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Nobody Asked Me, But... No. 81

AAHOA Strikes Back; Would You Believe Such a Study?
Independent Franchisee Associations On The Rise; Quote of the Month

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC
October 5, 2011

1. AAHOA Strikes Back

Hats off to the Asian American Hotel Owners Association for the threat to sever its relationship with Choice Hotels International because of Choice’s persistent, self-defeating anti-franchisee positions.  Choice has consistently failed to recognize that their franchisees are the heart and soul of their business.  It’s no surprise to me that AAHOA finally blew the whistle and said “No More”.
It is time for Choice to reverse its wrong-headed march of folly; time to fully implement the AAHOA 12 Points of Fair Franchising; time to support the Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights; and time to realize that fair franchising is not an oxymoron.
AAHOA members have taken it on the chin for years.  Finally they are telling Choice to behave like real partners.  I believe that Choice cannot last as a successful hotel franchising entity if AAHOA members do not renew expiring license agreements and do not sign new ones. 

2.  Would You Believe Such a Study?

Here’s a verbatim report from the St. Petersburg Times (by Lorri Helfand) of September 30, 2011 about the Belleview Biltmore Hotel:

BELLEAIR- For years, town leaders have struggled to protect the Belleview Biltmore, challenging developers who wanted to raze the vacant 114-year-old hotel.

But faced with a decaying landmark and a sputtering economy, town leaders wanted to make sure that it is even financially feasible to restore the hotel, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

About two months ago, they commissioned a study by a Las Vegas-based firm to find out.  What they’ve gotten so far, they say, is delays, excuses and a draft report with few specifics about the hotel’s viability.

And on top of that, the report by consultant StoneCreek Partners LLC misspelled the name of the historic hotel 131 times, calling it instead the “Bellevue Biltmore.”

Mayor Gary Katica labeled the mistake “amateurish” and said he expected more details in the report....

3.  IndependentFranchisee Associations (InFAs) On the Rise The September 2011 issue of Franchise Times reports on the increase of InFAs which are stronger than ever.  Experts estimate that there are 300 to 400 organized groups of franchisees.  Julie Bennett of Franchise Times says that they range from “giants like the North American Association of Subway Franchisees serving almost 24,000 domestic units and run by a professional staff in Fairfield, Connecticut, to Expetec… an association of 24 franchisees.”  Bennett reports that after years of getting hammered in court, InFAs recently won several legal battles:
  • In 2010, Quiznos sandwich chain in Denver agreed to pay current and former franchisees a total of $206 million to settle lawsuits
  • In February, a Delaware court ruled in favor of the Association of Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchisees, in a dispute with KFC over advertising funds
  • And this July, a U.S. District Court in Connecticut ruled 170-member Edible Arrangements Independent Franchisee Association had the “legal standing” to sue its franchisor.
Attorney Justin Klein ( who represents the Edible Arrangements franchisees, said the ruling is a significant victory for franchisee associations all over the country, because it gives associations the power to litigate claims on behalf of their members.

By banding together, franchisees are able to hire high-caliber attorneys and advisors- just like their franchisors, said Eric Karp, an attorney with Witmer, Karp, Warner & Ryan, which represents 12 national franchisee associations.  The new Federal Trade Commission’s Franchise Rule also gives a boost to InFAs, Karp said, because it requires franchisors with franchisee associations to include information about them in their Franchise Disclosure Documents.

Representatives of independent associations also helped push a Fair Franchising bill through the Rhode Island legislature three years ago and this June, Jim Coen, president of the 2,500 member Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchisee Organization, testified for a similar bill now under consideration by lawmakers in Massachusetts.  “If you represent a significant organization with significant resources, elected officials will listen to you,” Coen said.

Quote of the Month

How To Stay Young

1. Throw out nonessential numbers.  This includes age, weight and height.  Let the doctor worry about them.  That is why you pay him/her.

2.  Keep only cheerful friends.  The grouches pull you down.

3.  Keep learning.  Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.  Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4.  Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud.  Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on.  The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.  Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7.  Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8.  Cherish your health: if it is good, preserve it.  If it is unstable, improve it.  If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9.  Don’t take guilt trips.  Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10.  Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breaths away.

