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Andy Dolce

The conference center advantage is now a well-known fact. Thanks to our industry's successful outreach efforts, business clients understand that a conference center offers an unbeatable fusion of luxury amenities and sophisticated technologies. But a subtle, often overlooked element of that formula is now taking a front seat when marketing a facility to conference planners. Design innovation is fast becoming a pertinent, enticing amenity actively sought out for conferences thanks to the dialogue, functionality and the fun it inspires among conference attendees. Some call it "Feng Shui"; we call it thoughtful design. Our clients call it a welcome enhancement of the conference center approach. READ MORE

Dennis M. Baker

Partnering with companies in order to maximize various business processes is a topic top of mind across many industries. For years it has been done successfully with payroll operations (think ADP), various technology providers (EDS, IBM) and even more recently with human resource operations (Hewitt). Now, the concept of outsourcing various procurement functions is gaining momentum in a variety of hospitality-centric industries, like lodging, cruise, golf and gaming. What exactly is a procurement service provider? There are a variety of descriptions that these organizations take on - procurement service provider (PSP), group purchasing organization (GPO), purchasing consortiums - and so on. While their products and services vary tremendously - a fundamental goal of these organizations is to enable more efficient and informed supply chain management and purchasing behavior for its aggregate customer base. READ MORE

Mike Sawchuk

When it comes to most facilities, including hotel properties, hard surface floors and carpets can make a first-and lasting-impression. Glistening floors and clean and spotless carpets tell the visitor and hotel guest that this is a clean, well-maintained property. And when it comes to carpet cleaning, this can be more complicated because there are so many different methods to clean carpets, types of soils and fibers, an entire spectrum of carpet cleaning machines and extractors, as well as cleaning chemicals. A first step in clearing the confusion usually starts with a better understanding of the different types of chemicals now available for cleaning carpets and how to properly use them. READ MORE

Bruce Fears

As "green" options in the meeting and conference industry expand, environmentally conscious event planners, organizers and companies are finding that going "green" not only helps save the planet and resources, but also offers a wealth of other benefits and advantages. If you've ever considered having a "green meeting," or pondered the advantages of holding a conference or training session at an environmentally conscious conference center, there are a few things to consider before going "green." As the following questions and answers demonstrate, green meetings can help save the planet and yield real rewards for your attendees and your budget. READ MORE

Rollin Bell

One of the first things a guest sees when driving onto your property is your hotel's parking lot. A fresh, black coat of asphalt makes a positive first impression. A parking lot exhibiting signs of neglect or disrepair will have a profound negative impact on guests - even before they walk through the front door. Beyond appearances, a cracked parking lot can be a liability for hotel executives and managers if one of your guests becomes injured. So how can you, as a hotel executive, know when it is time to repair your parking lot? Besides planning for recurring inspections and maintenance, there are several trouble spots to look for. READ MORE

Donald R. Boyken

With annual spending exceeding $6 billion, tourism is the world's largest industry. Travel and travel-related industries employ over 234 million people worldwide. That's almost 9 percent of the world's population. By 2016, travel and tourism will account for approximately 10 percent of the global economy. Our success in this rapidly growing and important industry depends on our ability to develop and build high-quality facilities, both domestically and abroad. When considering international expansion, our understanding of cultural differences-whether they be as complex as a tax code or as simple as a personal greeting-is crucial to ensuring future success. READ MORE

John Tess

There was a time when the name said it all: In New York, New York, it was the Waldorf. In San Francisco, California, it was the Fairmount. In Atlanta, Georgia, it was the Winecoff. In McAllen, Texas, it was Casa de Palmas. And in Garden City, Kansas, it was the Windsor. In today's vernacular, these hotels then were the grand dames of the communities. Sadly, the aging grand dames have had a poor survival rate. Such was the saga of the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago... READ MORE

Kevin Batters

Hotel companies face big challenges - bringing the best possible value to their guests while competing with increasingly similar products from brand to brand. Hoteliers spend large amounts of time and energy focusing on how to do this through care, comfort and amenities, but often end up with properties that have few if any distinctive features. One method for achieving differentiation is to institute a seamless culinary theme throughout all hotel food and beverage departments. READ MORE

