tucker johnson

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tucker johnson

Is Trump Organization Slowdown a Confirmation of STR’s Lower Occupancy Projections?

Tucker Johnson | February 18, 2019

By Tucker Johnson On February 12th, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled Slowing Hotel Growth Could be Worst in 10 Years. This headline was based on an STR (formerly Smith Travel Research) forecast suggesting that supply was overbuilt and hotel occupancy would level off, then decline over the next two years. On February 14th the Washington Post published an article titled Trump's Company Officially Halts Hotel Expansion. The Trump Organization cited the 'political climate' as their reason for scrapping their new American IDEA Hotels and Scion brands. As someone who follows hotel news closely this seemed like strange timin...

Fixing Las Vegas’ Millennial Problem

Tucker Johnson | January 14, 2019

By Tucker Johnson Last month I was an invited instructor for the Casino Resort Management course within the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. This was one of many experiential courses offered by the college and gave me the opportunity to visit Las Vegas for five days, getting a behind-the-scenes look at high-roller suites, gaming floors, and high-tech security systems. While each casino resort had a different feel, and our hosts gave different insights, one problem was mentioned consistently across the properties: Millennials were not gaming at high levels and, although the casinos were...

What’s So Great About Wellness Hotels?

Tucker Johnson | August 28, 2018

By Tucker Johnson When the first wellness-inspired 'EVEN Hotel' by IHG opened in 2014 I remember thinking, "It's not for me but there must be a bunch of people that are looking for something like this." In retrospect, I guess my assessment wasn't too far off as four years later they have only nine hotels open and 14 in the pipeline. These growth numbers seem especially weak when compared to 'avid', IHG's answer to Millennial-focused brands Tru (Hilton) and Moxy (Marriott). The 'avid' brand was announced in 2017, and now has one hotel open and 126 hotels in the pipeline. I often read about new wellness-inspired hotels and amenities a...

Uber for Corporate Travel Sales Leads

Tucker Johnson | April 9, 2018

By Tucker Johnson In 2017, CNN reported that Uber passed Starbucks as the most common expense for a business traveler. When I read that article last year I remember thinking it seemed unbelievable, since I had only used Uber a handful of times. I hadn't thought much about that article until a few days ago. That's when one of my students (who drives for Uber) mentioned that he earned almost $700 dollars over the weekend driving in San Antonio during the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four. Although the money was an impressive part of the story, what really fascinated me was the access he was able to obtain by having the Uber emblem on his w...

Fix the Debit Card Problem at the Front Desk

Tucker Johnson | November 9, 2017

By Tucker Johnson Many guests are unaware that at check-in a hotel is just authorizing their credit or debit card, not charging them for their stay. The charge occurs at check-out and is typically done on the same card that was originally authorized and used to check-in. In the case of a credit card, the authorization is easily released; the card is then charged, and the whole transaction is very smooth. This is not the case with the use of a debit card, however. When using a debit card, the initial authorization is also released when the card is charged. The problem occurs with the way the releases are processed. Debit card releases ca...

Why June 2018 Will Be Good for Hotels and July 2018 Will Be Horrible

Tucker Johnson | September 20, 2017

By Tucker Johnson I recently conducted an educational seminar for some industry managers covering P&Ls and Budgeting. As part of the session I had them take some day-by-day hotel numbers from June of 2017 and forecast what June of 2018 would look like. I told them the industry was expecting a three percent increase for the next year. The hotel was busy on the weekends and slower during the weekdays. All of the participants forecasted exactly three percent above the June 2017 total for June 2018. I told them that when forecasting, "There are no right numbers, but there are wrong numbers. And all of you are wrong." They didn't know wh...

Your Hotels Location, Location – and Uber Availability?

Tucker Johnson | March 13, 2017

By Tucker Johnson, Instructional Assistant Professor at University of Houston It's long been said that the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. I have agreed with this assessment having worked at properties in prime locations and less than desirable locations. Last week, however, I began to question this age-old adage. I live in Texas but am attending a wedding in Chicago this summer and was looking at making hotel reservations. I wanted to be close to the wedding location, but all of the hotels nearby were in the $300-$400 per night price range. This wedding happens to occur on Father's D...

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