Library Archives

 
Bonnie Knutson

I suppose I can blame it on my dad. You see, whereas some people have been given the musical gift of perfect pitch (as was my husband), Dad was given the gift of perfect color tonality. While most people will look at two swatches of the same color and see them as identical, he would look at them and see any infinitesimal difference in their shades or tones as easily as you see the difference between a mountain and a molehill. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have been given the same gift. Read on...

Phil Tufano

With markets continually becoming more segmented, the need to differentiate your hotel from your competition in order to appeal to your travelers is increasing. This can be achieved by staying connected to every level of your team by means of constant feedback and financial reports. This intel coupled with an understanding of current trends is critical to keep in stride with your market's needs. Read on...

Richard Takach, Jr.

A continued positive economy, with the 2008-2009 recession firmly in the rear view mirror; excellent levels of business travel; and consumer confidence have all contributed to a sustained strong hospitality marketplace. At the same time, a number of factors, including the ability to acquire existing hotels for below replacement cost, the preference of private and public entities to purchase existing properties with in-place cash flow and the difficulty to finance new hotel construction have, so far, constrained overall growth in supply. With that said, it is important to note that strong recent sales prices have helped encourage some additional supply, especially in strong markets. This is a trend that bears watching. Read on...

James Houran

The sobering truth is that personal and professional development hinges on the ability to be self-critical. Frankly put, when you're not self-critical - when you do not honestly examine yourself - you'll never be aware of performance blind-spots, much less improve your efficiency and effectiveness over time. Those two elements are the heart of competency. For leaders in hospitality or in any industry for that matter, performance feedback - if given at all - typically consists of summarized or edited comments in a traditional 360-degree appraisal. This article presents candid, insider information that walks you through three fundamental issues on how to use the right type of assessments to yield a personal SWOT analysis (strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats). Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

Why would anyone think about New Year's Resolutions now when it is more than half way through the year? It's simple. It's never too late to start. But just as this is true for yourself, it is also true for your hotel. But do you even make resolutions for your hotel? If you don't, you should. And it isn't too late to start either. If you could turn the calendar back to January 1st, what resolutions would you make for your property? For your staff? For your marketing plans? In a hats- off-to-David Letterman, here are five to give your thinking a fresh mid-year start. Read on...

Richard Takach, Jr.

Hospitality has a glamour or cachet unlike any other form of real estate, even high-end retail. Partnered with communities and appealing to demanding and sophisticated guests, each hotel property has the dynamics of a small city. Thus, investing in, owning and managing a hotel property can be an exhilarating journey. The key to success is to enjoy the experience, while paying careful attention to choices and decisions that must be made along the entire chain of investment and management. The result can be strong daily operations and competitive posture, in addition to enhanced asset value and return on investment. In this article, we will review in list format some of the key investment and management strategies that go into maximizing the value of a hotel property. In doing so, we will consider the areas of investment and financing, business operations, and management and the competitive environment. Clearly, the factors discussed are not meant to be all-inclusive, but, rather, will focus on common threads we find running through hotel investment, management and valuation. Read on...

Richard Takach, Jr.

The hospitality industry, by its nature, embraces both commerce and community. Positioning one's hotel as a valuable member of the community has many advantages. These advantages include building solidarity within a community and supporting its most valuable programs and identified needs; reinforcing the interests of team members, while building team work and leadership skills; and, also, reinforcing the organization's mission, goals and values. The best community programs result when we can endorse, whenever possible, the genuine interests of team members, while making sure that these efforts reflect the quality and value of the individual property, our organization, ownership and management. Read on...

Richard Takach, Jr.

Whether we are engaging others at the personal level or representing a hotel property or organization, each of us forms a wide array of relationships. Some are personal or family relationships - our spouse, other family members, our neighbors or the merchants we frequent. Other relationships are created by and impact our professional and business lives. These business relationships include those made with our key executives and other team members, as well as those established with investors, vendors and other strategic partners. Read on...

Bill Hoffman

With a focus on strengthening our hospitality services, Trigild - a real estate services firm with 35 years of property management, receivership/bankruptcy and consulting expertise - recently announced a strategic alliance with Blu Hotel Investors, a Santa Barbara-based hotel company with extensive expertise in acquisitions and ground-up development. The newly formed alliance enables both companies to share specific resources, services and specialties. Read on...

Rick Gabrielsen

All the initiatives you have bottled up in pursuit of the dream combined with all of the finances set aside to provide the security become the tightrope of emotion. Never at anytime were there naysayers or negative comments, only the pride seen in their faces or the confidence to accomplish a plan. You see small business today is not what it was days, weeks and years ago, because the environment always changes. Self employed gets you recognition, but does not get you financing. Self employment is only you to direct your time. Read on...

Rick Gabrielsen

Obstacles can be determined by a place, a person or an activity, though the learning from each creates momentum for the future. How often do you face an obstacle in your daily lives, ten or fifty times a day? I am sure that each person has a different meaning for an obstacle, what is yours? The momentum that can be created in both a negative and positive sense is completely driven through an emotional view by the individual facing the challenge. Visualize with me as I embark on my learning's of becoming a high hurdler and finding the meaning of half full. Read on...

Michael Haynie, SR.

The only way to truly measure a guest's experience in a particular establishment is to record feedback. Allow easy access to comment cards, provide automated calls inquiring a guest's recent stay, and e-mail inquiries post check-out. Expanding on a guest's experience within your property is priceless. The feedback on any particular experience will not only help you to make any necessary changes but positive comments will help boost morale within. Knowledge is power; it also allows you to be proactive rather than reactive to whatever situation may arise. The ability to effectively and efficiently track, record comments will help to bring your establishment to the next level. Read on...

Rick Gabrielsen

Do you hear what I hear or have you entered the bypass zone with an assumption we will finish the conversation together? There is no better time than now to utilize our sense of adventure and be self disciplined in our pursuit of becoming better listeners. The early years of a child learning to speak or the first book ever read as a nighttime story has identical similarities as we age, but the satisfaction we enjoy while listening disappears in between. We will explore this route taken and reacquaint ourselves in sincere listening with desire that hospitality will be rewarded! Read on...

Steven Belmonte

There is a new wave of advocacy for mediation that is beginning to build within the hospitality industry. Industry vet Steve Belmonte believes that when you have the choice of mediation vs. litigation, the answer is simple. Mediation is his answer and here's why. Read on...

Rick Gabrielsen

Without a sale there is no profit, without a person that is no communication and without features and benefits there is no sale. How does your art balance the components of people, progress and profit as we creatively brush at the colors of communication and passion that a hotel artist may use today. The success of each piece is through the canvas, color and palette that YOU bring to your audiences by and for the people through progress in a finished product and the profit of a sale. Balance of these components in a defined manner will without question lead to undiscovered revenues and thus increased profitability whether today or in the future. Read on...

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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.