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Mike Handelsman

As more and more business owners are choosing to take a do-it-yourself method when it comes to selling, we are noticing a growing number of hotel owners using online outlets to put their business on the market. Unfortunately, we also see many hotel owners attempting to sell online using largely ineffective methods. These situations are usually the result of a lack of research and preparation before listing a business, and can greatly increase the amount of time a business is on the market, can make the selling process more frustrating than it should be, and can result in a much lower selling price. The good news is that if hotel owners looking to sell devote time to researching proper selling methods and follow simple steps, the process can be a breeze. READ MORE

Thomas E. Pastore

Hotels and resorts are multi-faceted business operations. I recall the last time I was room guest in a hotel. In addition to utilizing lodging services, I ate in the hotel's restaurant. I relaxed at the end of a long day in the hotel's spa. I attended a convention in one of the hotel's conference rooms. As you can see, there are four distinct business operations in the above example. Of course, readers can probably sight several other additional hotel services such as laundry, hair salon, tennis courts and retail gift shops. While motels and hotels are real property assets similar to commercial properties in terms of the location of the specific asset and long economic life (usually 20 to 50 years) they differ from typical commercial properties... READ MORE

Thomas E. Pastore

Stop anyone on the street and ask him or her to name some familiar hotels. Would you be surprised if the average person could identify three, five or more? Probably not - this is the power of brands. Just like Kleenex and Clorox, name brands for tissue and bleach, a strong hotel brand has the ability to penetrate the target market to such a degree that it becomes recognized as an enduring symbol of the market-specific service standards. This service image cultivates the loyal customer base that is the foundation of a hotel brand's future earnings capacity. The proper identification of a brand's service potential, therefore, is the first step in quantifying its value. READ MORE

Thomas E. Pastore

At the beginning of each valuation assignment, the applicable standard of value must be specified. The standard of value is a definition of the type of value being sought, i.e., fair market value, financial value, or strategic value, to name a few. The standard of value is selected based upon the type of assignment which can vary considerably, e.g., merger/acquisition analysis, estate tax filing, or dissenting shareholder lawsuits. The standard of value then influences the choice of the appropriate valuation methods used to determine the value of a hotel or ownership interest in the hotel. Therefore, the value of a hotel can differ under various circumstances. READ MORE

Bill Boyar

You're a relatively small, privately-owned, well-managed hotel operating company. You manage for institutional owners, and have solidly built a core business. But you have limited distribution and don't control the assets you manage. You might even be concentrated geographically. You're concerned that if you don't gain control of the assets you manage and grow your portfolio, you'll have difficulty keeping your key management team. Worse yet, you're concerned that you'll lose market share, your revenues will decline and your profitability will be reduced. You risk watching the enterprise value that you worked so hard to build deteriorate. Not a pretty picture. What are your options? READ MORE

Victor P. Haley

Hotel owners and operators have grown more sophisticated in crafting standards with which to project and then gauge the performance of their properties. As a result, these parties are also negotiating increasingly complex performance test provisions in operating agreements. What is a performance test? Essentially, a performance test sets objective criteria for minimally acceptable financial performance of a hotel and, ultimately, provides the hotel owner with the right to terminate the management contract if the operator fails to achieve the goal. Beyond these basic concepts, performance tests come in all shapes and sizes. A savvy hotel owner will always demand that the hotel management agreement contain some type of performance test. Most hotel operators accept, albeit grudgingly, that such performance standards come with the territory of management contracts. Operators are usually concerned with limiting the scope of the test as much as possible and with negotiating cure rights that protect them from loss of the management agreement. READ MORE

Neale Redington

Are the guests of your hotel greeted by name at check in, welcomed with their favorite bottle of wine in their room, and treated to their newspaper of choice each morning? If this scenario is familiar, you are undoubtedly leveraging a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. If not, should you? CRM programs can help build and reward customer loyalty, and capture the ultimate value from every customer relationship. Hotels who effectively leverage CRM programs can realize an improvement in their bottom lines, and an increase in shareholder value. In today's competitive environment, using a CRM system is no longer a matter of choice, but an imperative. READ MORE

