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How to Make 2011 Suck Less -- A Look Back at 2010

By Dr. Diana Driscoll, October 25, 2010

For those in hospitality, 2010 is a year to remember;
We learned we’re beyond optimistic – we’re certifiable (I’m a card-carrying member).

We told each other, “Things are brighter, recovering, alibi slowly.”
But our bankers didn’t agree – and our loans were due – Holy Moly.

So we studied, we learned, we reached out to each other.
SBA 504 loans, 7(a)’s, Arc loans – they made us shudder.

We needed experts to help us (insert shameless plug here),
Section 179D tax deductions? New Market Tax Credits? ASHRAE 90.1? Oh dear.

We cheered the signing of HR5297;
With huge advantages for hoteliers, it seemed to come from Heaven.

Only with time will we know – will the banks now lend?
Or say “yes” to the public, but to hoteliers, just pretend?

At first blush, hotels live in the land of lending plenty, 
But we often heard from banks that due to our cycles, their hands were empty.

So we continued to learn, we got aggressive, slashed our costs;
That helped the bottom line, kept many of us afloat – all was not lost.

“Only a flesh wound,” we said, and undaunted, we learned “green.”
Sustainability is a piece of the puzzle – and this I have seen.

As a LEED AP B, D + C (so many letters – too many!),
“Green” has taught me how to increase profits, while watching every penny.

You can “Go Green Gradually®” – with tremendous energy conservation measures;
Recycling, efficient lighting, low flow fixtures, window film – most are treasures.

No need to do it all overnight, ROI’s are important, don’t go crazy,
But do get started, don’t delay – and hope your competition’s terribly lazy.

LEED points in building codes? Green government mandates? I have seen it.
Don’t be left out, don’t be obsolete. I don’t mean to frighten, I really mean it.

Start with a mission statement – make some goals, learn your carbon emissions.
You’ll need them for your RFP’s, group business, your public positions.

We’re watching every dime now, and battling with Expedia.
Oh goodness sakes, what’s this? We need to learn social media?!

It’s OK, it’s fun, it’s necessary, don’t get bitter.
Find a good writer to help with your Facebook and maybe your Twitter.

You don’t need to do it all – social media is vast -- but pay attention.
And if nothing else, respond to Trip Advisor on any hotel mention.

We still have many challenges – PIP’s, OTA’s, and our loans to name a few;
But the creativity of entrepreneurial minds is undaunted – and we have a slew.

Families need to see the world and kids love to travel.
Business people need to meet face-to-face -- not just chat with on-line babble.

Hotels shall live on, of that I am certain.
As optimists and lovers of life, we look forward to when it stops hurtin’.

We’ve all had people to help us – to grow, to laugh; for me, there were many.
A special shout out to Dan, Will, Kerry and Lenny.

Josiah, Rich, Ted and someone from Heaven,
Will help make this next year suck less – Bring it!  2011.

©Ridgeline Hospitality, LLC 2010

Dr. Diana Driscoll, LEED AP B, D + C (“green” specialist in Building, Design and Construction) works with hotel developers on both their social media presence and their LEED, Energy Star, and other sustainability efforts. As CEO of Ridgeline Hospitality, LLC, and the founder of HotelRescue®, she heads up a team of experts to offer immediate assistance to hoteliers in this tough economic climate.  Her message?  “Go Green Gradually®!” Philanthropy plays a large role in her work, as does public speaking and writing. 


Dr. Diana Driscoll, LEED AP, B, D + C
1834 Keller Parkway, Suite #400
Keller, TX 76248

Also See: Lowering Hotel Operating Costs – There is a Gold Mine Surrounding You / Diana Driscoll / September 2010
Hoteliers - Lending Headaches? Changes in SBA Lending Deserve Your Attention / Diana Driscoll / August 2010

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