Hotel Online  Special Report

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Looking For A Quick Fix? A Streamlined Study Offers the
Fastest and Most Affordable Way to Get Suffering Hotels
Back on Track and in the Black
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By Morris E. Lasky

Over the past 40-plus years in the hotel management business, I’ve been called many things by some of the industry’s best and brightest hoteliers. “Hotel Doctor” and “Mr. Turnaround” are two nicknames that have stuck with me the longest. I’ve also become fond of being called “the Lodging Conference guy” and “the bloke that wears the funny straw hat,” but that’s for another article.

As CEO of Lodging Unlimited Inc., I’ve had the good fortune of turning around more than 200 hotels representing more than $6 billion in lodging real estate. Over the years, that equates to about $1 billion in savings to creditors.

So while my name may change from time to time, my formula for success has remained constant: Identify what’s wrong; Fix what’s broke; Get everyone excited and involved; and then, Market the hell out of the new product. 

Where did you go wrong?

One of the biggest misconceptions in the lodging business is that if you stayed in a hotel, you can certainly manage one. How tough can it be? You stand behind a desk, hand out a few key-cards, periodically answer the phone, vacuum here and there, and occasionally wash a bedspread or two . . . Right?

Wrong.

A lot of entrepreneurs go bankrupt that way. Problems also stem from selecting the wrong location for the property . . . or hiring an inexperienced accounting person to conduct a feasibility or site analysis study . . . or choosing the wrong franchise flag to fly . . . or allowing family members to decorate guestrooms. . . or opening an expensive themed restaurant when a burger joint fit best.

But hindsight is 20/20.

How can you make it right?

One of the best ways owners and operators can quickly identify where they went wrong is through a service that I call the “Streamlined Study.” A Streamlined Study provides hoteliers with the information they need to make timely, informed decisions about their operations, management, marketing, marketplace positioning and more.

Through a Streamlined Study, an impartial, skilled third party will identify immediately the top three or four things—not 50 or 60—the property is doing wrong. For example, when conducting a Streamlined Study, I personally will visit the property over the course of one or two days and take a hard look at the physical condition of the building, grounds and equipment. Then a comprehensive review is done on the interior, from curb appeal to public areas and corridors to guestrooms.

Employee attitude and body language is observed. Are employees polite? Are they chewing gum or taking personal phone calls while serving the guest? Do they openly complain about working conditions, bringing down the morale of fellow workers and turning off guests?

After a comprehensive, two-day process of inspecting, interviewing and analyzing the property, its employees, management and even the guests, I can then make some very important and informed decisions. These decisions will quickly help the owners and operators save money, protect their investments and become more competitive in the acquisition market.

Streamlined Study to the rescue

Here are a few examples of how Streamlined Studies have worked for my clients:

  • An inexperienced group was in the process of engaging the services of a management company to operate its hotel. A Streamlined Study of the management contract’s terms enabled the owners to negotiate a more favorable contract.
  • During a Streamlined Study for a client who planned to buy a hotel and flip it for a quick profit, our results concluded that if the purchaser closed on the property and spent a small amount on renovation, the asset would be worth three times the purchase price within three years. 
  • I recently reviewed a client’s proposed offer to purchase a hotel. During the comprehensive Streamlined Study, I reviewed the deal and the property’s competitive set and concluded that the offer was too high. As a result, the group revised its offer and is currently in negotiations.
  • Investors were interested in expanding their land holdings by purchasing a hotel. As a result of the Streamlined Study, I realized the seller grossly overpriced the hotel and suggested my clients make an offer based upon value. Now, as the investors move forward, they are better equipped to negotiate a fair deal for the hotel.
Conducting a Streamlined Study is similar to setting up a MASH unit at your hotel—we patch up the wounded on the field of battle, prepping the property to compete another day. The process is quick and painless. More importantly, unlike traditional full-scale property-performance studies which can cost from $25,000 to $100,000, a Streamlined Study conducted by the Hotel Doctor costs only $10,000, plus out-of-pocket expenses.

So call me the “Hotel Doctor” or “Mr. Turnaround” or whatever you like — as long as you call me to schedule your Streamlined Study at (312) 595-1390.
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About Lasky and Lodging Unlimited Inc.

Morris Lasky, a 40-year hotel veteran, has long been known in lodging-industry circles as the “hotel doctor” for his proven ability to cure the ills suffered by under-performing hotels. Over recent years, he’s become just as well known—perhaps even more so—for co-founding and serving as Chairman of the Lodging Conference, a top industry event to be held Sept. 27-30, 2005, in Phoenix, and as Chairman of the International Hotel Conference, to be held September 12-14, 2005, in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Chicago-based Lodging Unlimited Inc., founded by Lasky in 1970, has been providing management and consulting services to the hotel industry since its inception in 1970. With an emphasis on client satisfaction and bottom-line results, Lodging Unlimited has been involved in serving more than 200 lodging properties representing more than $6 billion in lodging real estate. Lodging Unlimited is known throughout the industry for consistently delivering numbers that are well above the national average. For more information on Lodging Unlimited, visit www.lodgingunlimited.com or call (312) 595-1390.


 
Contact:

Morris Lasky
President/CEO
Lodging Unlimited
Tel: (312) 595-1390
mlasky@aol.com

Barb Worcester, President
PRPRO
barbw@prproconsulting.com
Tel: (440) 930-5770

Also See: Lodging Unlimited Lands Contracts for Two New Hotels in Upstate New York / February 2005
Hotel Veteran Morris Lasky Conducts Streamlined Studies to Give Hoteliers Timely, In-depth Property Analysis / February 2005
Lasky, Cauvin Expanding Shared Management Philosophy Coast-to-Coast / July 2004
Produced By Hoteliers For Hoteliers, ‘Essentials Of Hotel Ownership’ Conference Hailed By All Who Attend / June 2004
Lasky Launches ‘Lodging Unlimited West’ At Hotel Ownership Conference In New York / April 2004
‘Essentials Of Hotel Ownership’ Event Proving To Be In Big Demand in Big Apple; Scheduled for April 23, 2004 at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel / April 2004
Belmonte Appoints Lee Dushoff To Hospitality Solutions Team / February 2004
Belmonte To Bring Insight To Best Value Inn Members as Keynote at Conference / October 2003
Belmonte ‘Talks the Talk’ in Role as Motivational Speaker / March 2003
Steve Belmonte Immersed in Sarbanes-Oxley as a New Member of the Board of Directors of Arlington Hospitality Inc. / May 2003
Belmonte’s Back In Business As Hospitalty Solutions LLC / Feb 2003


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