Steven Belmonte

September 12-13, 2005, franchisees from all over the nation will march on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to celebrate "Franchise Appreciation Day" initiated by the International Franchise Association. This annual event, now in its 6th year, is held to heighten the visibility of franchising and to educate our U.S. Congress on the important role franchising plays in our nation's economy. This got me to thinking. Franchising represents about 60 percent of the hospitality industry, contributing billions of dollars in annual U.S. revenues. So why is it that we as an industry do not celebrate a national or global "Hotel Franchise Appreciation Day?" Could the answer be that hotel franchising simply isn't appreciated? With franchise fees what they are today, I have to believe that the franchisors appreciate it. Travelers certainly appreciate it - especially those reaping the rewards offered by growing brand/franchise-loyalty programs. Even national franchisee associations appreciate hotel franchising. READ MORE

Robert Plotka

Attention All Hotel Owners: Did you know that federal tax credits can be used as a financing source for a substantial rehabilitation of a hotel? If your building is a pre-1936 or historic structure, the renovation work could qualify for federal rehabilitation tax credits, representing up to 20% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures. More importantly, these rehabilitation tax credits can be transferred to an institutional investor in exchange for additional equity capital. Through the Internal Revenue Code Section 47, the federal government offers lucrative rehabilitation tax credits to encourage preservation and adaptive reuse of historic and pre-1936 buildings. Calculated as a percentage of the eligible rehabilitation expenses, federal tax law offers a 20% tax credit for substantial rehabilitations of historic buildings, and a 10% tax credit for substantial rehabilitations of non-historic, non-residential buildings built before 1936. READ MORE

John Tess

Federal tax law allows a 10% investment tax credit for the rehabilitation of a non-historic building placed in service before 1936. To be "non-historic" a building cannot be individually listed on the National Register. A building located within a National Register historic district is presumed to be historic; to use the 10% tax credit, the Park Service must determine that the building in question is not historic. READ MORE

Gerald Fernandez, Sr.

For ten years, MFHA has been promoting the concept of diversity and inclusion as a key management strategy in the hospitality and foodservice industry. During this time, we have seen significant progress made in the areas of minority worker recruitment, diverse and under-leveraged community marketing and minority franchising. According to NABHOOD (National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers) there are more than 200 African-American owned hotels. Consider that it was less than a dozen just ten years ago. Why has Black hotel ownership increased so dramatically? I believe that there are seven reasons for this success. READ MORE

Darrell Schuurman

Hotels are facing ever increasing competition and challenges, and must continually identify new ways to grow market share. For the past few months I've told you about the opportunities that lie with targeting the gay and lesbian travel market, and how to be successful in your efforts. I'm sure you've been thinking how interesting it all was, but wondering if it works. So this issue I've decided to let you see first hand the process, experiences, and results a small luxury, three property hotel company went through to reach the gay and lesbian travel market. READ MORE

Gerald Fernandez, Sr.

Management of diversity initiatives in the hotel and lodging industry must be inclusive and proactive in order to be successful and sustainable. Taking an inclusive approach to diversity management involves looking at the entire company and its stakeholders. Being proactive suggests that an organization seizes opportunity as opposed to reacting to a problem. For example, the hotel industry was forced to react to the NAACP Hotel Survey when it was initiated in 1997. This widely publicized survey was viewed by many as a challenge to the industry's commitment to African-Americans and other minority groups. Despite the fact that the lodging industry has long been a good place for Blacks and other minorities to find employment, not enough has been done to help minorities advance to higher levels of leadership. By not having a clear industry wide strategy for leveraging diverse talent and perspectives, the lodging industry is open to scrutiny by minority special interest groups. READ MORE

Darrell Schuurman

I need to first acknowledge that this article was inspired from an email I received in response to one of my previous articles. The author of that email, let's call him Mr. Smith, was very upfront and critical of some of my suggestions on how hotels can attract the gay and lesbian market. He was blunt, but I appreciated his comments. Not only did it give me a title for this article, but it made me really take a step back and validate everything that I've been promoting. I decided, as I was responding to his letter, that I should actually share my comments with all of you. If Mr. Smith had these strong concerns, others must as well. I've incorporated bits of his email into this article, which by the end will hopefully give you a better sense of whether or not marketing to the gay and lesbian consumer has truly "gone too far". 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

Coming up in March 1970...