Library Archives

W. Don Turner

Every hotelier has dreams of entrepreneurial endeavors. Every entrepreneur has his own recollection of his successes, the path that lead him to those successes and the challenges that he has faced along the way. CLIA, The California Lodging Industry Association, is made up of many such entrepreneurs. Men and women that have started with a dream, something small, and turned it into a strong, independent, growing and thriving example of the "Great American Success Story" Over the next few articles I will chronicle this process drawing from some of my own experiences as well as some of the stories and experiences that have been shared with me by great people that I have encountered in the Industry. READ MORE

Roger G. Hill

With hotel occupancy and revenue growth down overall, it will take some creative thinking to navigate the unchartered economic waters of 2009. Most hotel properties already scaled back on staff and expenses last year. But what to do next? Tough times call for innovative ideas, proactive planning, and daily financial monitoring. They call too for motivating and retraining staff to continue excellent service for loyal customers and to attract new ones. And it means keeping up the property and grounds to maintain attractiveness. Inviting ambiance and top-notch service draws customers. A property must continue to shine - especially in lean economic climes. READ MORE

Steven Belmonte

It's hard enough to not worry about our future as we sink into a deepening recession but from these trying times come glimmers of hope from very determined and creative people. Let's face it, when the going gets tough, the tough needs to pull itself up from the bootstraps and get going. And the best way to do that is to out smart your competitor and find creative ways to market your property. I've put together a list of some tools that can be used to help hoteliers make it through the next few years. READ MORE

Sanjay Nijhawan

There are two ways of dealing with a severe economic downturn. One is to withdraw - pull back and wait it out. That's the "let's hope and pray" approach. The other is to view the circumstances as opportunity - not to simply forge ahead doing what we've done in the past but the chance to find creative solutions to new realities while remaining realistic about the bottom line. READ MORE

Steven Belmonte

It's tough out there nowadays and there's no denying it. This miserable economic climate that prevails has caused most hoteliers to write off 2009 with only hope that 2010 will be much better. But we can't afford to keep our heads in the sand for a year and expect to pop it out and everything will be fine and dandy, as though we are waking up from a bad dream. That type of fairy dust just doesn't occur in the real world. Hoteliers need to keep their head above water and do more than tread it-they need to find tools to build a proverbial raft to stay afloat. READ MORE

Michael Goldstein

"When something stinks, it's usually the head." This fishing phrase has interesting applicability for hoteliers. In fact, when hotel guests receive unsatisfactory service at a restaurant or are displeased with their hotel stay, it could be the result of a number of things, but the most likely reason for these problems is a lack of, or poor leadership team. Although often overlooked, having a strong and knowledgeable leadership team is one of the most important assets at any hotel property. In fact, it is the leadership team that determines the success of the property, particularly during renovation, an economic downturn or a slow season. A hotel's leadership not only affects the guests, but also the entire staff and the overall services provided. READ MORE

Jed Heller

Rejuvenation of your hotel, whether it be new carpets and drapes in guest rooms or an upgrade in the ambience and functionality of the common areas, goes a long way towards protecting your assets as well as maintaining superior guest services. However, to achieve or exceed your long term ROI goals, it is crucial that renovation costs stay in line with your budget. It is very easy for even the smallest project to get out of control and create a "money pit" of unexpected expenses, cost overruns, labor issues and inconvenient delays. READ MORE

Greg Pesik

It is undeniable that hotels have become significantly more efficient and technology savvy over last decade, with the wider deployment of technology being a primary driver for positive progress. However, there is much room for improvement, particularly in the group side of the house. In light of today's economic uncertainty, hotels now more than ever need to make sure that they are operating as efficiently as possible, taking advantage of the latest technologies to get there. The question really boils down to, how can you do more with less, how can you generate more revenue and save costs, even in a downturn? READ MORE

Joshua Miller

As most companies wrap up their 2009 financial planning season, many creative and impressive strategies have been developed to maintain ownership's expected levels of return. As I travel to meet with clients, the bigger issue I see is not how to create an aggressive plan, but how to turn it into reality. A great plan is only as good as its execution, and this starts with the training of the people who are going to actually execute it. READ MORE

Scott D. Hollis

Today, the best advice anyone in charge of supply chain management can give is take a strategic, long-term view of your contracting efforts. All of us want to save money, but it takes more than hard bargaining to get the best deals. It takes vision and the ability to look at the entire supply chain from field to table to identify the most effective ways to make the overall supply chain more productive. Based on many years of experience in dealing with over 900 suppliers and a team of 50 commodity experts, I would suggest working with suppliers, not working at odds with them, to take costs out of the system. Based on this, here are some ideas... READ MORE

Arthur Weissman

By integrating software tools that are now available on the market for real estate management and project performance, many hotels are becoming more and more reliant on computerized databases to monitor, assess, and report on their companies' environmental and social goals. In this article we will try to explain how making improvements in hotel management software systems and other types of workflow management systems can enable hospitality managers and property owners to adopt a life-cycle management approach within their brand or property. READ MORE

John Ely

It is nearly impossible to escape the talk about today's economy. Everywhere you turn, people are constantly discussing the recession-like atmosphere of our nation. During the presidential race, polls showed that the economy was the number one issue on people's minds. And as we inched closer to Election Day in November, many media outlets focused heavily on the crisis. From the initial meltdown of the housing industry, the nation's credit crunch, and the increasing stock market woes, we were (and are) continually bombarded with negative messages about our future. READ MORE

Steven Belmonte

I'm amazed at the current turn-over rate at a majority of hotels. It's almost as though the personnel department is like a revolving door. Instead of offering career development for leaders, hotels tend to be offering jobs for lackeys. It's my opinion that there seems to be a real disconnect between hotel owners and their staff. Throughout my career I have been approached by a multitude of owners who would brag to me that they hired a general manager for a pittance wage. On top of that, they would be tickled pink because they were able to schedule the GM to pull a shift or two at the front desk. READ MORE

Steven Belmonte

The consumer marketplace is being transformed by a generation of socially-aware individuals who would like to see companies they patronize and work for take the lead in making the world a better place. Surveys have long validated the growing power of the baby boomer generation, and businesses should not dismiss those unique wants and needs. On top of that, the younger Generation Y members are voicing their desire to embrace causes they are passionate about. To the hotelier, this means that guests and employees want a promise of social vision and to be a part of a brand that advocates social improvement. READ MORE

Dawn Walzak

Meeting the Generation X business traveler's ever evolving needs is keeping hoteliers awake at night. I toss and turn wondering what needs to be done to stay ahead of my competitors while meeting and exceeding travelers' expectations. Determining business traveler's interests and managing costs effectively is what keeps making hoteliers sleep deprived. With the demographics of travelers constantly changing, the hospitality industry is charged with one of its most challenging tasks to date and there is no clear-cut answer. The face of the traveler is changing so dramatically by age, sex, nationality and other factors that present additional challenges to the hospitality industry. Times seemed much simpler 10 years ago when it was easier to predict what the business and leisure traveler expected. Today, hoteliers not only deal with the changing face of the traveler but with the amount of knowledge they educate themselves with prior to arrival. In today's world there is no longer an uneducated traveler. I jokingly state to my associates that this began with the launch of USA Today and it becoming one of the most read newspapers by travelers. READ MORE

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Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.