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Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 41
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Hotel Developers Take Note; Heads in the Sand?; A Great New
Source of Business; Boutique Hotel Bandwagon; 
Impertinent Questions
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By Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
June 2008

1.  A Landmark Hotel is Saved -   The final Belleview Biltmore renovation plans proposed by the new owner, Legg Mason were unanimously approved (with some minor changes) by Bellaire town officials on May 20, 2008.  The project will include replacing the Japanese pagoda-like entrance to more of its original Victorian look; a new East wing separate hotel will be three stories instead of four but extended by 30 feet wide; more meeting, convention and ballroom space; a new poolside café, a new spa and a new underground parking garage. Congratulations to Diane Hein and all the “Save-the-Biltmore” preservationists.
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Rendering of Restored Belleview Biltmore Resort
25 Belleview Boulevard, Clearwater, Florida 33756 
http://www.belleviewbiltmore.com/restoration
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2.  Hotel Developers Take Note -   There is a section of a major United States city which has more than 1.5 million residents.  According to the AAA 2008 tour book, there is only one hotel that is recommended.  I’m talking about the borough of the Bronx in New York City (my hometown).  It happens to be the borough of universities and parks.  It is the home of Yankee Stadium, Fordham University, Manhattan College, the Bronx Zoo and the Bronx Botanical Gardens.  The Bronx is home to three of New York City’s most elite private schools: Fieldston, Horace Mann and Riverdale Country; as well the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a division of Yeshiva University.  The lone hotel in the AAA guide is a clean and well appointed 45-room Howard Johnson Motor Lodge.  By itself, the Bronx would be the fifth largest city in the United States.

3.  Heads in the Sand?  In a recent issue of Hotel Business magazine (June 7-20, 2008), large ads appear by the following major franchise companies soliciting new franchisees:

  • Doubletree
  • Embassy Suites Hotels
  • Carlson Hotels Worldwide
  • The Hilton Family
  • La Quinta Inns & Suites
  • Element by Westin
Not one of them mentions any of the issues that are of critical importance to all franchisees: guaranteed areas of protection, annual exit opportunities, termination and liquidated damages, amenity creep, flexible fee structure, choice of venue, etc.

Two other ads by smaller franchise companies also appear in this same issue of Hotel Business.  They are:

  • Guesthouse and Settle Inn
  • Budgetel
These two franchise companies are franchisee-friendly and feature franchise agreements which provide guaranteed areas of protection, annual exit opportunities, flexible fee structures, a voice in brand amenities and other fair franchising arrangements.  

QUESTION:
If hotel owners would sign franchise agreements only with those franchise companies who complied with AAHOA’s 12 Points of Fair Franchising, how long would it take for the non-compliant companies to change their franchise agreement?

4.  A Great New Source of Business -  Starting on June 17, 2008, Chinese citizens are to be allowed to apply for United States-destined travel in groups.  Within six months, travel agencies in nine Chinese cities will be able to organize local residents for group travel to the U.S.  Are you ready?

5.  Boutique Hotel Bandwagon:  The boutique concept has taken the industry by storm.  It seems that hotel companies are rushing new brands into the marketplace just as occupancies are softening.  Is it proliferation or overkill?
 
Hotel Company
New Brands
Starwood Aloft
Element by Westin
Choice      Cambria Suites
Ascend Collection
Marriott/Schrager Edition
Hyatt Hyatt Place
Andaz
InterContinental Indigo
Accor Adagio
Phoenix
All Seasons
Personality Hotels Union Square
Kensington Park
Vertigo
Grace Hotels Monroe
Gansevoort Hotel Group Gansevoort
Joie de Vivre Domain
Noble House Hotels Deca
Larkspur Hotels Saint Claire
Pedro Castro Attitude
Starwood Capital Group 1 Hotel & Residence
Tecton Hospitality Desires
Cassa
KOR Hotel Group Viceroy
Tides

6.  Impertinent Questions in Search of Pertinent Answers

  • Isn’t it shortsighted and self-defeating for hotel companies to charge miscellaneous fees such as: 
    • handling charges for overnight packages
    • use of the fitness center and/or swimming pool 
    • internet access
    • daily resort fees
  • Shouldn’t CEO’s receive bonus payments only when their companies surpass budgeted profit margins?
  • Why can’t hotels in the United States install the following amenities which are found in hotels all over the world:
    • A single button to lower the blackout shade and close the drapes
    • A switch by the bed to turn out all the room lights
    • An HVAC sensor that is activated by the electronic room key.  This device reduces the guestroom air conditioning when the room is unoccupied.  (This is not a new technology.  I used an earlier version in my Sheraton Hotel in NE Philadelphia twenty five years ago.)


