Hotel Online  Special Report


Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 47
New CEO of Choice Misses an Opportunity; Lost and
Forgotten Hotels; Little Known Hotel Facilities
in New York
By Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
December  2008

1.  New CEO of Choice Misses an Opportunity-

In a recent article (October 3, 2008 on Hotel Interactive) Stephen Joyce, the new Choice Hotels CEO, said he is looking to breathe new life and energy into the company.  He plans to launch some new brands, heighten the company’s emphasis on business travelers and better differentiate existing ones.  It’s a move he’s quite passionate about, and which he feels he’ll be able to do with the full support of the franchise community.  However, nowhere in the interview does Mr. Joyce make any reference to the subjects that are of the greatest importance to Choice franchisees: guaranteed areas of protection, termination and liquidated damages, encroachment and impact studies, windows of penalty- free exit opportunities choice of venue, etc.

Since Choice Hotels International franchises 5570 hotels, wouldn’t you think that a major part of his responsibilities should be to create a fair franchising environment?  My recent rating of Choice’s compliance with AAHOA’s 12 Points of Fair Franchising gave Choice a next-to-last finish:

      % Compliance
Budgetel  93.0
Vantage 93.0
Accor  57.6
Wyndham 50.3
La Quinta 47.3
Choice 40.9
Carlson 34.3

At 40.9%, Choice is failing its franchisees badly.  How is it that Mr. Joyce believes that he can expect the full support of the franchise community?

2.  Lost and Forgotten Hotels-  The Marguery Hotel and Apartments at 270 Park Avenue in Manhattan (between 47th and 48th Streets was approached through a 60 foot high Italian arch that served as a carriage entrance.  The 250-room hotel was built in 1917 and was considered the city’s largest and most expensively decorated apartment house.  By the 1940s, Time, Inc. had an option on the property to replace with a new headquarters building.  Years later, at an oral history session at Columbia University, Andew Hieskell, the company’s former chairman, said, “Instead of this being the fancy hotel we thought it was, it was heavily populated by ladies of the night and gambling outfits.”  The company sold its options.  In 1955, Union Carbide bought the old Marguery and built its own headquarter skyscraper on the site.  The last of the hotel was demolished in 1957.

3.  The Ultimate Bionic Man-  On October 13, 2008, my left hip joint was replaced with a plastic and titanium implant.  I spent seven days in the hospital and 2 weeks in a rehabilitation center.  With outpatient physical therapy twice a week.  I am healing slowly and steadily.  Since I had great success six years ago recovering from a right hip joint replacement, I am expecting the same results this time.

4.  Little Known Hotel Facilities in New York-   There are thirty-plus university and private clubs in New York which provide guest rooms, food and beverage outlets, meeting rooms and recreation facilities.  One of the oldest and largest is the Harvard Club of New York which opened in 1894 on West 44 Street.  After multiple expansions, it now contains 75 guest rooms, 18 meeting rooms, a library, a state-of-the- art fitness center, 7 squash courts, Harvard Hall, a 300 seat restaurant and the Grill Room and bar.  It has 11,000 members.  I know about this wonderful institution because for 12 months in 2004/2005, I served as acting General Manager and Chief Operating Officer.

My responsibilities included oversight and supervision of the Club’s operation; creation of short and long-term objectives; supervision of the business plan, annual budget and forecasts; interviewing, hiring developing and supervising department heads; maintaining an appropriate relationship with the Union delegates; monitoring the operating performance, cost controls, capital expenditures, physical condition and cleanliness; reviewing, inspecting and evaluating the Club’s a) food and beverage department, equipment and facilities and b) athletic and fitness facilities c) back-of-the house areas including kitchens, housekeeping, laundry, engineering and maintenance.

Harvard Club of New York City
35 West 44th St.
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 840-6600
5.  Quote of the Month
“ I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad and ill-nourished.  The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
       President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
       Second Inaugural Address
       January 20, 1937

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

Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC

Also See: Nobody Asked Me, But No. 45/ Remembering John Curry; Hotel Owners Have The Power / Stanley Turkel / October 2008
Nobody Asked Me, But No. 44 / Hotel Franchise Companies Performance Appraisal Report, a Down-to-earth Assessment of the Hotel Capital Markets / Stanley Turkel / September 2008
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 43  / Hotel Franchisor Companies Ignoring Critical Franchising Issues,  Marriott Leads the Way with Aggressive Environmental Strategies / Stanley Turkel / August 2008
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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