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Hotel Common Sense™

Questions I Wish You Would Ask Me™:
Karl Ruether CHA, CFBE, International Hotelier


by Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS
April 28, 2011

"Questions I Wish You Would Ask Me™" includes interviews such as those found in our HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS,  and and it also allows industry professional the opportunity to share their perspectives, values and opinions on additional areas and subjects that may not have been part of the planned discussion.  This segment includes a wide range of hospitality professionals from all portions of the industry. We ask participants to answer at least five of the listed nine questions.  Their responses will interest, sometimes amuse and definitely inspire you to consider how YOU might answer.

In this article, we contacted Karl Ruether CHA, CFBE , General Manager at Icicle Village Resort, located in the charming Bavarian themed village of Leavenworth, Washington State with accommodations at the Best Western Plus Icicle Inn or the Aspen Suites Condominiums and Icicle Village Resort Vacation Rentals. Karl opened the property as a single inn in the early 1990s. He has served as a Best Western Governor for more than 15 years.

Karl is an international hotelier with service in multiple countries. He shares his counsel and professionalism with many and has continued to evolve his hotel team's and personal skills. He has always been committed to collaborating with others and during our years of interaction, he has consistently aimed at reaching excellence.

Karl Ruether
Icicle Village Resort

1.    Name your favorite hotel and why it is special to you.
Sun Mountain Lodge in Washington State, the location is amazing with 360 degree views, relaxing (no TV) and the restaurant has great food and service.

3.   Where do you vacation the most often?
I don't have a regular spot but have been in Ixtapa Mexico now twice and really enjoy that area.

4.   What is your favorite charity or cause?
I am a member of Rotary International and I belief in what they do worldwide, as well as their 4 way test which works really well in any situation.

Here it is

1.    Is it the truth?
2.    Is it Fair to all concerned?
3.    Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
4.    Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Often times when faced with a difficult situation, I refer to this test and it has helped me make better decisions personally and professionally.

5.   Name your pet service peeve, why and any ideas you may have to address it
That is pretty easy - I do not like when employees and their personal affairs are more important than serving the customer right in front of them. The only way this can be addressed is by constant training and close supervision.

6.   Who was the most important mentor in your life and why?
This is very difficult to answer because I was lucky enough to have more then one, but the one thing that stood out was "Leading by example"

7.   In the last five years, what has been your most memorable meeting or convention experience and why?
For several years I was working with others to affect a change by making training a very important aspect of the companies' business plan for success and now I can see this coming to fruition.

8.   What is the one piece of advice you would offer to a graduating student with a hospitality degree?
I actually have two:

1.   Seek out a respected Mentor and learn as much as possible from this person.
2.    Always practice what you preach.

9.   What is the one question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview today?
How are you and your family? Show a genuine interest in the prospective employee.


We have asked dozens of people involved in hospitality businesses around the world to answer up to nine questions in this special section of  If you would like to participate, please contact [email protected]

Hospitality Tip of the WeekTM

“ If you expect your team to be successful, you must personally be involved in the selection, orientation and ongoing training processes.
Quartely formal reviews are essential."
John Hogan, Hotel Common Sense Philosophy # 9

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my 2011 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™   and Principles for Success.

Don't forget the special values being offered to industry professionals available on annual membership at  

Feel free to share an idea for a column at [email protected]  anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium ( of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them [email protected].   Special pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.


Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
[email protected]

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Also See: Hotel Common Sense™: Stronger Hiring Outlook Means Hospitality Employers Must Step Up Recruitment Efforts; The job markets are changing and candidates will soon have choices again. / Dr. John Hogan / April 2011

Hotel Common Sense™: Five Common Sense Steps to Stronger Public Relations / Dr. John Hogan / April 2011

A Smile from - April 14 - International Moment of Laughter Day / Dr. John Hogan / April 2011

Lessons From the Field™: Communications 101 – How to effectively use the telephone / Dr. John Hogan / March 2011

Principles of Success: Fine Tuning Your Hospitality Business Strategies for A Measurable Competitive Advantage - Part 2 / Dr. John Hogan / March 2011

Principles of Success: Fine tuning Your Hospitality Business Strategies for A Measurable Competitive Advantage - Part 1 / Dr. John Hogan / March 2011

Hotels Were More Interesting than Selling Insurance: An Unexpected Career; A Professional and Personal Tribute to Neil Salerno, CHME CHA / Dr. John Hogan and Howard Feiertag / March 2011

Principles of Success: Evaluate Your Hospitality Business Strategies to Create a Real and Measurable Competitive Advantage / Dr. John Hogan / March 2011

Sales Blitzes: A Look At the Benefits of Team Efforts / Dr. John Hogan / March 2011

Principles for Success: No Nonsense Benchmarking for Hotels and Hospitality Businesses / Dr. John Hogan / March 2011

Principles for Success: What we have here is a FAILURE to COMMUNICATE! / Dr. John Hogan / February 2011

Making This New Year's Hospitality Resolutions Last - Part 3; Real and Practical Action Steps #13-28 / Dr. John Hogan / February 2011

Making This New Year's Hospitality Resolutions: Real and Practical - Sales Action Steps #1-12 / Dr. John Hogan / January 2011

Making New Year's Hospitality Resolutions Real and Practical; A “Fresh Air- New Ideas” Perspective / Dr. John Hogan / January 2011

Keys to Success: Be Aware of and Work with the Law; Do Not be Afraid of it / Dr. John Hogan / December 2010

Keys to Success: Make Your Hotel More Profitable and Successful – 2011 is the critical time to invest in Your Talent and Your Team / Dr. John Hogan / December 2010

Keys to Success: A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry; 13 Best Practices for Hospitality Training Managers & Directors / Dr. John Hogan / December 2010

Hospitality Conversations – Looking Ahead! / Dr. John Hogan / November 2010

Learning from The Greatest Business Leaders of the Twentieth Century / Dr. John Hogan / November 2010

Five Considerations in Hiring a Hospitality Consultant; Understanding the Qualifications for Effective Hospitality Consultants / Dr. John Hogan / November 2010

5 Reasons Using A Qualified Consultant Could Make a Huge Difference in Your Hospitality Business / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Half Luck and Half Brains - Kemmons Wilson's 20 Steps for Success / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Ten Quotes Addressing the Topic of SERVICE / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Hospitality Conversations - Understanding the Developing Perspectives in Quality Assurance (Part 2 of 2) / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Hospitality Conversations – Understanding the Developing Perspectives in Quality Assurance Part 1 of 2 / Dr John Hogan

Hospitality Conversations: Examining the Learning Options Available in the Hospitality Field / Dr John Hogan / July 2010
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