Library Archives

 
Mike Handelsman

As more and more business owners are choosing to take a do-it-yourself method when it comes to selling, we are noticing a growing number of hotel owners using online outlets to put their business on the market. Unfortunately, we also see many hotel owners attempting to sell online using largely ineffective methods. These situations are usually the result of a lack of research and preparation before listing a business, and can greatly increase the amount of time a business is on the market, can make the selling process more frustrating than it should be, and can result in a much lower selling price. The good news is that if hotel owners looking to sell devote time to researching proper selling methods and follow simple steps, the process can be a breeze. Read on...

Thomas E. Pastore

Hotels and resorts are multi-faceted business operations. I recall the last time I was room guest in a hotel. In addition to utilizing lodging services, I ate in the hotel's restaurant. I relaxed at the end of a long day in the hotel's spa. I attended a convention in one of the hotel's conference rooms. As you can see, there are four distinct business operations in the above example. Of course, readers can probably sight several other additional hotel services such as laundry, hair salon, tennis courts and retail gift shops. While motels and hotels are real property assets similar to commercial properties in terms of the location of the specific asset and long economic life (usually 20 to 50 years) they differ from typical commercial properties... Read on...

Thomas E. Pastore

Stop anyone on the street and ask him or her to name some familiar hotels. Would you be surprised if the average person could identify three, five or more? Probably not - this is the power of brands. Just like Kleenex and Clorox, name brands for tissue and bleach, a strong hotel brand has the ability to penetrate the target market to such a degree that it becomes recognized as an enduring symbol of the market-specific service standards. This service image cultivates the loyal customer base that is the foundation of a hotel brand's future earnings capacity. The proper identification of a brand's service potential, therefore, is the first step in quantifying its value. Read on...

Thomas E. Pastore

At the beginning of each valuation assignment, the applicable standard of value must be specified. The standard of value is a definition of the type of value being sought, i.e., fair market value, financial value, or strategic value, to name a few. The standard of value is selected based upon the type of assignment which can vary considerably, e.g., merger/acquisition analysis, estate tax filing, or dissenting shareholder lawsuits. The standard of value then influences the choice of the appropriate valuation methods used to determine the value of a hotel or ownership interest in the hotel. Therefore, the value of a hotel can differ under various circumstances. Read on...

Steven Belmonte

Maybe not yet, but I predict soon, the stodgy, old hotel franchises with the "our way or the highway" mentality will be a thing of the past. They will be as useless, and broken-down as the coin-operated vibrating beds that were once popular at hotels and motels across the country. With the advent of the Internet and advanced technology, hotel membership brands and new, loosely structured franchises are flourishing. Third-party websites, Global Distribution Systems, and strategic alliances allow these new hotel companies to operate at a fraction of the cost of a typical franchise. Read on...

Steven Belmonte

We all know the first rule of thumb for survival in the service industry is "customer service is king'; and we have heard the complaints lately about how it's deteriorating at rapid speed. Most companies are finally realizing that cost-cutting methods may work in the short run (i.e. automated phone messages as opposed to a live person on the other end to take calls), but they tend to fail in maintaining customer loyalty in the long run. We've been there, done that, and learned from it. But what's not really being addressed is the customer service that takes place within the corporate office. Read on...

Steven Belmonte

Singer Bob Dylan said it best when he penned the now-famous catchphrase - these times are a'changing. I'm a big advocate on change. I like the challenges and advancement it brings to my personal and professional life. The business world is evolving with the advent of technological advances; the financial industry is changing its course to adapt with the growing global marketplace and unification of currencies; and the hospitality industry is incorporating all of the abovementioned changes into its mission plans to better serve its guests. It goes without saying that in order for enterprises to be successful, there need to be leaders at the helm. Some say leaders are born, others believe they are trained; but I believe that with the right tools and encouragement, leaders can come into their own in the hospitality industry. Read on...

Steven Belmonte

When I started in the lodging industry more than 30 years ago at the age of 18 as the youngest general manager of a Holiday Inn, it was generally believed that the road to the franchising ivory tower was the straight and narrow. And at the time, that was probably true - as there were fewer big name hotels around, the travel industry was not as robust as it today, and the concept of capitalism had not reached global proportions of the 21st century. Franchising, in those days, was a new concept and was cautiously and steadily making the American dream a reality for young entrepreneurs. Read on...

Bill Boyar

You're a relatively small, privately-owned, well-managed hotel operating company. You manage for institutional owners, and have solidly built a core business. But you have limited distribution and don't control the assets you manage. You might even be concentrated geographically. You're concerned that if you don't gain control of the assets you manage and grow your portfolio, you'll have difficulty keeping your key management team. Worse yet, you're concerned that you'll lose market share, your revenues will decline and your profitability will be reduced. You risk watching the enterprise value that you worked so hard to build deteriorate. Not a pretty picture. What are your options? Read on...

