HOTEL BUSINESS REVIEW

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Darrell Schuurman

You provide wireless internet for the business traveller. You provide swimming pools and water parks for families. You provide discounts for seniors. But what do you need to provide for the gay and lesbian traveller? Is it any different from the mainstream 'straight' traveller? Simply put, no, it's no different. The gay and lesbian traveller still demands and expects the same general products services as the mainstream traveller. They want the spa, the workout facilities, the business centres. But there are still services and products that your hotel can offer to go that extra mile, and provide a message of commitment to the market. After all, since you've already invested heavily in this market, it only makes sense to provide products within the hotel that are targeted as well. READ MORE

Olivier Bottois

While it is true that the general manager's role has changed radically over the past 30 years, this new role is really an amalgam of old and new. In today's luxury hotel and private residence club, this person plays the innkeeper role, as homeowners have brought about the need for the traditional innkeeper to maintain personal relationships for the property. The new general manager also has to handle a more complex business model, so all operations, from finance to marketing, require different knowledge and management. Now, too, this person serves as a real estate professional because the entire project thrives on this knowledge and sensibility. Entering the industry with the mindset of a traditional hotelier, one focused solely on managing the hotel, no longer makes sense with the advent of new, more productive models. READ MORE

Jeffrey Catrett

Imagine a world in which Hilton, and Sheraton, and Marriott join Howard Johnson's, Statler, and Americana as fading icons of a time gone by. What started as product niching, through concept restaurants and boutique hotels supported by internet, is now a sea change in how the buying public is perceiving hospitality. The benefits of yesterday's standardization - reliable cleanliness and reservations - are now simply the expected attributes of any player in the game. Today's increasingly travelled and savvy mid-scale and high-end customer no longer settles for "no bad surprises," seeking instead to be delighted outright. Increasingly, it is design, lifestyle harmonization, ambience, service style and delivery, creativity, flare and finesse that distinguish the winners from the losers. READ MORE

Jed Heller

Have you read reviews of your property on the Internet? If you haven't, the experience may be a real eye-opener. At even the finest resorts and hotels, reviewers (past guests) often complain about rude or inefficient service from hotel staff. But at resorts where staff is friendly and welcoming, reviewers will often dismiss dated furnishings or other concerns to rave about the people who made their stay special. What does this mean to you? It means that your staff members really are your most important asset. And if that's true, shouldn't that be where you're investing your time and energy? Developing and maintaining an effective employee communication and training protocol may be the highest yielding management effort you can make. You just need to give employees the tools, information, and feedback they need to get the job done. READ MORE

Jeffrey Catrett

Demographics has played an ugly trick on the hospitality industry. Today, our profession is facing the daunting challenge of replacing Baby Boomer managers, departing in record numbers to retirement or to consulting, with green Generation Y high school and college graduates. It has been estimated that the industry will need more than 200,000 new managers within the next five years in the US alone. (The interim generation, Generation X, is only 3/7 the size of the Baby Boom so cannot possibly slot into all the management positions becoming available.) Just when traditional hospitality is hardest pressed to make itself attractive to this teens and twenty-somethings cohort, it has been abandoned by the media and has quietly disappeared off the radar screens of most of today's youth as they plan for (or stumble into) their future careers. READ MORE

Bob Carr

There's no denying that credit card fraud is on the rise. A 2007 report from the Association for Payments Professionals found 72 percent of 3,000 members surveyed had been victims of actual or attempted fraud in 2006. That's up from 68 percent in 2005. Unfortunately, 80 percent of data compromises originate through small merchants - those generating less than 20,000 e-commerce transactions or a million total transactions annually - according to Visa USA. These smaller merchants - such as independently owned hotels - don't always have the technology to provide the secure systems needed in today's increasingly risky financial world. Worse, many hotel owners dismiss the problem because they think they are protected by their merchant acquirers. But they are not. READ MORE

Mike Handelsman

To realize the most success in selling your hotel online, it is imperative to maximize the effectiveness of your listing. A well thought-out and well-written listing will allow you to attract more prospects and better sort out the serious buyers from the rest. By keeping in mind the following "10 commandments of quality online listings," you can help ensure that your hotel attracts the best potential buyers, and that the selling process goes quickly and smoothly. READ MORE

Mike Handelsman

Whether you are buying a hotel for the first time or an experienced owner looking to invest in a new business, the process can be intimidating. Although it is usually not easy, entering the buying process fully prepared can save a great deal of time and frustration, making it easier to close a deal on a hotel that is perfect for you. Going into business for yourself or buying a new hotel will undoubtedly require large amounts of commitment and drive to overcome fear of the unknown, but keeping four critical factors in mind can help ensure success when investing time and money into a new business. READ MORE

Mike Handelsman

When the time has come to sell your hotel and you have listed it for sale online, it is a great feeling to receive interest from potential buyers. Let's face it - selling a business independently can be a lot of hard work and a major time commitment, and when people show interest in what you are selling it can translate into a quick, painless sale. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons communication between a buyer and a seller is not always simple. Hotel owners who list their establishment for sale on the Internet often have to deal with many inquiries from browsers who enter into a conversation without any serious interest in purchasing a business. If hotel sellers are not savvy in how to address this type of situation, they might find the selling process to be longer and more frustrating than necessary. By following some simple communication guidelines when selling your hotel online, you can ensure you don't get caught up in a communication trap. READ MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

Coming up in November 2021...

Architecture & Design: Wellness is Key


Like every other facet of hotel operations, architecture and design firms are adapting their work to ensure the safety and well-being of both guests and staff. New ways to bring Wellness into hotel spaces are being explored and these solutions are taking on many forms. Hotel designs are incorporating more open floor plans, open air spaces, high ceilings, outdoor areas and operable walls into their spaces. Guests no longer want to be packed into tight areas. More "biophilic" elements are also being incorporated, offering guests the sense of being outdoors. Another trend is the reimagining of guest rooms to support remote work capabilities. Some hotels are converting empty guest rooms into office spaces, complete with effective lighting and suitable backgrounds for video conferencing. Dedicated Zoom Rooms are also becoming increasingly popular. The main goal is to provide guests with a positive experience in a space that feels safe and comfortable. These are some of the architecture and design subjects that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.