Library Archives

 
Richard Dahm

As oil penetrates the $130-a-barrel mark and natural gas prices increase to rates four times what they were since the late 1990s, the use of green building (or building green) has taken seed to a new beginning to reform the cost of energy across all sections of industry. Green building is no longer just another popular cause or fad; it is here to stay as a vital and profitable part of the commercial real estate and construction industries. Anyone in the building trades or anyone involved with real estate investing or leasing needs to understand fully -- green building trends, opportunities, and consequences that can affect all areas including building codes, insurance rates, employee health, customer satisfaction, and more. This article will set out to serve as a survey of the important fundamentals and forecasts of what has happened and what will happen going forward in the efforts to build a green environment. READ MORE

Kurt A. Broadhag

Hotel fitness centers are no different than basic health clubs when it comes to decision making on equipping their facilities. Major prohibiting factors including space and budget limitations require management to make smart choices on equipment procurement. These choices are influential in determining equipment quantities and quality with defined specifications unique to each setting. Taking time to research proper selection early on in the design process will not only save money and reduce liability long-term but will allow hotel operators to develop their fitness center around the guests needs. READ MORE

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 MORE

Steven Belmonte

September 12-13, 2005, franchisees from all over the nation will march on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to celebrate "Franchise Appreciation Day" initiated by the International Franchise Association. This annual event, now in its 6th year, is held to heighten the visibility of franchising and to educate our U.S. Congress on the important role franchising plays in our nation's economy. This got me to thinking. Franchising represents about 60 percent of the hospitality industry, contributing billions of dollars in annual U.S. revenues. So why is it that we as an industry do not celebrate a national or global "Hotel Franchise Appreciation Day?" Could the answer be that hotel franchising simply isn't appreciated? With franchise fees what they are today, I have to believe that the franchisors appreciate it. Travelers certainly appreciate it - especially those reaping the rewards offered by growing brand/franchise-loyalty programs. Even national franchisee associations appreciate hotel franchising. READ MORE

Lori Raleigh

At the recent Americas Lodging Investment Summit conference there was quite a bit of good news - the industry has just finished up the year with record profits for 2006! Transition dollar volume is also at all time high and 2007 is expected to be another record year for RevPAR growth, industry profits and transactions. There was also some not so good news - supply growth is escalating; the rate of RevPAR growth is decelerating and there has been a significant decline in international business (as a percentage of total demand). Additionally, many hotels are facing increased expenses and human resource challenges. And there are also many areas of uncertainty. What does this all mean in terms of where we at in the investment cycle? And where do we go from here? READ MORE

Blake Suggs

In a tough economic time, it is of vital importance to discuss methods that will not only help you avoid slumping sales, but also to help you grow your business. There are six specific tactics I discuss in this article, from details on how to utilize natural and local search offerings to the importance of building the top of your funnel for your long-term growth. This list is by no means meant to be a comprehensive guide to running a recession-proof online program. However, these are the first steps you can take to ensure the health of your business, now and to come. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

Haven't spas been around long enough that we know what they are? Why is it important to answer the question? And, even more emphatically, "Why do we care what a spa is"? The understanding can help properties develop, renovate or evaluate their spas or spa plans to produce a more successful spa business. The pasteighteen months have certainly had the hospitality industry scrambling, and at the same time; scrutinizing, evaluating and reflecting on what is valued by our guests. Don't stop here - read further to gain an understanding of 'spa' READ MORE

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 MORE

Elaine Oksner

Today's hospitality world presents a constant ebb and flow of sales and marketing challenges, especially with recent changes in the economy. With that in mind, there may be people on your hospitality team who present an undiscovered sales and marketing resource. Savvy hoteliers can make a strategic move in their overall sales strategy by harnessing the power of the concierge position. Before I tell you how and identify six ways to maximize this often underused resource, let me explain why this strategy will work. READ MORE

Fred B. Roedel, III

When developing a hotel, operations must be given priority standing. Operations are essential in order to get a hotel up, running, and producing revenue within a set timeline. Developers must spend the time required to integrate all aspects related to operating the hotel into the overall development plan at its inception. Failure to do so will inevitably result in costly delays. If you do not have an operations expert on staff, hire a consultant. Experienced operators are invaluable when it comes to establishing and meeting performance standards for the design, time, cost and quality of a hotel development. READ MORE

Steven Belmonte

One would think that after 30-plus years in this industry, I've seen it all. But truth be told, I'm still witnessing some amazing new roles and functions that are taking place in the hospitality industry. The industry had an incredible few decades with prosperity, growth, new programs, and a new direction in terms of franchising. And now that we are at the beginning of a recession, we are seeing franchisors developing creative and ingenious marketing programs and incentives to compete with emerging brands that have captured the attention of franchisees. READ MORE

Nelson Migdal

The deed in lieu of foreclosure offers lenders and borrowers an alternative to foreclosure when the going gets rough. However, when the subject of foreclosure is an operating hotel, there are many complexities that must be analyzed and understood prior to handing the keys over to the lender. READ MORE

Jeff Guaracino

The gay and lesbian travel market is too often considered simply a leisure market segment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gay and lesbian travel is also group, meeting and convention and corporate. Would you be surprised to learn that 27 gay-oriented meetings have met in Dallas, Texas, in hotels since that city launched its gay tourism marketing efforts in 2004? Veronica Torres, diversity convention sales manager of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, is the perhaps the most successful CVB sales woman in the country. Each year, she is responsible for booking more than 8,000 hotel room nights attributable to the GLBT market. She has proven that a straight woman can reign as queen in gay meetings. 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

Frank Meek

A pest sighting in your hotel is never a good thing. One guest could tell another guest, who tells another, and the next thing you know, the incident hits the Internet waves for all to read - ultimately damaging your hotel's reputation and business. But the good news is you can stop this nightmare before it starts. Simple exterior maintenance practices are one the easiest ways to prevent pests' entry into your establishment, and the best part is they are cost-effective too. Read on for several exterior maintenance practices that you can put in place immediately to keep pests outside where they belong. READ MORE

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Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.