Hotel Online  Special Report


Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 45
Remembering John Curry; Hotel Owners Have The Power
By Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
October  2008

1.  Remembering John Curry

My friend John Curry was an admirable person and a great hotel man.  And I say that not just because he called me “Studs” (in recollection of the famous writer and radio personality Studs Terkel).  John’s career began at Yosemite National Park where his family’s company Amfac was the successor to the Fred Harvey Company.  John later joined the Walt Disney Co. where he directed hotel resort operations for Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.  After relocating to Hilton Head Island, S.C., John helped its incorporation and recognition as a great destination resort.  For 35 yeas, John Curry made a singular and positive impact on the development of Hilton Head Island’s tourism industry.  He combined courage and determination with humor, wit and grace.

2.  Hotel Owners Have The Power  

In the following magazines, many of the largest franchise companies have full page ads soliciting new franchisees.  None of them even mention the major issues facing franchisees: guaranteed areas of protection, termination and liquidated damages, encroachment and impact studies, windows of penalty-free exit opportunities, choice of venue, etc.

Hotel Business (Sept. 21-Oct. 6, 2008)

• La Quinta
• Wyndham
• Hilton
• Doubletree
• Westin/Element
• Sheraton
• Cambria Suites
• TownePlace Suites
Lodging Hospitality (September 1, 2008)
• Wyndham
• La Quinta
• Hilton
• TownePlace Suites
• Hyatt
• Doubletree
• Westin
• Westin/Element
• Carlson
Hotels (September 2008)
• Four Points
• Sheraton
• Wyndham
• Carlson
• Hilton
AAHOA Lodging Business (September 2008)
• Hilton
• Wyndham
• Accor
• La Quinta
• Wyndham
Only the advertisements from the following franchise companies talk about these important and essential issues:  
• Budget Host
• Vista
• Vantage/Lexington
• Guesthouse & Settle Inn
• Budgetel
Hotel Owners:  You may not realize it, but the power to change this situation is in your hands.  How?  For the next 12 months sign franchise agreements only with those franchise companies who are in fuller compliance with AAHOAs 12 Points of Fair Franchising.

3. How Lucky Can You Get?

For the past thirty years, I have made a good living doing what I love to do.  I am one of the most widely-published hotel consultants in the United States.  Yet my entry into the hotel business was a random series of unexpected opportunities.  My very first job in a hotel was as the Resident Manager of the Americana of New York (now the Sheraton New York Hotel).  The general manager was Tom Troy whose forbearance, patience and training helped me to learn the craft of hotel keeping.  Tom had trained earlier in the Statler Hotel Company.  His stories about the genius of Ellsworth Statler were stored in my memory bank until I started to write my book: “Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry.”

After ten months as second-in-command of this 1840-room convention hotel, I was named the General Manager of the 680-room Drake Hotel on 56th Street and Park Ave. (now a hole in the ground).  After two and a half years at the luxurious Drake Hotel, I became the General Manager of the 762-room Summit Hotel at 51st Street and Lexington Avenue (now called the Doubletree Hotel).  When the Summit was built in 1969 it was the first new hotel in New York in 30 years and was designed by the famous Florida architect, Morris Lapidus.  In a critical comment about its design, a critic said that “it was too far from the beach”.

After three years at the Summit Hotel, I was recruited by the International Telephone & Telegraph Corporation who had recently acquired the Sheraton Corporation of America.  After a year as assistant to the ITT Vice President of Consumer Services, I was promoted to Product Line Manager for Worldwide Hotel Services.  In the next seven years, I traveled all over the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, the Mideast, Hawaii, the Far East on ITT/Sheraton business negotiating new hotel developments and reviewing all the domestic and international Sheraton Hotels’ pro-formas, budgets and profit and loss statements.

During those years, the Dunfey Hotel Company in New Hampshire was Sheraton’s largest franchisee.  When Dunfey was acquired by the Aetna Life and Casualty, Jack Dunfey asked me to serve as his consultant.  This year-long consulting contract enabled me to establish my own hotel consulting company.

During the past thirty years, I have realized more and more that knowledge of the history of the hotel business is essential for anyone interested in a career in the lodging industry.  As Confucius wrote, “Study the past if you would divine the future.”  With the rapid technological changes taking place, it is more than ever important to know where we have been in order to predict where we are going.

I am an emeritus member of the Board of Advisors of the New York University Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management.  I consider myself fortunate to have been present at the birth of the NYU “hotel” school back in 1997.  On the many occasions that I have lectured at the school and elsewhere, I have been struck by the importance of the history of the American hotel industry.

Please keep on the lookout for the publishing of my new book “Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry.”  It will tell the fascinating stories of John McEntee Bowman, Carl Graham Fisher, Henry Morrison Flagler, John Q. Hammons, Frederick Henry Harvey, Ernest Henderson, Conrad Nicholson Hilton, Howard Dearing Johnson, J. Willard Marriott, Kanjibhai Manchhubhai Patel, Henry Bradley Plant, George Mortimer Pullman, A.M. Sonnabend, Ellsworth Milton Statler, Juan Terry Trippe, and Kemmons Wilson.

4.  Quote of the Month

“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water”
      Benjamin Franklin

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. 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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