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Tom LaTour

In today's tough economy, customer value and quality service are everything in the luxury resort category. As the industry wades deeper into an uncertain 2009, some fractional resort and luxury hotel developers and operators look startlingly like deer caught in the headlights -- paralyzed by doom-and-gloom news and declining sales reports. Yet high-end property owners and mangers should know that luxury is, and always has been, a cyclical business. So as we wait out this market downturn, let's not hastily cut concierge programs and guest service personnel in a panic to balance the books. READ MORE

Kurt A. Broadhag

For an industry that survives on providing their guests with optimal customer service it always amazes me to see the lack of emphasis placed in the hotel fitness center both in terms of proper planning and the maintaining of the facility. What is even more shocking is seeing neglect in facilities that, at one time, were a proud amenity and focal point of the hotel. The only rationalization I can make for this oversight is the inability of management to both budget and approve the funds needed to maintain these fitness centers. READ MORE

Gini Dietrich

Is the unstable economy throwing shadows over your sunny vacation destinations or business travel hot spots? The current economic climate is undoubtedly influencing the way you do business and like many, you likely are looking for places to cut back. Marketing may seem like the best place to get started, but in tough economic times it is more important that ever to keep the lines of communication open on all fronts. READ MORE

Roger G. Hill

Surely, you know what your company's mission statement is. But, do you have a green mission statement? Sitting down and working through all of the possible intentions and outcomes of a green mission is the first step to setting a green strategy that is authentic. What are you looking to accomplish? Who are you trying to engage with your green message? What does green mean to your company today? What will it mean in 5 years? Use this mission as your "roadmap" to the greening of your company. It will provide an anchor that will keep you on track with your goals - if followed; it will literally show the way as you live your new mission. READ MORE

Brenda Fields

According to Smith Travel Research, “The outlook for 2010 looks slightly better than 2009, but the industry still is expected to end 2010 with decreases in all three key metrics. Occupancy is projected to end 2010 with a 0.6-percent decrease, ADR is forecasted to end the year with a 3.4-percent decrease, and RevPAR is expected to end with a 4.0-percent decline.” Although this outlook is less than optimistic, there are strategies that can be implemented to turn your business around regardless of your base of business. This article will address the key components to put your property(s) on the path to success in this new economy and maintain success regardless of market conditions. READ MORE

Jason Ferrara

While some signs of economic stabilization have started to emerge, many hotel workers are still handling heavier workloads due to downsized staff levels - a stressful situation that can result in worker burnout. As a hotel leader, it's essential to closely monitor your staff and make an effort to reduce burnout and promote healthy work/life balance. This article offers five solutions to help your hotel workers manage these challenging times, so that they can keep stress levels low and productivity high. READ MORE

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 MORE

William A. Brewer III

Fractional ownerships have emerged as the hot new trend in the hospitality industry. Fractional ownerships enable multiple individuals to own a specific piece of real estate in common, with each holding a deed for an undivided share in the property that may be bought, sold, traded, or bequeathed like any other real estate asset. In addition, much like a timeshare, each interest entitles its owner to possession of real estate for a certain amount of time each year. However, in timeshares, the "owner" typically purchases only a contractual right to occupancy, not an interest in real property. Thus, the critical difference between the two concepts is in the nature of the investment. READ MORE

Rory B. Loberg

The trend over the past few years has been for more colleges and universities to add lodging products to their campus community. Some of these are single use facilities dedicated to executive education and weekend MBAs. Many are mixed use facilities that cater to all of the university departments and administration. Many of the departments on campus will have lodging and meeting needs. It is intended that these facilities serve as the front door and the living room of the campus. One of the keys to the success of these lodging facilities is that the operator fully embraces the philosophy and mission of the campus. READ MORE

Jim Poad

When President Obama was elected in 2008, it was with the promise that the new administration would take long-awaited steps toward regulating greenhouse gas emissions. They delivered, and didn't delay in introducing the Climate Bill, a document that if passed into law will change the way that America does business. This article discusses the opportunities all businesses will have in the not so distant future, and how to make the most of them. READ MORE

Marta Fernandez

Hotel closings are hitting record levels, but for all the right reasons! Unlike closings caused by the "great real estate depression" of the early 1990s, hotels are closing today in record numbers for major rehab and construction projects, conversions to condo hotel or residential condos, and expansion. The robust recovery in the hotel industry has brought plenty of business and leisure travelers willing to pay for a better hotel experience, or wanting to get in on the condo hotel boom. Hotel developers and owners increasingly find that construction is so extensive that it is advisable to close the hotel while the work is being performed. READ MORE

Judy Singer

Going green is not a trend... it has a life of its own that continues to grow and gain momentum. This phenomenon is becoming so prevalent that people are moving away from the term "green" and have embraced the larger concept of "sustainability" because it better describes the long-term and on-going evolution and revolution of personal, cultural, economic, environmental and global well-being. As more and more individuals and corporations are engaging in the sustainability culture, it is important to see how well-aligned this is with the spa revolution of the past 10 - 15 years. Spas went from being trendy to being on-trend; from being a luxury to a necessity; from elite to main street; from loss-leaders to profit-makers. Substitute the word "sustainability" for "spa" and you will see the similarities and synergies. READ MORE

Judy Singer

In the last several years, spa development in the hospitality and lifestyle real estate industries has boomed. As more and more spas are built, the challenge will be to find, train and retain staff. For those of you who already have a spa, you know that the spa staff are not exactly like all the other staff at your property. Many of them are care-givers, nurturers and healers. In this article, I will try to give some insight into the challenges and opportunities for staffing your spa with people who are "grounded" and who possess the right skill set, attitude, vision and professionalism to make the spa a successful, marketable and profitable venue within the hospitality industry. Since staffing is so important, I thought it would be beneficial to hear from people who are operating successful spas on a daily basis. Therefore, I invited several well-respected spa operators who have extensive experience to share some of their insights and strategies. READ MORE

Judy Singer

When the spa is a successful venture, there is a positive impact on your "core" business which is to sell hotel rooms and lifestyle real estate. If you do not have enough qualified, passionate and dedicated spa staff, it will be very challenging, if not impossible, to provide the type of experience that the guests expect. I have invited five Spa Directors whom I consider to be among the best in the spa industry. They have been selected because of their first-hand experience and proven records of financial success at some of the top spas in the United States. I am very grateful that they have agreed to share their expertise on "staffing for success." READ MORE

Jacqueline Clarke

Many hotel spa operators are facing their first significant economic downturn. The first because many hotel spas are new, and hotel spas were among the pioneers of the new spa industry that has developed in the past decade around the world. How is the spa industry faring? The newness of this industry means there is no directly comparable historical data. Further in a fragmented spa market data is scarce. This article looks at the performance of a mixed bag of broadly comparable businesses, that is beauty and personal care, to give a flavor of the disparate industry. READ MORE

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