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Roberta Nedry

Good old Johnny Appleseed! This is his time of year, with peak apple season from September to November. How would Mr. Appleseed have felt if any of the seeds he planted turned into trees with rotten apples? How do hotel leaders feel when employees they have selected, trained and groomed change from positive to negative? Will they end up damaging the rest of the crop of employees as well as guests? It's amazing how one rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch if not removed. How do hotels and hospitality organizations handle those employees or even managers who taint the others? Read on...

Daniel Croley

Under a recent Harvard study, 6 percent of U. S. traffic accidents are caused by drivers talking on cell phones, producing 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries each year. Prudent Employer's would be well-advised to consider what risks are posed when their employees make business calls while driving. Some recent lawsuits vividly drive this point home: In a pending lawsuit in Virginia, a Palo Alto based law firm was sued for $30 million when an attorney, making business phone calls while driving, veered off the road killing a child. Read on...

Kurt A. Broadhag

As a hotel, how do you protect yourself from liability issues associated with the gym? Developing a comprehensive risk management plan and taking steps as early as the design phase to limit liability is a must in protecting your hotel from litigation arising from injury to either a guest or your staff inside the fitness center. Risk management within the gym centers on a comprehensive plan that facilities should adopt to create a clean, safe environment for both your guests and staff. Following is five crucial areas within the fitness center that should not be overlooked. With the proper planning and risk management plan in place, addressing these issues can drastically reduce your hotels liability. Read on...

John Ely

I am a Baby Boomer. I manage a staff of Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials, and work with a set of Traditionalists. I think you see where I'm going here. As you might imagine, I have little or no trouble relating to the other Boomers on my staff, however, when it come to the Gen Xers and especially the Millennials, let's just say that I can sometimes be "out of touch." Being a marketer, my first line of defense is research when faced with an issue, and relating to, managing and working with a multigenerational workforce was just such an issue for me. Last year I started a research project to better understand all of these different generations. Some of the results were expected, and some were not, but it was amazing how people of those generational groups behave alike, have similar expectations (especially when it comes to customer service) and have comparable learning styles. Hopefully, my findings will help you in managing your own multigenerational teams. Read on...

Joanna Harralson

Whenever a bar is generating healthy gross sales it is most likely racking up equally healthy profits, right? Not necessarily. Much to the dismay of owners and managers of bistros, bars, lounges, nightclubs and restaurants -anywhere drinks are prepared and served - profits are the result of good sales volume plus a multitude of factors which need to be created and nurtured on an ongoing basis. If profitability is the goal, then control and constant diligence must be major components of the oversight provided by owners and managers if their establishments are to remain 'out of the red' and send profits spiraling upwards. Read on...

Roger G. Hill

After inconveniently learning a few truths and watching celebrities roll up to red carpets in fuel-efficient hybrids, it seems everyone is going green these days. But some of the best and most effective environmental efforts are being embraced by the hotel and lodging industries. Not only do hotels feel the pressure to implement eco-friendly steps that go beyond simply allowing guests the option of reusing their linens and towels, it's apparent they must take measures to accommodate more and more guests who are specifically seeking out the hotels that have gone green. Some celebrities - from Andy Dick to Woody Harrelson - have even designed their own eco-friendly suites. And some hotels, such as 70 Park Avenue in New York City, are even starting to implement their own eco-concierge, on hand to recommend eco-friendly ways of getting around the city or give directions to the local organic restaurant. Read on...

Roger G. Hill

Rather than trying to predict the market, hoteliers can look into the future and make investments that set the stage for explosive growth when the economy takes off. Instead of reacting to today's economy, hotel owners can prepare for tomorrow's. Today's marketplace offers hotel owners a perfect opportunity to work on projects they put on the back burner early, as contractors and suppliers lower building costs in response to dwindling demand for their services. The cost of labor and materials decreases right in line with the economy. As an hotelier, you can take advantage of the economics of an uncertain market. Read on...

