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Roberta Nedry

Nervous Service! Call it shaky, call it uneasy, call it anxious, high-strung, sensitive or walking on pins and needles. These kinds of service experiences make the guest want to TWIST and SHOUT!!! What happens when employees are so focused on their duties, so concerned about management's expectations, so worried about letting co-workers down? Nervous service can bumble the job! Walking the line between expectations and service delivery can be challenging. How can employees better understand the seamless delivery of service and how they can have fun doing it without the jitters? Can hotels and hospitality organizations "work it on out"? READ MORE

Tom LaTour

In today's rapidly changing and highly competitive hospitality industry, there are many different roads that can lead top managers to new career heights and greater achievements. One increasingly popular route paving the way to expanded personal growth and professional success is via fractional resort management. One of the fastest growing and most fascinating segments of the lodging industry is shared-ownership vacation resorts, including fractional interest, private residence clubs and destination clubs. According to the latest figures released by Ragatz Associates, this segment grew 8.3 percent in 2007 with sales volume estimated at $2.3 billion -- this despite the dramatic decrease in the country's overall residential resort industry. READ MORE

Joanna Harralson

As every hotel manager knows, a good buffet can be a tremendous marketing tool for promoting a hotel's banquet and catering services, as well as being a magnet to attract a constant crowd of discriminating guests willing to pay for great food, attentive service and pleasant, relaxed surroundings. But what defines a good buffet? And how does one realize healthy profits while avoiding huge losses, including those suffered through employee theft or carelessness? READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

The current economic downturn makes us all look at our businesses differently and realize the importance of good planning and execution. Your property's commitment to a new spa build, expansion or renovation during the current economic climate not only is a strategically smart maneuver, but also one that requires a talented team. When this short-term downturn begins to level out and improve, your property will be poised with a compelling edge on the market. In this article we will briefly examine the state of the spa industry and indications for spa development, then focus on the team of services and what each should bring to the project. The intention is for you, the reader, to have a clear understanding of "who does what", why each is important and what to expect from each area of expertise. READ MORE

Bryan Green

In the world of high-end hospitality, unique services and luxury amenities can make or break guest satisfaction and retention, and a fitness facility is certainly not an exception. As consumers continue to focus on active, fitness-friendly getaways, it's all the more critical for spa and fitness center managers to stay on top of the innovations that can set them apart from the competition in the ongoing battle to win and retain new customers. Currently, the hottest new technologies in the fitness world are challenging hospitality professionals to enter the digital age, as virtual-reality-based, and other new digital technologies and software are re-shaping the way people exercise. READ MORE

Jed Heller

By following basic accounting principles, hotel owners and managers have the information they need to identify trends before they can have a negative impact on the business. They can reduce expenses, readily accommodate anticipated peak business times, and scale back operations during slow periods. Rather than relying on intuition and reacting to events, successful owners have the financial facts they need on a daily basis to proactively make the right decisions at the right time. Staying on top of the hotel financials also provides an accurate measurement of management performance in every operational area and gives owners a mechanism to see where they stand against the competition. READ MORE

John Poimiroo

In response to increasing financial and cultural ties between China and the United States, both countries have eased travel restrictions. The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is intended to boost travel between the two countries and serve to "strengthen relations and forge new friendships." The MOU opens China's growing market to U.S. travel and tourism industries with a push toward expanding group leisure travel from China to the U.S. CNTA Chairman Shao Qiwei sees it as broadening exchange and cooperation between the countries in economic, cultural and air service areas. READ MORE

Michael Goldstein

Many properties can not afford the luxury of closing down operations during renovation. As such, one of the biggest challenges that hoteliers across the country face is how to effectively complete either type of renovation while staying profitable and keeping the hotel property open to guests. A quick Internet search shows many disgruntled guests who were unhappy with the quality of service provided to them at various hotels where they stayed while construction took place. They have posted their unflattering experiences and reviews on popular sites where other potential guests are likely to read and be dissuaded from staying at that particular property. Many of the guests' complaints could have been easily resolved, or altogether avoided, had the property adequately planned or known how to deal with guests during a renovation. The following steps and actions can be taken by an hotelier to maintain order, lessen the impact of construction on the guests, and create a more positive environment for everyone involved, including hotel staff. READ MORE

Rollin Bell

Hotel renovations are on the rise. According to a report issued by accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, U.S. Hotels spent a total of $3 billion renovating and upgrading guest rooms and public spaces in 2004. Of this spending, a large percentage was devoted to major structural renovation activities. In its biannual Lodging Survey which includes responses from more than 2,150 hotel managers and owners, the American Hotel and Lodging Association reported that nearly 90 percent of participants said to be planning major structural renovations in the coming year. READ MORE

Scott B. Brickman

How can you align your brand strategy with your landscape maintenance strategy to deliver a consistent guest experience among your different properties? Part of the answer is selecting a landscape maintenance provider with the expertise, resources and geographic reach to continuously deliver on your brand promise to your guests. Whether you are considering a geographic expansion for your hotel chain or thinking about ways to consolidate your landscaping to create a single, unified brand experience, here are some thoughts to consider: READ MORE

Rollin Bell

Over the past decade, the hospitality industry - like the rest of the commercial real estate industry - has begun incorporating the use of environmentally friendly, green materials into the design and renovation of existing spaces. The result has been new hotels that are not only aesthetically pleasing - but also sustainable buildings that are making a positive impact on the communities in which they are located. The breakthroughs in green construction have been remarkable. Some international hotels, for example, have been able to reduce energy costs by constructing sod roofs consisting of mud and other organic materials. Other hotels have found ways to minimize waste runoff through innovative engineering techniques, while still others have increased energy efficiency through use of natural and ambient lighting. READ MORE

John Hogan

Mukesh Mowji, 2005 vice chairman of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, authored a short editorial in the November issue of the AAHOA Lodging Business magazine titled "Illuminating the Way: DIWALI and the Community". In this article, he encouraged people of all nationalities to join in this "Festival of Lights" which begins on November 1st and to give thanks for the health, good fortune, knowledge and happiness that so many people have. In researching this article, I found that despite the facts that India has the 2nd largest population in the world and Indians have made major contributions in many industries, DIWALI is a holiday known to only a limited number of Westerners. With that in mind, I discovered the following... READ MORE

Jeff Guaracino

With legal recognition and a growing public acceptance of same-sex unions around the world, a new business opportunity for hotels to host formal celebrations and to create honeymoon packages has been created. In fact, gay tourism is a growing industry representing more than $50 billion spent annually in the United States. Considering that is estimated that there are around 15 million adult people who identify as GLBT in the United States, that is an incredible per trip spend. READ MORE

Jeff Guaracino

Safety, progressive politics (such as gay marriage) and even immigration (policies that don't discriminate against gay people) all play a factor in travel decisions. The latest research found that among gay travelers the top seven U.S. destinations are New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles-West Hollywood, Palm Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Chicago. The top seven European cities are London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Florence and Venice ties with Berlin. READ MORE

Darrell Schuurman

In my previous articles, I've talked about the benefits of targeting the gay and lesbian travel market, and what this market looks for when travelling. However, when trying to reach a new market like this for your property, it can be somewhat overwhelming, requiring both time and financial commitments. Depending on the size of your property, you may not have a sufficient supply of resources to put behind your new entry into the gay and lesbian market. That's where partnerships can play an important supportive role. By forming partnerships within your city or region, you can overcome some of those challenges and thereby facilitate your move into the new market. READ MORE

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