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Advice

Are You Ready To Start Your Hotel Reservations QUEST?

Doug Kennedy | November 22, 2013

by Doug Kennedy When it comes to information, the balance of power has shifted to the caller's side of the equation over the last decade or so. In the past most had very little information from a brochure, directory, or tourism guide book unless they had visited before. That's why back then we trained front desk and reservations agents to find out of the caller was familiar with the hotel, and then if not, find out the primary purpose of the trip. Then based on a "business" or "leisure" reason for traveling, agents were trained to offer-up what we would today call a "30 second commercial" or "elevator speech." Now with all of the inform...

So Many Options, So Much Advice: TripAdvisor & Your Hotel’s Profitability; A Best Practices Tool

Taylor Short | November 20, 2013

Building a strong online reputation on review sites like TripAdvisor has become essential to maintaining a profitable hotel. Hoteliers around the world have experimented with various tactics to generate a large quantity of positive reviews, and one has found success in achieving a strong ranking: the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. The Four Seasons was able to jump more than 20 spots on TripAdvisor's Popularity Index to become the highest ranked hotel in the city in less than two years. To find out how the Four Seasons was able to see such significant increases in their online rankings, Taylor Short of Software Advice, a company that rese...

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 115; Hotel History: The Harvard Club of New York; Quote of the Month

Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC | November 14, 2013

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC 1. Hotel History: The Harvard Club of New York* The Harvard Club of New York at 27 West 44th Street was originally built in 1894 (with major additions in 1905 and 1915, 1947 and 2003) and designed by McKim, Mead & White. Its classic Georgian design recalls the buildings at Harvard Yard in Cambridge. In 1966, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Harvard Club of New York as a landmark despite the opposition of the Harvard Club to the proposed designation. It was one of the first buildings in New York to be named a landmark. It is also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places...

New “Tipping” Rules for 2014: Are you ready?

JMBM | November 12, 2013

By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group® Hotel Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com 12 November 2013 Hotel Lawyer with some tips for employers on handling tipping -- the new IRS Rules. Employer practices with tips at hotels and restaurants have spawned a lot of employee discontent, class actions and other litigation. Some employers have withheld all or a portion of employee tips to cover administrative costs and others have redistributed tips amongst employees, some of whom (like bus staff and kitchen crews) have no opportunity to earn tips. Even the IRS has gotten into the game by adopting new rules that go into effect in ...

Pool Lift Litigation Proliferates. Why Enterprise-Wide Compliance is the Best Solution

JMBM | November 8, 2013

By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group® Hotel Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com 8 November 2013 It has been almost a year since the Department of Justice's ADA requirement for fixed or permanent pool lifts in "places of public accommodation" has been in effect. Now a fact (and cost) of doing business in the hospitality industry, many of our clients and friends in the industry are asking, "what's the result of all this activity, what's going on now?" Well, after all the lobbying, education, handwringing, headaches, counseling, and expense, we can say .... things went pretty much as predicted: Many hotel owners complied...

Nobody Asked Me, But…No. 114; Hotel History: The Ansonia Hotel; Quote of the Month; My New Book

Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC | November 4, 2013

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC 1. Hotel History: The Ansonia Hotel* The Ansonia Hotel was built as a luxury apartment hotel on the upper west side of New York in 1904. Its resplendent apartments contained multiple bedrooms, parlors, libraries and formal dining rooms with high ceilings, elegant moldings and bay windows. The hotel had a central kitchen serving pantries on every floor so that residents could enjoy meals prepared by professional chefs. Its exterior turrets, balconies, carvings, scrolls, medallions and moldings make the Ansonia a Beaux-Arts confection. In "New York, New York: How the Apartment House Transformed the Life of t...

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 113; Hotel History: St. Regis Hotel in New York; Quote of the Month

Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC | October 23, 2013

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC 1. Hotel History: St. Regis Hotel in New York* In 1904, Colonel John Jacob Astor broke ground for the building of the St. Regis Hotel at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, in the most exclusive residential section of New York at the time. While the hotel was under construction, Astor was unable to come up with a name for his new hotel. During Astor's visit with his brother-in-law on a beautiful lake in the Adirondacks in upstate New York, Astor's niece offered a solution: "Uncle Jack, why don't you call it after this lake- Hotel St. Regis?" After doing some research on the name, he found that the ...