                                                                 George Carlin


My book “Great American Hotelier: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry” contains 359 pages, 25 illustrations, preface, introduction, 16 chapters, bibliography, index and the following foreword by Stephen Rushmore, President and Founder of HVS International:

“What better way to learn about the hotel industry than to experience it through the eyes of some of the world’s greatest hoteliers.  Stanley Turkel’s book, Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry, takes an upfront and personal view of 16 leaders who shaped the American hotel industry over the past century.  Familiar names such as J. Willard Marriott, Howard Johnson and Conrad Hilton are mixed with some obscure players such as Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher and Henry Morrison Flagler to provide a unique insight into the intricacies of hotel development, operations and investment.
Drawing from more than 40 years of industry experience including managing some of the largest New York City hotels, Turkel captures the spirit of each of these pioneers and relates their achievements to important lessons that we can all learn from...

John Q. Hammons, still going strong developing hotels in tertiary cities at the age of 90, shows us the need to give back to the local community.  While he might negotiate to buy a hotel site for only $1. his huge convention hotel developments have brought new prosperity to many decaying cities.

Juan Trippe, founder of Pan American World Airlines and InterContinental Hotels, created one of the first global hotel companies.  Trippe was one of the few hoteliers who was able to create synergy through the direct ownership of hotels and airplanes.  He also helped countries economically by providing state-of-the art hotel accommodations for tourist and business travelers.

Kanjibhai Manchhubhai Patel, one of the first Asian American hoteliers came to the United States in 1923 and started operating a small residential hotel in San Francisco.  Over the years thousands of Patels and other immigrants followed- they became American citizens, they purchased hotels, and they realized the American dream of owning your own business.

Turkel’s book is not just a biography detailing the lives of important hoteliers but an informative text covering a number of important industry issues.  For example, the Asian American hotel community through the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), has over the years battled the large hotel franchise companies to obtain fairer franchise terms and provisions.  Turkel not only vividly describes how this war has evolved, but includes all 12 points of AAHOA’s Fair Franchising Policy.  Great reference material for both newcomers to the hotel industry and seasoned professionals.

Stan Turkel has written more than 200 articles on hospitality related topics.  He never shies away from taking a controversial point of view and relentlessly prods industry players to do better.  The title of his articles certainly demonstrate his push for perfection; “Reinventing Hotel Franchising,” “Accounting Guide Needs Revision,” “Imbalance of Equity in Contracts,” and the one that gives me pain- “Little Reality in a Typical Feasibility Study.” Ugh! Readers of his book will see that Stan has pin-pointed many of the important issues facing the hospitality industry today and using his usual straight-forward approach offers relevant solutions.”


To order a copy, go to my new book website: and click on the Order link.  My publisher, AuthorHouse, will handle the transaction at reduced rates:
  • Electronic Book $4.95
  • Paperback (6x9) $25.00
  • Dust Jack Hardcover (6x9) $35.00


Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC

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Also See: Nobody Asked me, But… No. 80; Impertinent Questions Still in Search of Pertinent Answers; Questions for 32,500 Franchised Hotel Owners; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / September 2011

Nobody Asked me, But… No. 79; Relevant Brand Management?; Save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel; The Magical Americana of New York; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / August 2011

Nobody Asked me, But… No. 78; AAHOA Chairman Hits a Home Run; Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights; HomeSpun; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / July 2011

Nobody Asked me, But... No. 77: Public Relations Trumps Common Sense; Nobody Does It Better; Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room to Close; Pay Attention to State Franchise Laws; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / June 2011

Nobody Asked me, But... No. 76: Empire State Building's 80th Anniversary and the Waldorf-Astoria; "Defying Time: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York"; Impertinent Question Seeking a Pertinent Answer; Wyndham Hotel Group Reports; Save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / May 2011

Nobody Asked me, But… No. 75: Blackstone Reportedly Prepping Hilton for Flotation; Things Are Seldom What They Seem, Skim Milk Masquerades As Cream; Quote of the Month; First Announcement / Stanley Turkel / April 2011

Nobody Asked me, But… No. 74: The Triumph of Public Relations; Helpful Hotels; Court Rules Holiday Inn Commits “Reprehensible Fraud”; Quote of the Month / March 2011

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 73: Impertinent Question Still Seeking a Pertinent Answer; The Fountain of Old Age; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / February 2011

Impertinent Question In Search of a Pertinent Answer; Does The Industry Really Need Another Brand?; Hilton’s Hands Get Slapped in Starwood Settlement; China- Based Developers Buy U.S. Hotels; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / January 2011

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 71 - Impertinent Questions Still Seeking Pertinent Answers; The Baseball Business…Where Next?; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / December 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 70 -John Q. Hammons, Impertinent Question, Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / November 2010

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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