News for the Hospitality Executive
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 73:
By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC
February 11, 2011
1. Impertinent Question Still Seeking a Pertinent Answer
Question: Since there are already more than 100 hotel brands, can the current announcements of the following 50 new hotel names be the result of thoughtful research or the triumph of public relations over common sense?
New brands announced in the past six months:
2. The Fountain of Old Age
An article in the New York Times (February 6, 2011) asks, “Now that the oldest baby boomers are turning 65, their sheer numbers may attract industries that had earlier shied away.” Ken Dychtwald, CEO of AgeWave, a research and consulting organization that focuses on population aging….has been trying to rebrand aging as a positive phenomenon.
Back on July 13, 2006, I wrote:
age 65 and over is expected to double in the next 25 years. By 2030 almost one out of five Americans
(some 72 million people) will be 65 years or older.
The age group 85 and older is now the fastest
growing segment of the U.S. population.
Many prefer rooms with two beds and they often prefer locations on the low floors near an elevator. Safety and security are concerns, so in-room sprinklers and smoke detectors can be a strong selling point. More than other travelers, older guests enjoy public areas where they can gather to talk and socialize. Such rooms should generally be separate from the cocktail lounge.
Groups of mature travelers usually enjoy attending some kind of welcoming reception. You might meet them as they arrive – to explain meal times, hotel facilities and the like – and then offer coffee, lemonade and home-baked goods. Most older persons also like to participate in organized entertainment after dinner, such as a trip to a local theatre, a sing-along, or a shopping excursion. Guide services for these activities and for day trips are a plus.
Older Travelers Physical Requirements
Interior design for senior citizens must take into account the elements of hearing loss, diminished vision, lessened color perception, poorer short-term memory and weakened upper body strength.
While experts agree that hotel facilities for seniors should be designed to offset these difficulties, I believe that, in fact, all hotel guests would benefit from the following improvements:
In Guest Rooms
1. Better lighting at writing table, at bedside, in closet, at TV set, at room entry.
2. Master electrical switch at bedside to control all room lights.
3. TV and radio operation instructions that are easy to read, clear in direction, simple to operate and well-lit.
4. Blackout drapes and/or shades that actually keep light out.
5. Clear instructions on how to adjust the room temperature.
6. An alarm clock that is easy to program and read.
7. Lamp switches at the base of the lamp where they can be easily seen and reached.
8. Real clothes hangers in the closet along with irons and ironing boards.
9. Free Wi-Fi access
10. Provide a refrigerator and a microwave oven
11. Automatic in-room sprinklers and fire alarms.
1. Apply good non-skid material to both the bathtub floor and the bathroom floor.
2. Install multiple well-placed and secure hand-holds and grab bars in bathtub/shower/toilet areas.
3. Make sure the adjustable shower head is easy to adjust and does the job.
4. Eliminate hot water surges and provide scald-proof hot water.
5. Provide good lighting over the mirror.
6. Install night lights which won’t disturb sleeping but will provide safe night trips to bathroom.
7. Provide a UL-approved hair dryer with a wall-hung bracket.
8. Supply better-quality, more absorbent towels in color.9. Make sure all shower curtains are long enough to reach well below the bathtub top.
In Corridors And Elevators
1. Make certain that corridors are well illuminated, especially over guest room doors to expedite the use of electronic door lock cards.
2. Exit signs should be installed close to the floor so that they won’t be hidden by rising smoke.
3. Provide easy-to-read, well designed directional signs.
4. Elevators should have clear
floor buttons with “Door Open” buttons easily located.
door bumpers should retract readily when touched.
Older Travelers’ Needs And Preferences
Older persons often want more personal attention than other guests. Many travel largely for companionship and need to talk to people of different ages. Older citizens are a heterogeneous group ranging in age from the mid-50’s to 70, 80 and older. <>
Prejudice against the elderly, which is characterized by rude behavior toward older persons is fairly widespread. Direct-contact hotel personnel must be trained to work with the older traveler. The staff must be taught how to communicate with persons with weak eyesight or poor hearing or both. The cleanliness of rooms and of public areas is especially important to mature travelers.
The face of aging in the United States is changing dramatically and rapidly, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Today’s older Americans are very different from their predecessors, living longer, having lower rates of disability, achieving higher levels of education and less often living in poverty. In fact, recent demographic estimates indicate that seniors comprise 47% of the leisure travel market or 144 million roomnights per year. Today’s seniors are relatively active, healthy and young at heart. They control half of the nation’s discretionary income and are America’s fastest growing age group. The U.S. Federal Reserve Board reports that the over-50 age group now controls 77% of the nation’s financial holdings worth about $800 billion; represents about 35% of the total U.S. population and accounts for 42% of after-tax income.
3. Quote of the Month
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”Thomas Edison
Order Your Copy Now:
“Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry”
By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC
Reviewed by Don Sniegowski, Editor-in-Chief of the BlueMauMau website:
"Leave it to hotel consultant and prolific writer Stan Turkel to explore the careers of sixteen of the most outstanding leaders and innovators in the hotel industry. Such books are rare. In Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry, Turkel uncovers remarkable insights into these pioneers, whom not only built well-known mega-hotel icons of Americana but in some cases also helped build the very infrastructure of this country. At the very least, these are movers and shakers that make things happen, from racer Carl Fisher to flamboyant Conrad Hilton to franchisee Marriott with his Midas touch.
A number of these great hotel leaders started out as franchisees. Others learned to franchise.
Turkel looks at these tycoons and the leadership that helped bring them to the top of their profession. In Conrad Hilton, the founder of the Hilton chain, Turkel also reveals three blunders that the hotel pioneer wished he had never made. It’s a recommended read for franchisee, franchisor, businessman and most especially, hotel professional. (www.greatamericanhoteliers.com) "
MHS, ISHC has just published “Great American Hoteliers:
Pioneers of the Hotel Industry.” It contains 359 pages, 25
and 16 chapters devoted to each of the following pioneers: John McEntee
Bowman, Carl Graham Fisher, Henry Morrison Flagler, John Q. Hammons,
Henry Harvey, Ernest Henderson, Conrad Nicholson Hilton, Howard Dearing
Johnson, J. Willard Marriott, Kanjibhai Patel, Henry Bradley Plant,
Mortimer Pullman, A.M. Sonnabend, Ellsworth Milton Statler, Juan Terry
Trippe and Kemmons Wilson. It also has a foreword by Stephen
preface, introduction, bibliography and index. Visit www.greatamericanhoteliers.com
to order the book at reduced rates:
• Paperback (6x9) $25.00
• Dust Jacket Hardcover (6x9) $35.00
Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
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