Victor P. Haley

The hospitality industry has yet to recover from the events of 9/11. Since that tragic day, the revenues of the major hotel operating companies have declined sharply. Only now is the industry seeing a return to profitability and increasing ADR and occupancy. However, a lingering issue continues to haunt the industry - the fear that a terrorist attack could target a hotel and the realization that the prevention of such an attack is a daunting task. Hotels can no longer do business as they once did. They must confront the new reality of terrorism and take measures to protect their guests from harm and themselves from liability. In confronting the very real threat of a terrorist attack, hotels also face a range of complicated related issues. What is a hotel's liability to its guests if an attack occurs on the hotel premises? How proactive must hotel management be in anticipating and thwarting an attack? How do the additional security measures taken by hotel management get funded? Read on...

Victor P. Haley

Hotel owners and operators have grown more sophisticated in crafting standards with which to project and then gauge the performance of their properties. As a result, these parties are also negotiating increasingly complex performance test provisions in operating agreements. What is a performance test? Essentially, a performance test sets objective criteria for minimally acceptable financial performance of a hotel and, ultimately, provides the hotel owner with the right to terminate the management contract if the operator fails to achieve the goal. Beyond these basic concepts, performance tests come in all shapes and sizes. A savvy hotel owner will always demand that the hotel management agreement contain some type of performance test. Most hotel operators accept, albeit grudgingly, that such performance standards come with the territory of management contracts. Operators are usually concerned with limiting the scope of the test as much as possible and with negotiating cure rights that protect them from loss of the management agreement. Read on...

Dennis M. Baker

Whether it's a five-star resort or a two-star hotel, customers rate location as the number one deciding factor when booking a hotel according to a recent consumer survey by HotelClub, a leading online accommodation specialist. But as everyone knows, within the "location" category there are many choices. With today's online virtual tours customers can get a fairly accurate evaluation of the details of your location in advance. Obviously room size and d'ecor, attractiveness of common areas and available amenities are critical in that evaluation, but the exterior appearance of the grounds, everything from flowers to plantings to trees, is also important to your hotel's image. Read on...

Roger G. Hill

From a financial perspective, the lodging sector in the United States is healthy, according to PKF Hospitality Research. The current market and industry conditions dictate some tightening in the lending community, however, and there's certainly no lack of competition for funding. Capital just isn't as abundant as it's been for the past few years, and you'll need a more aggressive and comprehensive method to attract these investors. Following are 10 powerhouse steps to attract investors to your property. I encourage you to evaluate every aspect of your hotel, including its overall appearance, functionality, operations, and profitability. Readying your property for new opportunities is a lot of work, but once you have investors lined up, it'll be worth all the effort. Read on...

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 on...

Neale Redington

In a recent New York Times article, it was reported that a 74 year old traveler spent the past several years on various adventure vacations, including climbing the 19,300 foot Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro and pitching a tent in a sandstorm in the Gobi Desert. She has also traveled to Mongolia, Madagascar and Peru in recent years and is planning trips to the Andes and Ethiopia. What does this mean for the travel industry? Increasing longevity creates new economic opportunities in the near term. According to a U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey, consumers age 50+ have accumulated more wealth and have more spending power than any other age group in history. In addition, they spend more than $1.7 trillion on goods and services each year. Read on...

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Coming up in October 2018...

Revenue Management: Getting it Right

Revenue Management has evolved into an indispensable area of hotel operations, chiefly responsible for setting forecasting and pricing strategies. Because the profession is relatively new to the hotel and hospitality industries, a clear-cut definition of what exactly Hotel Revenue Management is has only recently emerged - Selling the Right Room to the Right Client at the Right Moment at the Right Price on the Right Distribution Channel with the best commission efficiency. Though the profession can be summed up in a single sentence, that doesn't mean it's easy. In fact, it's an incredibly complicated and complex endeavor, relying on mountains of data from a wide range of sources that must be analyzed and interpreted in order to formulate concrete pricing strategies. To accomplish this, Revenue Managers rely on an array of sophisticated technology systems and software tools that generate a multitude of reports that are central to effective decision-making. As valuable as these current technology systems are, much of the information that's collected is based on past historical trends and performance. What's new is the coming of big, data-driven, predictive software and analytics, which is likely to be a game-changer for Revenue Managers. The software has the capacity to analyze all the relevant data and predict occupancy levels and room rates, maximizing hotel profitability in the process. Another new trend that some larger hotel chains are embracing is an emphasis on Booking Direct. For Revenue Managers, this is another new channel with its own sales and costs that have to be figured into the mix. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.