Fernando Rivera

In the hospitality industry, the cookie-cutter approach just won't cut it anymore. With a new decade dawning, more and more travelers are looking for hotels that are immersed in local culture. They're on the hunt for a place the reflects local touches and offers local insight. They're avoiding the tourist traps in favor of truly local experiences, whether it's signature cuisine or attractions that shed light on a place. Today's traveler is searching for authenticity. Fernando Rivera, General Manager at the soon-to-be-opened Kimpton Palomar South Beach, has developed an array of strategies to help hotels tap into local culture. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

The hotel industry is complex, and every hotel and restaurant is different – where the hotel is located, the skills of the staff needed to effectively run the operation, the number of restaurants, cafes and other amenities offered – the list goes on. Finding the right labor management system is time consuming and requires extensive research, which is why so many operators chose to go with a simple, one feature set-approach. On the surface it reduces stress because of its ease of use, but depending on the business, a one-size-fits-all approach just won't cut it. READ MORE

Maryann Prestia

Hotel theft is steadily declining in the U.S. While hoteliers have made strides in guest safety through the implementation of on-premise security initiatives, there remains room for improvement. Understanding and addressing areas of risk, focusing on employee training, relying on outside expertise and incorporating new technical resources can further improve the guest experience by making safety a core principle. Distinguished Programs' vice president and hospitality program manager Maryann Prestia examines the typical types of hotel theft, steps hotels should take to decrease the frequency of these risks and the ways modern hotels are creating a seamless and secure customer experience. READ MORE

Brenda Fields

Are companies like Amazon and Apple setting better examples of great customer service than the hospitality industry? There has been a sharp decline in the hospitality industry in basic customer service with more reliance on technology, resulting in impersonal or rote customer interactions. Many times, calling a hotel requires extreme patience because of all the sales and reservation messages and the numerous prompts before getting to the right area, if lucky. This article will address what great customer service is from the guest perspective and the value of general managers setting the standards. READ MORE

Library Archives

 
Euan McGlashan

What do artificial intelligence and delicious craft beer have in common? On the surface, not much, but look a little deeper and you'll discover these are part of two trends that will impact hotels in 2020. Emerging technologies and food and beverage programs are transforming the guest experience, and hoteliers should take note. In the new year, we'll also see increased sustainability efforts (goodbye, plastic), more niche loyalty programs and brand-affiliated hotels, and properties catering to the bleisure traveler. This article covers five trends that will shape the hotel industry in 2020. READ MORE

John Welty

As recreational marijuana usage has become legal or decriminalized in a number of states and medical use has been accepted in even more, it has become important for business owners to understand marijuana's position in the workplace. In particular, hotel owners should understand its impact on safety and productivity. In this article, John Welty, president of SUITELIFE® Underwriting Managers, will discuss new changes to cannabis laws and what they mean for hotel owners and management. He will discuss employer rights when implementing a drug-free policy in the workplace and offer best practices to include in employee training and handbooks. READ MORE

Kristi Dickinson

There is a great deal of focus in the wellness world on physical fitness, but very little on mental fitness. The latest research shows that it is possible to grow and strengthen our brains to prevent cognitive decline. These are exciting scientific developments not just for those at risk for cognitive impairment disorders, but also those interested in increasing their mental potential. Corporate groups, in particular, are seeking programs to increase productivity and boost the cognitive performance of their top talent. Just as with strength training to grow muscles, cognitive fitness programs can increase the size and power of the brain. This is an area of opportunity for expanding your wellness offerings and attracting new business. READ MORE

Mostafa Sayyadi

Hotel executives can improve organizational processes through employee engagement that will enhance organizational learning and personal development. These leaders can effectively engage employees in organizational decision making process because it takes a task-based approach by translating the management of knowledge into various organizational processes. This task-based approach develops a firm-specific approach by which organizational knowledge provides a significant contribution to business objectives through the context-dependent way it is managed. This can help hotels identify their inefficiencies in each process, and subsequently recover them on an instantaneous basis which enables hotel managers to prevent further operational risk. READ MORE

Talene Staab

Tru by Hilton disrupted the midscale hospitality segment by taking a deep approach to gathering insights and leveraging owner feedback to build the brand from the ground up. Combined with consumer research, this approach unleashed new ways of thinking and resulted in a complete reimagining of every aspect of what a midscale brand can deliver to both developers and consumers. With the fastest brand launch in the industry, a REVPAR index premium, 100-plus open properties and 320 hotels in the pipeline, Tru's success has proven how innovative thinking can lead to true differentiation. READ MORE

