Library Archives

 
Bob Carr

Protecting your guests' cardholder data beyond the Payment Card Industry requirements is critical. To provide additional protection and combat the threats to your hotel and guests, select a security provider with a solution that gives you the very best protection available. There are many options, but one that employs end-to-end encryption, does not charge "junk" fees and utilizes both software and hardware offers the best, most comprehensive protection. Read on...

Carl Rizzo

To the great consternation of hotel owners, courts across the country have continually expressed a preference for the utilization of the Rushmore method to value hotel properties for real property tax assessment purposes. The values reached by this methodology typically result in higher values than if the other competing valuation approach, the Business Enterprise Approach, had been applied and thus yield higher tax bills. This is of special concern during difficult economic times. The disparity between approaches arises from the alternate treatment of critical hotel value components, which may very well be improperly included as part of the taxable real property value. Despite this seeming inequity, the Rushmore method will likely remain the favored approach in the context of hotel tax valuations. Read on...

Shaun Burchard

The ageless cliche that "time is money" has never been so appropriate in our industry. As valuable to you as the accuracy of the data you use to ensure the success of your business is the timeliness of that same data. If you are working with anything less than "real time", you are potentially bleeding cash you don't have, and negatively impacting your bottom line, your flow, and by extension, the value of your asset. There are solutions - both systematically and in terms of time management. Do they cost? Of course they do - either in dollars or changes to your routines. The return, however, could be the difference between success and dramatic failure - especially now. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

When it comes time to put your hotel up for sale, you may wonder if it's better to sell on your own, or use a business broker. What are some of the scenarios that indicate you can do it on your own? In other cases, how might hiring a professional help in the sale of your hotel? Factors such as the unique circumstances of your hotel, your desired buyer and your understanding of what goes into the business sale process, should all be taken into consideration. Are you realistic about your skills, and the time commitment it will require? Read this article for advice on the pros and cons of selling on your own versus using a business broker. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

When it comes time for hotel owners to sell their businesses, they'll often rush to make improvements to make their establishments more appealing to buyers. While it is sometimes possible to make "quick fixes" to make a business more appealing to buyers, the hotel owners who have the greatest success selling are the ones who have taken the necessary steps to improve their businesses all along the way. In this article I discuss five important questions hotel owners should ask themselves - whether planning to sell soon or much later down the road - to ensure their business is fit for sale. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

Hotel owners can face tremendous pressure when selling their business, which may prompt them to market the business through all possible channels. Sellers must remember, though, that confidentiality is crucial to ensuring that vendors, partners and customers stay on board as potential buyers become interested. Revealing that your business is for sale can have major repercussions that could impact your bottom line and the ability to secure an interested buyer. There are a few ways to keep your sale confidential, however, while still exposing the right information to potential buyers and maximizing the sale price. Read on...

Paul R. Kremp

In the 70's and 80's many communities built Convention Centers as the cornerstone of economic development. The same cities have exhausted their taxing ability so the Convention Centers are left with annual deficits. Rebates have been the answer to offset their costs. Now, Convention Centers have increasingly become competitors in the local market they serve. Becoming a competitor in the local economy is not fair, and they continue to increase rebates. There is little to no government regulation on the amount of rebates, or their business plans. Each city should take a close look at their Convention Center, and get back to basics. Read on...

Mark Tapling

Non-gaming casino revenue was once considered an oxymoron. In today's industry though, it has become a vital part of most casino operator financial reports. In fact, some top players in the industry have indicated non-gaming revenue accounts for 50% or more of total revenue. Less visible to many in the hospitality industry is the important role that technology can play in maximizing non-gaming revenue. Certainly some of the standbys of technology value like flexibility, scalability, and reliability contribute. But they represent a small part of a bigger story. It is the guest-centric and integrated nature of present and future technology that will allow non-gaming casino revenue to reach its potential. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

Selling a hotel can come with a great amount of pressure to ensure the business appeals to prospective buyers. If sellers don't take the steps necessary to make their businesses marketable, they could face a long, tedious process and ultimately sell for much less money than they had hoped. Fortunately, there are steps that sellers can take to avoid this situation and put themselves in the position for a quick, smooth sale. Read my article below to learn what hotel sellers need to know about marketability when putting their businesses on the market. Read on...

Gavin Davis

The past three years have seen the lowest borrowing rates for real estate in the last 40 years. For the hotel industry, this was particularly fortuitous given the rapid decline in property values following general economic and industry business deterioration. The U.S. appears poised to be coming out of one of the best interest rate environments of our lifetime, where we saw the Federal Reserve cut the Federal Funds Rate by 500 basis points from 6.00% to 1.00% in a total of 13 rate cuts over 30 months between January 2000 and June 2003. Read on...

Gavin Davis

If your gut reaction to paying an 8%, 7%, or 6% cap rate or even less is one of nausea, you have probably been comfortably sitting on the sidelines over the past couple of years. Today's capitalization rates can not be viewed in a historic vacuum. A confluence of three forces has driven hotel valuations to where they are today... How long capitalization rates remain this low is a function almost entirely of what happens in the US Treasury market, assuming the operating environment continues its robust forecasted growth and supply remains constrained by historical standards due to higher real construction costs. Read on...

Andrew Glincher

A new federal tax credit program is designed to help developers of projects that are speculative and sometimes difficult to finance. It is available for a wide range of commercial projects, but hotel developers need to become more aware of it. The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program could easily be the difference between a property being developed or staying on the drawing board - it can provide a financial edge that tips projects toward reality and success. Simply put, the New Markets Tax Credit program was created by Congress in December 2000 to encourage investments in communities which historically have had poor access to capital. It provides a federal tax credit equal to 39% of the investment - obviously a significant value - spread over a seven-year period. Aimed at spurring community and local business development, this tax credit can help lower interest rates and offer developers far greater financial flexibility. Read on...

Bob Carr

Westin Hotels & Resorts (then known as Western Hotels) made hotel history in 1946 when they introduced and issued the first guest credit card - a tremendous innovation for customers and the industry alike. They upped the ante in 1983 when they became the first major hotel to implement a comprehensive credit card reservation and check-out system. These advances sealed Westin's reputation as a leading-edge hotelier. They also put the hotel industry squarely at the forefront of payment card acceptance, solidifying its leadership position in the rapidly expanding credit card market. But along with the advantages of innovation, technology often brings headaches. Credit, debit and prepaid cards are no exception. While hoteliers and their guests have enjoyed the convenience and accessibility of cards for years, they - like you - have also struggled with the rising costs of accepting credit and debit cards. Read on...

Richard Dahm

In the last several years, the dramatic rise of insurance costs has placed an excessive burden on hotel and restaurant owners. Fortunately, the forecast for the 2007 insurance market remains optimistic with more insurance companies willing to compete and many offering broader coverage terms. As new markets become available, industry analysts advise caution. They recommend hotel and restaurant owners re-examine their existing management programs and develop initiatives to reduce the overall cost of risk. The following outlines a series of twelve tips to help you re-examine your insurance program, its depth of coverage, and related risks. Read on...

Bob Carr

When hoteliers like you are asked what their primary concerns are in successfully running their businesses and increasing their profit margins, some of the answers are expected: keeping guests happy, matching the competition's prices, acquiring more market share. What is unexpected is the number who cite unfair and confusing card processing fees as something they are forced to contend with as they look to grow and maintain a successful business. Consider how much of your total revenue comes from payments made on your guests' credit and debit cards. It is very possible you could increase your profit margin on every transaction by taking a closer look at the costs incurred with processing those payments. Read on...

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Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.