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Elaine Fenard

In this challenging economy, one of the quickest ways to turn around sluggish spa sales is to focus on retail. Generally, most spa locations overlook retail's potential without realizing they are missing out on increased revenue potential. A well run spa with a heightened focus on retail can achieve a 20-30% retail-to-treatment revenue ratio, a play that can provide a noticeable boost to the bottom line. The good news for operators is that with a few simple changes and without a large financial investment, attaining the 20-30% goal isn't just within reach, it's realistic. Here's how: READ MORE

Greg Pesik

It is undeniable that hotels have become significantly more efficient and technology savvy over last decade, with the wider deployment of technology being a primary driver for positive progress. However, there is much room for improvement, particularly in the group side of the house. In light of today's economic uncertainty, hotels now more than ever need to make sure that they are operating as efficiently as possible, taking advantage of the latest technologies to get there. The question really boils down to, how can you do more with less, how can you generate more revenue and save costs, even in a downturn? READ MORE

Robert Mandelbaum

Changes in supply and demand patterns are the two factors that cause shifts in the hotel industry cycle. Currently, most hotel owners, operators, and analysts are bullish with regards to the short- and intermediate-term outlooks for the lodging industry. On the demand side, occupied room nights continue to climb despite rising gas prices and multiple hurricanes. Barring an unforeseen catastrophic event, our PKF Consulting/Torto Wheaton Research Fall 2005 Hotel Outlook forecast calls for growth in demand each year from 2005 through 2008 at a 2.5 percent compound annual growth rate. READ MORE

Jim Motavalli

Welcome to a new world, where the debate over the science of global warming is over, but the hard work of combating it-with only a very limited window of opportunity-is only just beginning. We have to act quickly. According to new studies published last March in the respected journal Science, warming temperatures are likely to cause a catastrophic, long-term meltdown on the roof of the world in Greenland and in Antarctica. Scientists say we have a decade at most to reduce our emissions and avoid a nightmare scenario that would flood not only below-sea-level New Orleans, but also much of south Florida and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, as well as the California coast. READ MORE

Steven Ferry

The difference between day spas and hotel spas lies in the service. Generally, guests tend to feel more comfortable in smaller venues where they consider they are receiving personalized service. They want to feel known and have their needs understood. They return to the favorite therapists who know their likes and dislikes. As spas become an increasing part of a hotel's revenue base, service needs to match expectations; and that improvement comes from both within the spa as well as the hotel side. Currently, this kind of personalized service is less common in larger hotels where patrons tend to feel like one of many. The Spa Butler can help bridge this gap. READ MORE

Amy Locke

In recent months, purchases of furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) have been on an upswing as hoteliers launch the construction of new properties and the renovation of existing hotels - activities which had slowed down or been put on "hold" since September 11, 2001. FF&E consists of several distinct steps or stages. It starts with design, proceeds to purchasing, then culminates with transportation and installation. Each step requires its own specialized attention to detail, yet too often the most forgotten or overlooked aspect of FF&E purchases is transportation - namely, the costs and logistics of delivery. READ MORE

Amy Locke

Here's How Works of Art Can Make Your Rooms and Public Space Stand Out. The word "artwork" typically brings to mind paintings, wall hangings, and sculptures. However, there are several other types of decorative elements that you can use to make a positive visual impact on guests. Exactly how you combine these various "artwork" elements will depend on four factors - brand standards, interior design, owner preferences, and budget. More and more hoteliers are using art to add a "picture perfect" final touch to their public and guest room space. If you want artwork to enhance the visitor experience at your property, consider these simple guidelines... READ MORE

Amy Locke

Our industry must especially adjust its FF&E design and purchasing to the values and habits of younger, more style-conscious travelers. While the older "baby boom" travelers take more trips and fill more rooms than their younger Generation X colleagues, it's the Gen X-ers who spend more money and use more services per stay. Some hotels are trying to straddle the fence with their FF&E decisions and appeal to both categories of business travelers, so that they don't offend either. Other hotels are taking the attitude that Gen X-ers are leading our country's cultural trends while boomers are following, so why not appeal to the cutting edge - and so far, boomers show no sign of backlash to the Gen X-inspired changes. Quite to the contrary, baby boom travelers seem to appreciate the fresh new wave of upscale amenities, comfortable colors and fabrics, and state-of-the art technology that are being offered by hoteliers. So exactly what are today's business travelers looking for? READ MORE