7.  Quote of the Month
     “Possibility’s slow-fuse is lit by the imagination.”
      Emily Dickinson



Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC operates his hotel consulting office as a sole practitioner specializing in franchising issues, asset management and litigation support services.  Turkel’s clients are hotel owners and franchisees, investors and lending institutions.  Turkel serves on the Board of Advisors and lectures at the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management.  He is a member of the prestigious International Society of Hospitality Consultants.  His provocative articles on various hotels subjects have been published in the Cornell Quarterly, Lodging Hospitality, Hotel Interactive, Hotel Online, AAHOA Lodging Business, etc.  If you need help in negotiating a franchise agreement or with a problem such as encroachment/impact, termination/liquidated damages or litigation support, call Stanley at 917-628-8549 or email stanturkel@aol.com.  
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Contact:

Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
917-628-8549
stanturkel@aol.com

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Also See: Nobody Asked Me, But No. 39 / Say Goodbye To The UFOC; Dunfey Brothers To Be Honored; The Plaza Hotel Reopens After a $400 Million Renovation / Stanley Turkel / April 2008
Nobody Asked Me, But No. 38 / Super 8 Owners Form an Independent Franchise Association; Why Is There a Bible in Every Hotel Room? / Stanley Turkel / March 2008
Nobody Asked Me, But No. 37 / Remember the Savoy Plaza Hotel?; Is Economic Disaster Imminent; Cuba at the Crossroads / Stanley Turkel / February 2008
Nobody Asked Me, But No. 36 / What the Advertisements for the Largest Hotel Franchise Companies Never Mention - Also Measuring Hotel Brand Value / Stanley Turkel / January 2008
Nobody Asked Me, But No. 35 / Casino Expansion Has Transformed America, Exercise Awareness / Stanley Turkel / December 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 34 / IHG’s Great Idea, Sound-Proofing Hotels, Best Western Enters the Upper Midscale Segment, How to Convert Confusion Into Order,  Sign at a Tarrytown, NY Inn, 1798 / November 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 33 / 1957 Murder at the Park Sheraton Hotel; How Much Does A Franchise Really Cost?A Marriage Made in Heaven?; A Good Night’s Sleep at the Benjamin Hotel / Stanley Turkel / October 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 31 - Rhode Island Improves Franchise Rules, What’s Up With Canada? Conversion of a Jail Into a Hotel, The Richest (and Poorest) Places in the U.S. / Stanley Turkel / September 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 31 - Blackstone's Acquisition of Hilton, The Art of Groveling, The Origin of Franchising / Stanley Turkel / August 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But…. No. 30 / Impertinent Questions In Search of Pertinent Answers: Carbon monoxide detectors, exterior-corridor properties / Stanley Turkel / July 2007
How American-Owned Can You Get?, ISHC's CapEx 2007 Report, The Bowery Hotel / Stanley Turkel / June 2007
Hotel Franchising and State Laws, Is Immigration Important? Save the Biltmore, The Good Old Days, Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / May 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 27 / Hotel Franchise Agreements: Mediation, Arbitration or Litigation? / Stanley Turkel / April 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 26 / Energy Usage and Potential Savings; Great Art in Hotels; Lifestyle Hotels; The Minimum Wage Issue; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / March 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 25 / Guestroom Design & Amenities, Get a Human, Best Luxury Hotels in the U.S., Turnpike, The Pineapple as Symbol of Hospitality, Fair Franchising / Stanley Turkel / February 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 24 / Loose Cannon, Fair Franchising, Manhattan Hotel Profits, Hotels of the Future, Interesting Miscellany, Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / January 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 23 / Biting The Hand That Feeds You?, By The Numbers, Shortage of Hotel Rooms, There is No Free Lunch, Iron Laws of Business Travel, Happy New Year / Stanley Turkel / January 2007
Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 22 / Smart Elevators, Tony Marshall’s Memorial, Women in the Hospitality Industry / Stanley Turkel / December 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 21 / The Drake Hotel in New York, Fair Franchising is Not an Oxymoron, By the Numbers, Another Secret Underground Shelter, Passing of Anthony G. Marshall / Stanley Turkel / December 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 20 / Turnabout Is Fairplay, Secret Underground Shelter, By the Numbers, Genuine Fair Franchising/ Stanley Turkel / November 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 19 / International Society of Hospitality Consultants, Great Miami Hotels, Reduce Carbon Monoxide Emissions, Turn Gray Into Gold / Stanley Turkel / November 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 18 / John Q. Hammons, Save the Belleview Biltmore, Chinese Tourism, CFLs, Ernie Byfield, Guestroom Entertainment in 1905 / Stanley Turkel / October 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 17 - AAHOA's 12 Points of Fair Franchising, Protected Territories, / Stanley Turkel / September 2006
The Newest Independent (and Oldest Partially Independent) Franchise Association in the Hotel Industry / Stanley Turkel / September 2006
In Hotel Franchising, Reality Trumps Wishful Thinking / Stanley Turkel / August 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 14; Impact Studies, Stretching Segments, Short-Stay Rentals, Smoke-free Marriotts, Franchising in China, Save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel / August 2006
The U.S. Population Age 65 and Over is Expected to Double in the Next 25 Years; What Does this Mean for the Hotel Industry? / Stanley Turkel / July 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 12; Portman, Women Homeowners, Minimum Wage, Tipping, Brooklyn Bridge, Chinese Tourism, Impact Studies / Stanley Turkel / July 2006
Do Hotel Franchisees Need Independent Franchise Associations? / Stanley Turkel / June 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 10 / Chinese Tourists, Gasoline Prices and Alternatives, GLBT Segment, Travel Agents, FAC's, Manhattan's Record Breaking Year, Impertinent Questions / Stanley Turkel / June 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 9 / Blang, Bathtubs, Best Green, Arbitration, Best Western, AAHOA, State Franchising Laws, VFR / Stanley Turkel / May 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 8; Bathtubs, Smokefree Hotels, Maps, Saving Water, Nevada Revenues, H.P. Rama, Ritz-Carlton, Statler Service Code, Mother’s Day / Stanley Turkel / April 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But….No. 7 / Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC / March 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / February 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / January 2006
Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / December 2005
Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / November 2005
Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / October 2005
Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / September 2005
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