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Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 43
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Hotel Franchisor Companies Ignoring Critical Franchising Issues, 
Marriott Leads the Way with Aggressive Environmental Strategies
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By Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
August 2008

1.  More Heads in the Sand?  

Last month, six large hotel franchisor company ads appeared in Hotel Business magazine (June 7-20, 2008) for Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Carlson, the Hilton Family, La Quinta Inns and Element by Westin.  I was astounded that none of them mentioned any of the issues that are of critical importance to all franchisees:

  • Guaranteed areas of protection
  • Termination and liquidated damages
  • Encroachment and impact studies
  • Windows of penalty-free exit opportunities
  • Choice of venue, etc.
I asked the following impertinent question: If hotel owners would sign franchise agreements only with those franchise companies who complied with AAHOAs 12 Points of Fair Franchising, how long would it take for the non-complaint companies to change their franchise agreements?

This month, I reviewed the large hotel franchisor company ads in Lodging Hospitality (July 15, 2008) for Choice Hotels, La Quinta Inns, Carlson, Wyndham, Hyatt, Westin and the Hilton Family.

Guess what.  Not one of them mentions any of the following important subjects:

  • Guaranteed areas of protection
  • Termination and liquidated damages
  • Encroachment and impact studies
  • Windows of penalty-free exit opportunities
  • Choice of venue, etc.
So, once again, I ask an impertinent question in search of a pertinent answer:

Hotel Owners, don’t you realize that you have the power to improve these large company franchise agreements to comply with AAHOAs 12 Points of Fair Franchising?  How?  Just don’t sign a franchise agreement with a non-compliant franchise company for 12 months.

2.  New York is Good for What Ails You-

In July 2008, Crain’s New York Business reported that New Yorkers are healthier than average Americans:

  • Life expectancy almost a full year longer.
  • While 25% of Americans are obese, only about 17% of Manhattanites are.
With 8.1 million people, New York is more than twice the size of Los Angeles.  Brooklyn and Queens (my home borough) alone would rank as the nation’s fourth and fifth- largest cities.

The city’s most expensive college tuition is at New York University: $37,372 (my alma mater).  That doesn’t include living expenses.

Outside of Manhattan, the neighborhood with the most restaurants are downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Ridgewood, Bay Ridge and Flushing (where I live).

The average daily rate in Manhattan was $304 last year @ 85% occupancy.

3.  Marriott Leads the Way-  

Beginning this year, Marriott, J.W. Marriott and Renaissance Hotels introduced an aggressive environmental strategy to help guests and meeting planners to reduce the trash, electric usage and water used in hotel meetings.  Marriott estimates that the average three-day meeting attended by 1,000 people produces more than 12 tons of trash, uses 200,000 kilowatts of power and consumes 100,000 gallons of water.

Eco-friendly products and services include: 

  • 100% post-consumer fiber writing pads 
  • Bic Evolution pens made from recycled materials are biodegradable (Marriott purchases 47 million pens per year)
  • Access to recycling containers in or near meeting rooms
  • Meeting rooms set with water service in pitchers or coolers instead of plastic bottles.
  • Boxed lunch containers made of recycled content including biodegradable cutlery kits and napkins.
  • Organic, sustainable and natural food and beverage options 
  • Organic flower options 
  • Linen-less banquet buffet tables made of 49% recycled aluminum and 99% recyclable 
  • Safe-to-donate food given to America’s Second Harvest network of food banks.
Since 2004, Marriott has received the Partner of the Year Award for Excellence in Energy Management and awarded more Energy Star labels than any other hotel company.  Marriott’s hotels have replaced more than 450,000 lightbulbs with fluorescent lighting and installed 400,000 low- flow showerheads and toilets.  The hotels use two million gallons of low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint per year and are switching to one million “room ready” towels.  By not having to wash towels before using them for the first time, it saves six million gallons of water annually.

Meanwhile, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has unveiled its online, futuristic solar-powered Innovation Hotel.  The concept includes an outline of the latest technology in energy and water conservation and recycling.  Among the green features of the futuristic hotel: the forwarding of all unused non-perishable foods to charities or food banks; solar panels on the roof to heat water; a rainwater harvesting system to supply water to toilets; a roof garden rich in shrubbery to provide extra insulation; wind power to generate electricity for the hotel; recycled glass windows; furniture and fittings made entirely from recycled materials; and household waste to provide heat and power.

Question:  What are the environmental strategies of the other large hotel management companies?

4.  Quote of the Month

“If we did all of the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
Thomas Alva Edison


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. 42 / Remembering Jack Craver; World Record-Setting Hotels; At Last: A Major Gaming Facility in the Catskills / Stanley Turkel / July 2008
Nobody Asked Me, But No. 41 / Landmark Belleview Biltmore Resort Saved; Hotel Developers Take Note - the Borough of Bronx in NYC Has 1.5 million Residents and Just One Hotel in the AAA Guide; Boutique Hotel Bandwagon / Stanley Turkel / June 2008
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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