Lack of Directional Signage In Major US Airports A National Disgrace For Tourism and Hospitality

Doug Kennedy | October 21, 2013

by Doug Kennedy As a conference speaker and hospitality industry trainer, I have often experienced the anxiety of flying into a foreign country with a different language for the first time. Although I (regrettably) have not yet managed to learn any languages beyond my American English, I cannot once remember flying into an airport that I could not easily find my way around. Whether landing in Sao Paulo Brazil, Sophia, Bulgaria, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kiev, Ukraine, Moscow, Russia, Singapore, and more westernized cities such as Paris, London, Frankfurt and Florence, I have never once had a problem finding my connecting gate and/or findi...

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 112; Hotel History: The Drake Hotel in New York

Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC | October 14, 2013

Marriott CEO Tells U.S. Congress: Get Back to Work; New York Investigating Airbnb and HomeAway; Quote of the Month; My New Book By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC 1. Hotel History: The Drake Hotel in New York On a front page story in the Metropolitan section (October 6, 2013), the New York Times reported "Harry Macklowe Gambles Again: A developer known for wild swings of fortune builds a Park Avenue apartment tower a quarter-mile high." On the site of the old Drake Hotel (demolished in 2007), Macklowe is building a luxurious apartment building which, upon completion, will be, at 1,398 feet the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisp...

Nobody Asked Me, But…No. 111; Hotel History: The McAlpin Hotel; What Makes a City Great?

Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC | October 2, 2013

Quote of the Month; My New Book By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC 1. Hotel History: The McAlpin Hotel General Edwin Angustus McAlpin (1848-1917) was a successful business man and president of the D.H. McAlpin & Co. tobacco company. He owned several large tracts of real estate in Manhattan, including one on 34th Street and Broadway which he developed into the McAlpin Hotel. When it opened in 1912 it was the largest hotel in the world. The New York Times commented that it was so tall at 25 floors that it "seems isolated from other buildings." With a staff of 1,500 it could accommodate 2,500 guests. The 1500-room McAlpin Hotel was designed...

Stories of Genuine and Authentic Hospitality From The Choice Hotels 2013 Regional Conferences

Doug Kennedy | October 1, 2013

by Doug Kennedy As a conference speaker and hotel industry trainer, I spend a lot of time on the other side of the front desk and know all too well the many situations, circumstances and downright quandaries business travelers can find themselves facing from lost luggage, forgotten items, and challenges en route. As a father of two now teenage children, I also understand the challenges that even leisure travelers can come across when staying at hotel. Over the many years I've worked in the hotel business I have grown to better-understand the "stories" our guests are living out every day on the other side of the front desk, at the other ...

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 110; Still Undistinguishable and Undistinguished by Stanley Turkel

Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC | September 23, 2013

Hotel History: George Charles Boldt (1851-1916); My New Book; Quote of the Month By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC 1. Still Undistinguishable and Undistinguished For many years, I have been a critic of hotel guestroom design because most chain hotel rooms are undistinguishable from the competition. I am reminded of this truism every time I look at the excellent photographs on the Hotel Chatter website. If there was no identifying caption, you could not tell if you are looking at a Marriott, Westin, Wyndham, Sheraton, Hilton, Radisson, Hyatt or InterContinental Hotel. 2. Hotel History: George Charles Boldt (1851-1916) In its December 6, 191...

NOW is the Best Time to Buy or Sell a Hotel in Many Years

September 23, 2013

For the most recent update on this topic, click here By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group® Hotel Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com 23 September 2013 A version of this article was first published in the September 21, 2013 issue of Hotel Business. The number of hotel transactions is up by more than 50% for the first 6 months of 2013 over the comparable period last year, and is expected to top $18 billion for 2013, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. And HVS reports that the sales transaction volume of hotels is now intersecting its 22-year moving average, and predicts that hotel values will continue to grow at an average o...

Robert T. Koger—Hotel Lawyer with the FBI Affidavit that Helped Put Koger Behind Bars

September 20, 2013

For the most recent update on this topic, click here By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group® Hotel Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com 20 September 2013 The hotel world has been fascinated by the civil litigation and criminal actions swirling around the former President and owner of Molinaro Koger, Robert T. Koger. In response to many inquiries, the hotel lawyers of JMBM's Global Hospitality Group® has posted the 17-page affidavit sworn to by an FBI special agent with more than 17 years of experience, most of it in investigating white collar crimes like those charged against Koger. If you just want the highlights, see th...

Nobody Asked Me, But…No. 109 Hotel History: Howard Dearing Johnson (1896-1972)

Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC | September 13, 2013

Host of the Highway and The Orange Roof; My New Book; Quote of the Month By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC September 13, 2013 1. Hotel History: Howard Dearing Johnson (1896-1972), Host of the Highway and The Orange Roof The Wyndham Hotel Group unveiled new plans for its Howard Johnson brand on September 10, 2013, including a new logo and conceptual exterior and interior designs. "Howard Johnson is a brand that for millions of travelers conjures fond memories of ice cream cones and family vacations," said Eric Danziger, Wyndham Hotel Group president and CEO. "It's a name that carries with it incredible equity. Reinvigoration is about growing...

