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David Chitlik

Assessors across the thousands of taxing jurisdictions in the United States are calculating the value of hotels for tax purposes. Often the most complicated part of determining the value of a property is how to include capital expenses. This problem is worsened by the lack of information assessors usually have on such expenses and projects, and the complicated rules around brand standards. In this article, Altus Group's hospitality tax specialists explore how to manage these situations through communication and information sharing through their combined seventy years of experience in property tax. READ MORE

Ally Northfield

Today everyone is a connected customer. Customers are more informed, more empowered and more connected to the world than ever before. They demand personalisation, immediacy and simplicity in all areas of their life. What does this mean for revenue management and the role that revenue managers play in responding to the needs to the connected customer? On the one hand we are witnessing the rise of the super dominant platform with household names such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, with the ability to interpret consumer intent and influence millions of purchasing decisions. On the other hand, the revenue manager is tasked with driving a book-direct strategy to encourage consumers to navigate through a journey to an individual web site. READ MORE

Paul van Meerendonk

How we find, manage, and retain top talent at revenue-managing hotels has changed dramatically since the big-data boom began. It's important that we continuously strive to provide ongoing education and support in this competitive job market. Blended learning approaches are key to accommodate varying levels of expertise, job roles, and employee age groups. On-demand, quick learning tools are especially relevant as high-turnover rates necessitate faster uptimes of skilled, productive employees. Beyond that, career trajectory and a clear pathway for upward mobility must also be considered to attract top performers. Properly training, maintaining, and elevating talent is essential to achieving an ongoing return on investment in your people, technology, and processes. READ MORE

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

At the end of the day, from an owner and stakeholder perspective, business performance is an operational issue while productivity is a strategic issue. In a manner of speaking, productivity is a reflection of how efficiently business performance is achieved. Owners are in business for the long haul. A long haul can only be sustained if the means to ends are consistently efficient. It is productivity that makes return on investment a long term factor and vindicates the huge investment forked out. Stakeholders tend to sleep well knowing that an efficient system of producing business performance is at work and incrementally improving. READ MORE

Melissa Maher

Hotel revenue management has been around for more than 30 years, yet adoption of revenue management technology has been slow. Although revenue performance is an important metric that drives pricing strategy and overall efficiencies, many of the tools and technologies available today make it difficult for hotels to measure their revenue performance and make smart pricing decisions. The solution: straight-forward measurement tools that can process real-time data to help hotels manage revenue and pricing. This byline will explore how technology is empowering hotels with strategic tools to optimize revenue management and help them make more informed decisions to better grow their business. READ MORE

Nicholas Tsabourakis

Today's revenue managers have to deal with a lot more than just systems, rate management and reporting. More than analytical skills, revenue managers need to possess communication skills, leadership skills, and they also have to strive to be influential and motivational. This is where emotional intelligence plays a central role in the career of a revenue manager. If a person in such a position is incapable of being empathic about the challenges of others, and if they're unable to convey how valuable they are & the importance of their contribution, then they're at risk of failing to help others unleash their full potential, which directly affects their success and the performance of the hotel. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

The same yield strategies that for decades have helped hoteliers optimize room revenues can lead to similar gains in their food and beverage operations. A restaurant seat, like a hotel room, is a perishable item, meaning that revenue lost anytime it sits vacant will never be recovered. And that’s the very challenge that yield management is designed to address. So why does the industry continue to overlook its potential? This article explores how hotel operators can apply a yield management approach to their restaurants to capture the maximum possible revenue from each seat. READ MORE

Lily Mockerman

How can hotels, big and small, create opportunities to maximize their revenue? In this article, expert Lily Mockerman details the challenges and creative solutions for limited-service hotels to increase overall revenue. Though smaller properties may seem to be at a disadvantage, revenue optimization can be achieved by strategically monetizing every part of a hotel’s available space. With a seasoned perspective and out-of-the-box insight, this article reviews the ways limited-service hotels can increase their overall revenue and add to their value. READ MORE

Paul van Meerendonk

Personalizing the guest experience is all the rage right now, and hotels are eager to capitalize on opportunities to monetize. Loyalty programs are no longer just marketing initiatives but also revenue management strategies to control top- and bottom-line performance. As travelers demand more tailored accommodation experiences—blame the millennials, of course—a “customer-choice pricing” model may be the best way to deliver the ideal product to the ideal guest at the ideal price. READ MORE

James Downey

Planning on expanding your hotel's rooms division? There are many questions which you must answer first. Will the expansion prove profitable? Will construction costs be manageable? Will the market respond positively to the expansion? Hotel operators must weigh the benefits and costs associated with such a daring move in expanding their rooms division. The decision to expand is a very expensive, and time-consuming venture. Considering the factors presented here may help hotel owners and operators to make their room expansion plans go as smoothly as possible. This article will discuss those benefits and costs so as to assist with this physically and financially oriented decision. READ MORE

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

Owners are keen that employee workforce is kept engaged and motivated always with a fair compensation package, good development opportunities and a regular acquisition of new skill sets through training and other methods. Nothing upsets the owners more than a high employee turnover ridden workforce which is struggling to meet the demands of customers. Owners will want that the top management beginning with the CEO or head of the unit drive the succession plan process. This is enough evidence of the power of an effective succession plan process in developing and grooming an employee complement with requisite skill sets to meet the business challenges in future. READ MORE

Nicholas Tsabourakis

Optimization, a cornerstone of Revenue Management operations, is the action of making the best or most effective use of a hotel’s inventory while guiding the simultaneous action of revenue and profit growth. It ensures the best and most effective use of strategies and tactics in order to balance supply and demand and deliver the optimal business mix. Optimization relies on intelligence gathered during forecasting, a process that indicates changes or variations in booking pace of a segment or segments, in order to deliver an updated action plan. It then moves on to investigate external factors that influence demand providing thus with a complete view and understanding of all dynamics. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

A sophisticated labor management system can do more for a hotel than control labor costs. By enabling more accurate forecasting—and adjusting staffing to accommodate its ebbs and flows—the right system can double as a revenue optimizer in key profit centers. This article explains how to use an LMS as an intelligent tool for maximizing revenue in a hotel’s food and beverage operations. READ MORE

Lily Mockerman

Every hotelier has struggled with a dreaded slow season. Many have struggled through years of an economic downturn only to come out victorious on the other side - if weathered and savvier from the experience. The secret weapon to beat these downtimes is ancillary revenue streams. With more than 15 years of experience helping hoteliers combat market challenges and drive revenue, Lily Mockerman, founder and CEO of Total Customized Revenue Management, LLC (TCRM), shares her hard-won advice to help hoteliers innovate when times get tough and reach rock star status in ancillary revenue. READ MORE

David Chitlik

Capital expenses are driven by numerous factors in the hotel industry. Projects are undertaken to improve the property, maintain or repair the property, and as requirements of the hotel flag’s brand standards. While the hotel owner considers these expenses as preserving or in some cases preventing the loss of revenue, tax assessors view the capital expenditures as improvements to the property that will drive revenue growth and increased value. In this article, Altus Group’s hospitality tax specialists explore how to manage these contradicting opinions of Cap Ex through their combined seventy years of experience in property tax. READ MORE

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Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.