Amy Locke

Why can the manufacturer of the Dr. Skud flyswatter, which was crafted by famous French designer Philippe Starck, sell five cents worth of plastic for $12? Why has the Motorola Razr V3 set sales records when it doesn't work any better or differently than other cell phones? Why does Apple's iPod dominate the MP3 player market when there are many similar devices available from other manufacturers? The answer to all three questions is the same - smart, striking design. Now, more and more hoteliers are coming to the same conclusion - that good design is good business. But it's been a long, slow process and some hotel owners are still reluctant to invest in anything beyond minimal design. To understand why, let's look at the difference between "design" and "purchasing." READ MORE

Amy Locke

Quick - how much was the freight cost for your most recent FF&E order? You can probably remember the price you paid for each of your television sets or for the carpeting in each of your hotel rooms, but shipping is usually like sales tax - it's an "invisible" charge that seems to disappear or blend into the overall invoice. So how you can keep your freight costs reasonable, avoid shipping surprises, and stretch your FF&E budget? Consider these suggestions. READ MORE

Andrew Glincher

Unfortunately, the advent of online reservation services and their increased accessibility to a traveling public with widespread access and greater comfort with Internet purchasing, has come at a time when the hospitality industry has gone through a major slump. Initially, faced with steep declines, many properties were happy to sell blocks of rooms at deep discounts to online resellers, who would then market and sell them to the public. But as travel industry began to recover, and these third party services began aggressively advertising and selling rooms at deeply discounted prices, the hotel industry quickly realized that they were, in effect, competing against themselves. How can properties adapt to this new reality? What issues should concern them and how should they deal with them? READ MORE

Andrew Freeman

What once served almost solely as a waiting place - a place to kill the time before check-in or after check-out, the hotel lobby is now becoming a destination in and of itself. Many of the greatest moments in film and literature have taken place in hotel lobbies --- from the lazy summer days at The Plaza in The Great Gatsby, to The Graduate's Benjamin Braddock's realization that Mrs. Robinson was indeed trying to seduce him in the lobby of the Taft Hotel. And now great moments can happen again each and everyday, as lobbies are no longer just quiet waiting spots, they are becoming the "it" spots at the best hotels around the world. READ MORE

Arthur Weissman

By integrating software tools that are now available on the market for real estate management and project performance, many hotels are becoming more and more reliant on computerized databases to monitor, assess, and report on their companies' environmental and social goals. In this article we will try to explain how making improvements in hotel management software systems and other types of workflow management systems can enable hospitality managers and property owners to adopt a life-cycle management approach within their brand or property. READ MORE

Steve Kiesner

Electricity is there when you need it. And it has been this way for almost one hundred and twenty-five years, since Thomas Alva Edison developed the first practical electric light bulb and set off a revolution that changed virtually everything in our society. But electricity, and indeed all energy, is something we can't take for granted. Although most people think about electricity only when they flip on the light switch, the U.S. electric system consists of a massive, interconnected network of generating plants, transmission lines, and distribution facilities. Energy legislation is needed now to reinforce electric reliability, foster more efficient, competitive electric power markets, promote fuel diversity, and expand our energy supplies and production. At the same time, a national energy bill needs to stress efficiency and the wise use of existing resources. With electricity consumption expected to increase 49 percent between today and 2025, these supply and demand measures are the best long-term solutions for our energy future. READ MORE

Matthew Rosenberger

So what type of branding is your hotel engaged in to reach children? Have you considered the impact branding has on children under the age of 10? Branding is an advertising method designed to establish recognition and positive associations with a company name, product or logo, with the goal of creating lifelong customers. We know now it's possible to reach customers even when they are still in diapers. Since brand recognition begins as early as 2 years of age, particularly when cartoon (think cereal advertisements) or cartoonish (think fast food advertisements) licensed characters are used to sell products, experts agree that marketers who reach these very young children with an effective branding campaign build stronger brand loyalty as a child grows. READ MORE

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