and assess whether they add value to bottomline. This requires mastering the "3Ms" of sustainability: Measurement, Management and Monetization. This article explores some of the challenges hotel executives face in these three domains, and makes recommendations about the talents, tools and training needed to address them. Read on...

Joseph Ricci

Water conservation has long been a key sustainability mandate for businesses. It is clear all businesses must do their part to reduce water consumption, not only for sustainability and the greater good but also for the good of their local communities and the longevity of their businesses. Read on...

Joseph Ricci

If you don't measure it, you don't manage it. If you don't manage it, you can't change it. No one is more aware of the wisdom of these adages than hotel operators, who measure many expenses on a cost per occupied room night basis. Yet this is generally not the case for their hotel owned or on-premise (OPL) laundry costs. Shouldn't it be? Improved laundry practices can reduce a hotel's carbon footprint and boost the bottom line, important objectives amid intensifying sustainability mandates. Read on...

Joseph Ricci

Of all the challenges facing hotel management teams, linen loss may sound minor. Yet wasted linen is a tangible problem that affects a hotel's bottom line. Left unchecked, it can waste hotel resources and create crises that leave guests dissatisfied and staff frustrated. If controlled, it can generate savings, both of money and staff time. When we talk about linen loss in hotels, we're talking about the approximately 15 to 20 percent of linen products that are lost or discarded before the end of their useful life. That adds up. At approximately $250 per room for a four par of basic sheets and towels, linen purchases cost the hospitality industry $1.25 billion per year. If we factor in premium items like duvet covers, pillow shams and bath robes, that estimate goes up to $350 per room or $1.75 billion. That means the cost of replacing lost linen is between $50 and $70 per room, or between $2.5 million and $3.5 million industry-wide. Read on...

Marky Moore

In 2009, facing environmental crises such as pollution and resource scarcity, the City of Los Angeles embarked on a mission to encourage local hotels to adopt environmentally-friendly practices. With the help of several municipal agencies, the city launched the LA Green Lodging Program, which seeks to promote hotels that voluntarily green their operations. By adopting Earth-conscious practices and attaining certification through the LA Green Lodging Program, hotels will be rewarded with cost savings through lower utility expenses, promotional efforts by the program and its partners, increased bookings, and financial assistance that will outweigh the upfront costs associated with going green. Read on...

Jerry Schmits

Ever since the first hotel became LEED certified in 2004, the USGBC has been refining its signature program for the hospitality industry, and it's reward has been the steady increase in number of registered projects. This year alone, the number of LEED certification projects represented by my developer-clientele has doubled compared to 2013, while both the volume of total projects and clients has remained relatively constant. And while the impetus for LEED certification among this group of developers is largely attributable to the mandates and programs sponsored by the corporations and franchises for which they build, it was generally assumed that there existed a strong business reason why companies invest in the LEED certification program. As it turns out, the reasons are many—all of which contribute to a better health: from both the perspective of the property's environment and it's bottom-line. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

In today's 24/7 interconnected media world, sustainability (or conservation or greening) and public relations go hand-in-hand. In recent years, environmentalism has move from a being fringe issue to becoming a mainstream issue. Whether driven by the bottom-line, government policy, or consumer sentiment, sustainability is at the forefront of most - if not all -- our collective business decisions. And it has moved from being desirable to being necessary for successful property management too. Is this article, find six tips for optimizing your PR green strategy Read on...

Jerry Schmits

I recently returned from visiting with a colleague responsible for managing energy use and facility operations in thousands of locations throughout the United States for the "ABC Company". During conversation, he mentioned that he had been successful implementing a new schedule for the proactive replacement of aged HVAC equipment throughout his portfolio of stores. Gone were the days of reactively responding to store and regional managers anxious to know when they'd have the air condition restored. And while the practice of operating a "run-to-fail" strategy likely helped defer capital expenditures in the short-term, it put a heavy burden on the O&M budget, ultimately affecting individual store profitability. 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.