Roger G. Hill

Developers of boutique hotels are experts in leveraging design to create unique guest experiences. Historic hotels are perfectly poised for redevelopment as boutique hotels, and they offer that something extra that guests seek. Don't be afraid to invest in a historical property, especially if it's designated a landmark. The design challenges inherent to historical properties are surmountable, and even the most dilapidated properties can be restored to glory. The end result is a modern hotel infused with a narrative, and the cachet of staying in a historical property can make for an unforgettable guest experience. When you embrace a hotel's past and restore its glamour, guests feel the magic. Read on...

Roger G. Hill

The acronym FF&E hardly seems adequate to describe such an important part of hotel development. Furniture, fixtures, and equipment can make or break your guests' experiences - and your budget. Cost overruns and time delays are typical in the FF&E purchasing process, and mismanagement of procurement can even set back the opening of your hotel. Read on...

Roger G. Hill

Walking into a hotel lobby is like shaking the hand of someone you just met. It's all about the first impression. Just like people, hotel lobbies embody distinct personalities. A lobby can be aloof, inviting, intimidating, or unbelievably cool. As an hotelier, you cannot stand by your front door greeting all the guests that make their way onto your property, but you can choreograph initial experiences by transforming your lobby into an oasis. Read on...

Jed Heller

Strong communications between an owner and general manager are vital to the success of any property. The general manager needs to share the owner's vision while clearly understanding business strategy, objectives, accountability and metrics for success. In many cases, the owner and general manager will have already developed a broad based business plan that documents the goals and objectives of the property. Once these goals and guidelines have been established, it is incumbent upon the general manager to create a detailed operating plan to fulfill the vision. Read on...

Jane Segerberg

As 2008 continues to unfold, the current economic environment reminds us that making smart investments is paramount to the sustainability of our businesses. The most recent spa industry study conducted for the International Spa Association (ISPA) reveals that while the industry is very healthy, it is maturing and the previous exponential growth in locations and revenues is slowing down, yet individual spa net profits are improving. It is clear that spa properties that have not kept up with quality expectations are suffering from increased competition. Never has there been a better time than the present to invest wisely for the future and be poised on the brink of excellence as the economy returns to robust levels. Read on...

Elaine Fenard

Historically, the spa industry hasn't been known as a bastion of marketing prowess, but to be fair, much of that has to do with the fact that most full-service spas (day spas notwithstanding) are embedded into better known and marketed hotels, leaving them as a value-add for various packages and specials. However, some spas are doing wonderful things on their own to build the spa's brand and drive traffic. These efforts help to drive hotel rate and occupancy from both traveling and local audiences, and when expectations are met, a great spa experience can do much for building brand loyalty for the property, helping to keep your customers tied to you on both an emotional and practical level. To build brand loyalty and traffic for your hotel spa, take a look at what works. The following is our list of top-ten "buzz builders" for marketing spa. Read on...

Greg Pesik

When it comes to a successful meeting, a hotel has to bring more to the table than just a stellar reputation, luxurious amenities and the most informed employees. These qualities are clearly important success drivers but they alone do not guarantee success. Adding key technologies to the process can help ensure your meeting goes off without a hitch and will keep planner coming back. Technology is a key catalyst to group meeting success and hotels should embrace these solutions to make their venue more attractive to planners - whether for large groups and corporations, private weddings and parties. Here is a look at some of the must have technologies of today. Read on...

Tara K. Gorman

In the traditional hotel owner/operator relationship the lines are drawn in the sand and the roles are clear. Just as the titles imply - the hotel owner owns the hotel and the hotel operator operates the hotel. The hotel management agreement governs the relationship and that's that. When a joint venture enters into the equation, these lines are not so clear and which party is taking on which role at which time gets to be an interesting, and often complicated question. Before a joint venture can be formed, several basic questions must be asked and answered. Read on...

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.