Robert T. Koger of Molinaro Koger is Arrested and Put Behind Bars

September 12, 2013

A shocking course of continuing fraudulent conduct is unveiled by the JMBM Global Hospitality Group® For the most recent update on this topic, click here By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group® Hotel Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com 12 September 2013 Hotel Lawyer with the latest on the arrest and jailing of Rob Koger, formerly of Molinaro Koger There are some significant new developments in the saga of Robert T. ("Rob") Koger and the high profile civil and criminal cases surrounding him. Here is the latest. (Earlier articles are cited below.) On Monday, September 9, 2013, Robert T. Koger, 47, was arrested and brought ...

Hotel Banquet Department Staff Now Part Of The PR and Marketing Team / Doug Kennedy

Doug Kennedy | August 30, 2013

By Doug Kennedy August 30, 2013 Over the many years I have been conducting on-site training for the hotel industry I have trained nearly every department from front desk through hotel maintenance on hospitality and guest service excellence. Yet until recently one department I had never been asked to train before was the banquet services. When I received the call from an existing client to train the 100+ banquet servers and bartenders I immediately thought it was a good idea. Yet the more I thought about it I realized it was actually a brilliant idea for management to recognize the importance of this unique department. It really hit me w...

Nobody Asked Me, But…No. 108 Is It Fair?; After Two Years in the Making; A Preview of My New Book

Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC | August 27, 2013

Quote of the Month By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC 1. Is It Fair? So you bought a Hilton franchise because you believed that the Blackstone Group was a strong owner. Now, Blackstone has begun preparations for an initial public offering and has hired the Goldman Sachs Group, Bank of America's Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to find appropriate buyers. What recourse does a Hilton franchisee have? None at all. While the franchisee can't sell his hotel without Blackstone's approval, Blackstone can sell the entire Hilton Corporation without the approval of its more than 4000 franchisees: (consisting of Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, DoubleTr...

Abu Dhabi Fund Buying 3 Editions from Marriott. What Does this Mean to Marriott & the Edition Brand?

August 19, 2013

by the JMBM Global Hospitality Group® For the most recent update on this topic, click here By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group® Hotel Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com 15 August 2013 Hotel Lawyer on the reported sale by Marriott of 3 Edition hotels. Craig Karmin and Alexandra Berzon of the Wall Street Journal broke a big story yesterday evening which appeared in the August 15, 2013 US edition of the paper at page C3. The headline is "Marriott Close to Deal to Sell Three Hotels to Abu Dhabi Fund." The story, in which I am quoted, describes reports from people close to the deal, that Marriott International is about to...

The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego – a Condo Hotel – did NOT Offer “Securities”

August 15, 2013

According to new appellate court decision in Salameh v. Tarsadia Hotel. Lower district court dismissal upheld. by the JMBM Global Hospitality Group® For the most recent update on this topic, click here By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group® Hotel Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com 14 August 2013 Hotel Lawyers on "hotel condo" units as securities (or NOT). An important decision on when a condo hotel does NOT involve the sale of a "security" One of the most significant challenges for developers of a condo hotel project is whether the sale of the condo units constitutes the sale of a "security." If it does, the princi...

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 107: Are Franchisees Agents of Franchisors?

Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC | August 12, 2013

Manhattan's New Water Source; Brand USA Needs Our Help; Quote of the Month By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC 1. Are Franchisees Agents of Franchisors? Did you read that a federal district court in Utah recently found evidence that a Best Western franchisee was actually the "agent" of the franchisor? The evidence was based on the fact that Best Western had strict requirements for its franchisees, showing its ultimate authority. The evidence described that Best Western had control over the buildings, grounds and public areas and how they should be kept. And it showed how the hotel chain ruled over the housekeeping department and how guest roo...

Nobody Asked Me, But…No. 106; What Is A Hotel Manager?; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel

Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC | July 29, 2013

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC 1. What Is A Hotel Manager? In 1963, the Loews Hotel Corporation published a small booklet with 18 black and white photographs from vintage movies. The booklet was named "What Is A Hotel Manager?" The captions under the photographs were funny then and, I believe, are still funny fifty years later. The booklet's dedication and introduction read: Dedication: It is with deep appreciation that we thank Tom Troy, Harry O'Brien, Pierre Bultinck, Frank Berkman, Arthur Levey, Henry Judermans, John Braun and Jerry Olin without whom this booklet would never have been possible. Introduction: A hotel manager is a man o...

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