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Scott B. Brickman

One of the first things guests notice upon arriving at a hotel is its landscaping. It is also one of the most crucial - and overlooked - aspects of building customer satisfaction. Since repeat guests are your best customers, it is important to maintain a fresh new look that will keep them entertained and returning for years to come. But keeping your landscape fresh and up to date with changing seasonal aesthetics is challenging for many hotel executives - especially in areas like Southern California and Texas where there is little seasonal variation to the landscape. Color, climate and different light exposures all factor into the design and maintenance of an interesting landscape with a year-round aesthetic interest. READ MORE

Richard D. Hanks

Chances are you're familiar with early 20th-century Italian economist Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto. Doesn't sound too familiar? Perhaps the "Pareto Principle" rings a bell? Maybe you recognize it as the "80/20 rule." Pareto discovered that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. That ratio seemed to manifest itself in other areas too, and today is widely adopted by businesses as a rule of thumb in many areas. For example, more often than not, roughly 80 percent of your sales will come from 20 percent of your client base. For the lodging industry, this is a critical rule. Your loyal customers will look for your brand in every city they visit. If you really treat them right, they will go out of their way to find your hotel, even if it's in an inconvenient location. READ MORE

Georgi Bohrod

Think about your last hospitality design and construction challenge. Where did you start? Was it budget-driven? Was it program driven? Was it customer driven? Investor driven? HOA Board driven? Was it the same place as your previous deal? Will the next project be the same? Ask yourself? Is it time to make a change? From a public relations perspective, it is not all about the sticks and bricks. It is all about delivering on the promise. So, from the marketing perspective it makes sense to coordinate all the functions of hospitality, design, operations and development to offer the most comprehensive guest experience. READ MORE

William A. Brewer III

Today's business is sophisticated, complicated, and dependent on the legal system. Gentlemen's agreements have given way to written contracts devised by law firms, and the hotel industry is a prime example. Business transactions are generally arm's-length affairs where each side bargains in their own self-interest. Agency relationships, however, are entirely different. Many hotel managers drive hard bargains to include a provision in their management contract that expressly disclaims the existence of an agency relationship. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

Is your property's spa capture rate growing? Of course, higher capture rates deliver higher revenues and more happy and loyal guests. During your hotel/resort's budget process each year it becomes more apparent that in order to increase the spa's revenues, the property and spa need to seek opportunities to capture more business. READ MORE

Dee Dee Dochen

Picture this: you are an established hotel owner, management company or general manager facing a threat to your business reputation that necessitates your putting everything aside. All that time and money you spent on establishing a justifiably terrific image...all the great goodwill and positivity you created... where did it go? A reputation "hit" to an abundant image bucket stands the chance of puncturing a hole so gashing that you have no idea how you're going to keep all that positive reputation from draining completely away. Business could plunge. Your company's or your hotel's reputation could be dangerously on the line. READ MORE

Peter Goldmann

"Ethics" means doing the right thing every day - even when no one is watching. So you think you're ethical? If you own the company, do you run personal expenses through the company? If you're an executive, do you turn in padded expense reports? If you do, these thefts will inevitably become common knowledge among all of your employees. And employees take their cues about what's acceptable behavior, and what's not, from those above them. READ MORE

Maurice Martin

Today's savvy consumers not only compare your brand and your online offerings with your competitors; they compare you against every other site on the Internet. New capabilities are emerging every day on the big consumer sites that the hospitality industry will soon have to emulate. Hotel brands must produce and maintain an integrated offering that neatly presents all properties and services, while providing a best-in-class user experience. Customers expect that offering to include advanced features: online reservations, loyalty program redemption, local restaurant recommendations, tickets to attractions, smart profiles and much more. The demands on IT organizations are rising dramatically yet few hoteliers maintain the internal resources to stay competitive on a rapidly changing e-commerce playing field. In fact, many IT budgets remain flat or are in decline, forcing companies to turn to lower cost delivery models like offshore development as a cost-effective way to augment staff. But is this model really viable? READ MORE