Mark Ricketts

Select service hotels are one of today's most popular and successful hotel asset classes, attractive to investors, developers and property and asset managers, as well as guests. For more than a decade, they have accounted for more than 60 percent of planned builds in the hotel development pipeline. This strength is reflected in favorable construction windows, labor costs, flexibility in offerings of food and beverage services and other amenities, and gross operating profits. This article discusses factors for success in select service today and some of its development challenges and opportunities. READ MORE

Scott Lee

The past tenderly reveals itself in the present, whether through a curved archway, heritage tree on site, or local relic long buried. To create hospitality environments that embody the local history, charm and character of place, we try not to reference history too heavy handedly or focus so much on the story we want to tell that we lose sight of the site and its heritage. There aren't objective facts about a site or landscape; it's the sensations that drive us. This article explores how to channel historical character in hotel design guided by the site itself and its surroundings. READ MORE

Jennifer Corwin

As the battle between traditional hoteliers and alternative lodging providers heats up, the major players are experimenting with how to jump into each other's markets. It is a two-way street. Airnbnb is moving forward aggressively to fill traditional hotel rooms, while major hotel brands offer up luxury homes to capture a greater share of the travel wallet. In this article we explore how established and emerging brands stay true to the "experience promise" that remains critical to achieving customer satisfaction objectives and loyalty -- even as travel behaviors evolve. READ MORE

Kristi White

In the hospitality industry, hotels allocate guest room inventory across multiple channels to optimize guest room revenue. As an industry, we typically do this very well for transient business. However, when it comes to group revenue the discipline is not always the same. Group revenue for many hotels is an integral part of their business plan but all group revenue should not be treated equally. Smart hoteliers leverage data to know the difference between available revenue and preferred revenue. With the help of strong group and meetings dataset, hotels can leverage these insights to improve sales productivity, make smart revenue choices, and ultimately optimize profitability. READ MORE

Jeff Hart

Jeff Hart, General Manager of the Los Angeles Airport Marriott explores the evolution of hotel club lounges and the everyday ways in which they can elevate their spaces and offerings. Hart discusses tactical tips and strategies that hotels can take to stand out and provide a unique experience for guests. From concierge access to exceptional views, and stellar food and beverage, hotels are finding that guests are willing to pay a premium to have access to a heightened hotel lounge experience, and Hart dives into simple touches and more modern renovations that show the unique ways in which they can level up their spaces, offerings and approach. READ MORE

Rod Clough, MAI

Sales of economy hotels in 2019 registered a healthy level, despite a decline in the number of limited-service hotels that sold during the year. Approximately 10% fewer hotels sold in 2019 than the number that traded hands in 2018, according to Real Capital Analytics (RCA). This decline was attributed entirely to a dearth of major portfolio transactions, while individual property transactions increased slightly for the year. The U.S. economy continues to hold strong, showing great resiliency. The overall strength in consumer spending and confidence has benefited the U.S. hotel industry, driving this healthy transactions market as hotel demand remained at heightened levels. READ MORE

Ford Blakely

Mishaps are inevitable in the hospitality industry. But these mistakes don't have to be fatal. In fact, the strategies you put in place to respond to service missteps can become some of your strongest tools to win customers and drive revenue. However, recovery is impossible when you don't know where problems lie in the first place. Recent research shows that only 1-in-4 hotel guests say they'll report any issue that impacts their experience. This is worrisome news for hotel operators. But there are ways to overcome these blind spots and create service recovery strategies that boost your reputation and bottom line. READ MORE

Christine Samsel

Many employers are implementing or expanding paid parental leave policies. Christine Samsel, shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, reviews the challenges of implementing and administering such policies, from avoiding discrimination and gender stereotyping to differentiating between pregnancy/childbirth-related medical leave, on the one hand, and baby bonding and parental leave, on the other hand. Her article also provides recommendations for employers on considerations in auditing or expanding existing leave policies. Read more… READ MORE

Bill Caswell

Many hotel brands invested heavily in customer experience (CX) and loyalty programs without a cohesive business strategy. As a result, today they are having trouble measuring the return on their investments. Loyalty programs are hard to measure because they were expanded to include infrequent travelers, offering them perks earlier in the customer journey. Many hotels also plunged substantial dollars into CX without fully understanding their customers – or how to recoup their investments. As hotel brands plan for the future of their loyalty and CX programs, it is important to learn from past experiments. READ MORE

Justin Arest

Justin Arest, co-owner and managing partner of Kixby, a boutique hotel opened in Midtown Manhattan in November 2019, describes the current hotel landscape in New York City. He shares how hotels can attract urban travelers in 2020, particularly in the trending Midtown neighborhood. Arest explains the core elements of a successful city hotel, drawing from his own experiences working in every department of a Manhattan hotel beginning at the age of six years old, overseeing the Hotel Metro for over a decade, and leading its recent renovation and rebranding into the modern and sophisticated Kixby last year. READ MORE

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Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.