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Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 70:

John Q. Hammons, Impertinent Question, Quote of the Month
By Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC, November 17, 2010

1.  John Q. Hammons Suffers Health Setback
Did you take notice that the living hotel legend John Q. Hammons, 91, is suffering from serious heart and lung problems. John Q. has been on a unique and singular track for most his life and, if you don’t know who he is, you’re missing one of the greatest hoteliers/developer of our time.

Over his 70-year career, he has developed 190 hotel properties in 40 states. But the statistics hide the essence of Mr. Hammons special development techniques. He disdains standard feasibility studies when assessing potential suites for hotel development. Instead, he relies
on his own experience, knowledge and intuition. He only builds in secondary and tertiary markets.

As a long-time hotel consultant, I stand in awe of the Hammons organization which currently operates upwards of 75 hotels, all of which were built near demand generators, such as state capitals, airports, interstate highway intersections, universities, golf-courses, corporate headquarters, state parks and race tracks.

My special appreciation arises out of my visit to Springfield, Mo. and Branson, Mo. from July 11-13, 2006 to interview Mr. Hammons and his executives in preparation for writing my book “Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry”.

2. Impertinent Question Seeking a Pertinent Answer
Here’s a recent listing of new hotel brand announcements:
  • Virgin Hotels
  • Planet Hollywood
  • B Hotels & Resorts
  • Edition by Marriott
  • Bulgari By Marriott
  • Mokara Hotel & Spa by Omni
  • Tryp by Wyndham
  • Etap by Accor
  • Ibis by Accor
  • Setai Fifth Avenue
  • Home 2 Suites by Hilton
  • Vivanta by Taj
  • Blu by Radisson
Question: Since there are already more than 70 hotel brands in the marketplace, is thecurrent spate of new hotels brand-sensible or brand proliferation?

Meanwhile, the Hotel Chatter website ranks the 12 best hotels in New York as follows:
  • The Surrey
  • The Crosby Street Hotel
  • The Trump SoHo
  • The James New York
  • Andaz Fifth Avenue
  • Gansevoort Park
  • The Chatwal
  • Ace Hotel
  • W Downtown
  • The Cassa Hotel
  • The Standard Hotel
  • Smyth Tribeca
Please take notice that only three of the twelve are branded: Andaz, Trump and W.

3. Quote of the Month
In 1940, Frank Case, author of “Tales of the Wayward Inn” wrote his second book “Do NotDisturb” (Frederick A. Stokes Company New York). Case was the owner and manager of New York’s Algonquin Hotel from 1904 to 1928. He was renowned for initiating and nurturing the famous Algonquin Round Table which attracted the best known playrights, authors, actors, producers and journalists of the day. The book is a hotelman’s delight. For example, Case describes one aspect of a hotel manager’s responsibilities:

“Frequently when making my adieus to friends or customers at lunch by saying, “I have to leave you now, I must go to work,” the reply is, “Why, what do you do”? in a surprised tone.

Well, there is no answer to this, for if I started to tell some of the things a hotelkeeper does, I should be there yet. For instance, supplies in addition to the things you see to eat or drink. About thirty different kinds of paper not including writing paper. Paper for telephone pads, payroll sheets, requisitions, wax paper for kitchens, other paper for bake shop, wrapping paper, white bond for bureau drawers an so on. Stringfive kinds of twine, some for tying up roasts, some for porters, three kinds for upholsterer. Paper for menus, three different kinds. Paper wristlets for lamb chops. That is just paper and string and there is lots more of that.

Four kinds of stuff for cleaning silver−burnishing soap, silver dip, silver polish and salsoda. Soap many kinds, mops, brooms, and six kinds of brushes, furniture polish and wax, cleaning fluid, metal polish, liquid soap, lye and ammonia, wall washing powder. Inks, pens and blotters. Pencils, carbons, ribbons, five different kinds, eight different bound books; glassware, an endless variety, specific sizes and particular quality and price. Sheets, pillow cases, blankets, bed spreads, dimity covers, pillows, mattresses, seven kinds of towels, carpets, hangings, bath mats and then soap again, key tags, coat hangers, Venetian blinds, window shades, net curtains, chintz draperies, pieces of material to recover chairs and sofas, ash trays, luggage racks, all these constantly wearing out, constantly being renewed. Uniforms, aprons, maids’ dresses, lamps, shades (very perishable and bought frequently), matches. Sounds a little like Walt Whitman. And the half has not been told nor have we so much as entered the domain of kitchen, restaurant, bar or engine-room.

While the hotelkeeper does not actually do all this detail buying, he must have a working knowledge of these things, be available for consultation and decisions, and invent ways and means of getting the dough to pay for them when the bills come in.”

Frank Case, Owner
Algonquin Hotel (1904-1928)

Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC has just published “Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry.” It contains 359 pages, 25 illustrations and 16 chapters devoted to each of the following pioneers: 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 Patel, Henry Bradley Plant, George Mortimer Pullman, A.M. Sonnabend, Ellsworth Milton Statler, Juan Terry Trippe and Kemmons Wilson.  It also has a foreword by Stephen Rushmore, preface, introduction, bibliography and index. Visit to order the book at reduced rates:
• Electronic Book   $  4.95
• Paperback (6x9)   $25.00
• Dust Jacket Hardcover (6x9)  $35.00

Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC

Also See: Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 69 - Large Banks Creating Crisis For Hoteliers; Are Room Telephones Obsolete? / Stanley Turkel / October 2010

Impertinent Questions in Search of Pertinent Answers; The Best Franchise Website; Free Wi-Fi at Top of Amenity List / Stanley Turkel / September 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 67 : Stanley Turkel's Review of Budget/Economy Hotels Following a Three Week Pennsylvania Road Odyssey / Stanley Turkel / August 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 66 : Recognizing Three Hotel Industry Experts Whose Accomplishments Are Unique - Bjorn Hanson, Peter Greenberg and Richard Warnick / Stanley Turkel / July 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 65: A Well-Deserved Compliment for Steve Rushmore; Impertinent Questions in Search of Pertinent Answers / Stanley Turkel / June 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 64: Best Western Finally Makes a Move; Cuba, The Caribbean’s Hottest Destination / Stanley Turkel / May 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 63: Can Airlines Learn From Hotels?; Memo to Ian Schrager / Stanley Turkel / April 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But No. 62 / Do the Radisson Franchisees Agree with Carlson's billion-dollar Makeover Program? At Last: A Win-Win Victory for Tourism; Congratulations to the Harris Rosen Foundation / Stanley Turkel / March 2010

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