Hotel Online  Special Report


Nobody Asked Me, But….
By Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
October 28, 2005

1.  Do you sometimes feel as though you are living through some familiar reruns?  Or as Yogi Berra said “It’s déjà vu all over again”?  When the large franchise companies trumpet the headline “Reorganization Aims to Improve Licensee Services”, it usually means to cull those properties that “are not meeting quality standards”.  My impertinent questions are seeking pertinent answers:

  • Will the franchisor give reasonable notice and time for a cure period?
  • Will they impose liquidated damages?
  • Will they deal on a case-by-case basis to help franchisees come up to speed?
  • Will there be special bias against exterior corridor properties?
  • Will the franchise advisory councils be involved in these decisions?
2.  Isn’t it time to end the embargo on Cuba so that U.S. hotel companies can get a fair share of the booming hospitality business?

3.  When do rebates become kickbacks?  How about the preferred vendor list imposed on franchisees by hotel franchise companies?  Do franchise companies collect rebates from these suppliers, wholesalers and vendors?

4.  Can you believe that Hilton is about to acquire Hilton International in a $6.3 billion deal from the Bristish company Hilton Group Plc?  In what some have called the “worst hotel deal of the century”, Conrad Hilton sold the Hilton International Company to Trans World Airlines in 1967.  Mr. Hilton had previously struck very favorable management contracts with foreign governments to build and manage wonderful hotels in San Juan (Caribe Hilton 1947), Madrid (Castellana Hilton 1953), Mexico City (Continental Hilton 1956), Istanbul (Istanbul Hilton 1957), Bermuda (Castle Harbor, Bermudiana, St. George) and many more.  Believe it or not, the Hilton executive who led the worldwide expansion is Curt Strand who lives in Colorado where he skis and hikes.

5.  Hasn’t the time come for all hotels to provide free high speed Internet access in their guest rooms?  I just returned from the International Society of Hospitality Consultants conference in San Diego where we stayed at the Wyndham Emerald Plaza Hotel.  The cost for in-room HSIA was an exorbitant $12.95 per day.  Columnist Joe Sharkey (On the Road, NY Times) in a 10/11/05 column headed “Resentment Flares Over Fees For Internet Access At Hotels” writes, 

Typically, you can log on free in midlevel brands like Hilton’s Garden Inn, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites and Marriott’s Courtyard, Residence Inns and Fairfield Inn Properties.  Internet charges are most prevalent at four-star and five-star luxury hotels, here and abroad.

6.  In the United States in the summer of 1900:

  • Only 14% of the homes had a bathtub
  • A three- minute call from Denver to New York cost $11.
  • Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California
  • The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower
  • 90% of all U.S. physicians had no college education.  Instead they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as “substandard”.
  • There were about 230 reported murders annually
  • A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2500, a veterinarian between $1500 and $4000 and a mechanical engineer about $5000.
  • The American flag had 45 stars.  Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska hadn’t been admitted to the Union yet.

Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC, is a New York-based hotel consultant specializing in hotel franchising issues, asset management and litigation support services.  He is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants and can be reached at and 917-628-8549.

Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC

Also See: Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / September 2005


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