John Arenas

Until now, customers seeking short lead time meetings have had to fax, phone and email and then wait for manual responses to RFPs. But planners increasingly want the freedom to book meeting space, catering, audio visual and guest rooms for small groups on the Internet. For hotels, letting customers view live proposals and book small meetings on-line can drive market share and customer satisfaction, while reducing administration, sales and marketing costs. John Arenas provides tips on how to offer your availability of free-to-sell, inventory directly to buyers 24 hours a day, seven days a week for incremental revenue. RFP. RIP?. READ MORE

Paul Feeney

Some employee acts are so offensive that immediate response is in order. Your employee handbook enumerates them: theft, fraud, insubordination, sexual harassment, etc. Others fail to rise to that level of concern, yet, like small cancers left untreated, begin to poison the organization. Those latter acts may be committed by otherwise likeable employees and, in fact, may be difficult to pinpoint. (Did Mary really mean to do that?) Yet you know, and the employee knows, that mischief has taken place. READ MORE

Steve Kiesner

The country's steadily growing demand for energy will continue to present challenges for legislators, both at the federal and state levels. Two energy-related issues in particular-rising prices and global climate change-will demand innovative and bipartisan solutions. The nation's electric utilities believe that a key component of these solutions will be an expanded commitment to energy efficiency. We are working with the new Congress and with state legislators and regulators to broaden the role that energy efficiency plays in addressing these issues. We are encouraging the hotel industry, and all sectors of the economy, to join in this effort. READ MORE

Jacqueline Clarke

The spa or health and wellness segment is one of the fastest growth segments in the hotel market in the USA, in many EU countries and elsewhere, that is in Eastern Europe, and in Asia. In Austria revenues in health and wellness tourism are reported to be 30% higher than traditional tourism. The pace of development suggests that hotel spas are meeting a demand that has not been satisfied in the traditional beauty channel. Indeed hotel spas are growing in countries, among them France, where the traditional beauty market is stagnant. READ MORE

Peter Goldmann

Despite the constant barrage of news about corporate theft and fraud, there are still far too many situations in which hospitality companies unknowingly pay criminally-minded individuals or phony companies posing as legitimate vendors. How is it possible that "legitimate" companies have a private mailbox at the local UPS Store, a private residence, or even a prison address? Or that invoices a month apart with consecutive numbers both get paid? Or "invoices from a "vendor" whose address happens to match that of a company employee get paid? READ MORE

Connie Rheams

There is a lot of movement and focus towards personalizing your guest's experience in our industry today. What exactly is "personalization of the guest experience"? You could think of personalization as the next wave in product differentiation and creating and reinforcing guest loyalty. At the highest level, it has to do with delivering to all of our guests a more intimate stay, and on an individual level, delivering a unique service or product to each guest according to their preferences. READ MORE

Brenda Fields

What other industry is so directly involved with serving its customers in many significant areas to their well being? Food, drink, and sleep are three of the most important needs of an individual. But just meeting these needs does not ensure a successful operation or client loyalty. Nor does it ensure that the customer's needs were met with good service in a hospitable manner. This article will address the opportunity and benefit for the hospitality industry to be the leader in providing hospitality and setting standards for other industries to emulate. READ MORE

Coming up in October 2023...

Hotel Revenue Management: The Age of Big Data

The future of hotel revenue management lies in the adoption of ever more sophisticated software and technology, especially as it pertains to forecasting and pricing. For revenue professionals, the Age of Big Data has arrived. Managers are utilizing systems that employ leading-edge algorithms and machine learning, along with business analytics and data visualization tools. These tools communicate complex information more effectively, allowing managers to understand the key components driving demand and revenue. They have the ability to analyze real-time external and internal data, produce reports, and integrate information - all on a single platform - in order to improve performance. Managers are also utilizing  geographic information systems (GIS) which incorporate geographic data into forecasting. GIS also help decision-makers identify information in a visual way that cannot be detected through traditional data analysis. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on how some hotels are integrating Big Data into their revenue management strategies.