Amy Locke

"Design" is the new buzz word in hotel FF&E, but exactly how does an interior designer add value? The textbook definition tells us that an interior designer enhances a hotel with better space planning, more stylish decorating, and more effective furniture placement. The property is worth more and guests rate their visits more highly. That should probably be enough to consider using the skills of an interior designer in your next hotel project. However, the marketplace reality goes much further - in today's crowded hospitality environment, an interior designer is vital in helping your hotel not just stay competitive but actually increase market share. A more up-to-date property generates more return visits and can achieve higher room rates. READ MORE

Bonnie Knutson

Nearly a half century ago, business guru Theodore Levitt said that the purpose of business is to make and keep customers. It might seem that his admonition is just plain common sense, not some cutting edge revelation. On the other hand, growing competitiveness in the lodging industry has forced many executives to believe that the purpose of their hotel is making money. The focus on revenues, REVPAR, ROI, escalating costs, cost containment, and a series of sophisticated business school jargon has drawn attention away from the real purpose of any hotel - i.e. to make and keep guests. No one is suggesting that revenues are not important; they are. Without adequate revenues a hotel "ain't no more." So let's give Levitt's definition a modern lodging marketing perspective: Marketing is managing your hotel's brand so that guests recognize that your hotel will solve their needs better than any alternative. READ MORE

John Poimiroo

When limited markets are divided among competing hotels with similar facilities and services, hoteliers find that new guests can be attracted and hotel occupancy increased by revisiting the past. They've discovered that heritage corridors create additional reasons to travel a route, be loyal to a property and stay longer. These less-traveled corridors were once the beaten path, but now have nostalgic appeal for travelers in search of a slower pace, authenticity and our nation's history. READ MORE

Michael Boult

According to a recent article in Hotels Magazine, when it comes to more meetings business, "Who gets the lion's share of the proceeds will depend largely on two key factors: the right technology and the right read on what meeting planners want." When it comes to technology, there are several aspects that hoteliers need to consider. I'd like to share six ways that that can help you get and manage more meetings business. READ MORE

Andy Dolce

Today's meeting planners have a lot more to consider than just booking sleeping quarters, outfitting seminar rooms with multimedia equipment and ergonomic chairs and organizing group meals. Meeting groups now require the latest in technology (Wi-Fi is a must), entertainment and amenities while also demanding the latest in comfort, cuisine and last but not least, an inspirational setting where business and bonding can be conducted in every corner. READ MORE

Nina Curtis

The Spa Retail Management process is comprised of key components that allow you to develop a foundation that will enhance your business strategy and positively effect your bottom-line. The Retail Concept is one of the first things that need to be defined. This focuses on determining your target market's needs and how you will satisfy those needs more effectively and efficiently. Who do you currently serve and how well are you serving them? Take a look at your current spa offering to determine what you sell and who is buying it. What do you sell? What is your retail mix? How have you integrated all that you do? These are just a few questions that need to be answered to define your retail concept. READ MORE

Paul Feeney

Theories and concepts compete constantly for our attention with most fleeing out minds as quickly as they entered. A few, however, begin to appear with such frequency that it is hard to ignore. Concepts that become of continual concern shift from simply ideas or musings to solidified trends. As the members of the Generation X leave the work force, multiple movements are made within the business world that potentially affects your organization. While we cannot predict the future, these six trends will contribute to the way in which many of our future business practices and processes operate. READ MORE

Coming up in November 2023...

Architecture & Design: Work from Anywhere

One major consequence of the pandemic was the necessity of employees to transition to a work-from-home situation. Millions of workers found themselves abruptly exiled from their offices, with a need to set up a workspace in their kitchen or basement. Today, because of advances in communication technology, the remote work phenomenon is widely accepted and people have discovered they can work from anywhere. As a result, hotels are adapting by creating spaces to accommodate those travelers who wish to remain connected to the office while on the go. Lobbies are being transformed into co-working spaces where guests can work, make calls, participate in video conferences, and charge their devices. These spaces also function as social and networking centers. Some are converting to fabulous bars and live entertainment venues. The lobbies also appeal to local remote workers who seek alternative places to work, thereby promoting community engagement, reinforcing brand loyalty, and increasing food and beverage sales. The November issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these and other notable trends in hotel architecture and design.