Category Archives: Maintenance

Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “5 Ways to Pummel Pests at Your Hotel”

“(Hoteliers) really should have an independent inspection of their vendors,” Rivard said. “The prime food producers throughout the country already do that. They’re checking them out,20150911_pest control whether they’re buying some ingredient or working with a pallet manufacturer.”

A hidden danger of record high demand is more guests walking through the door means a higher chance anything from bed bugs to cockroaches to rats and ants are following right behind.

One of the few things more disconcerting than the pests themselves is the effect they can have on your bottom line.

A recent survey conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky showed a single online review mentioning a bed bug sighting caused many to immediately write off a hotel. The first reaction of 56% of potential guests will be to no longer consider staying at that property, 7% will shorten their stay and 12% will seek to avoid that hotel’s brand in the future.

The same survey, results of which have not yet been published, showed 60% of guests who spot a bed bug would immediately leave the hotel, which is almost three times as many as those who would leave after finding someone else’s blood somewhere in a guest room.

“It’s a maddeningly difficult problem to deal with,” said Michael Potter, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky and one of the authors of the study. “Everybody is dealing with bed bugs … but hospitality is especially vulnerable because people rely so much on social media when making decisions.”

The potential damage to your hotel’s reputation is only worsened when considering the fact that less than a third of those surveyed could identify successfully a bed bug, with many confusing other pests like lice, ants, termites and ticks for bed bugs.

The harsh reality is there are no 100% infallible methods to keep pests from darkening your doorways, but there are some things to make sure they’re less welcome after arrival.

Here are five ways experts seek to prevent pests.

For more: http://bit.ly/1gmpxiM

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Filed under Bed Bugs, Claims, Guest Issues, Health, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Insurance, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Northwest Dallas Hotel is ‘hub for drug use, prostitution and violent crime,’ Says City Hall”

The city of Dallas has had enough, and late Thursday filed suit against the owners of the motel that looks decent enough on the outside but is anything but on the inside, according to the City Attorney’s Office. The city wants the court to order the owners to clean it up immediately or face thousand-dollar-a-day penalties until the laundry list of problems are remedied.

In early December, two men were shot and another man was injured (after he jumped out a window to escape being shot) at the Orange Extended Stay Motel on Finnell Street in Northwest Dallas, near Northwest Highway and N. Stemmons Freeway. Several residents told our Naheed Rajwani at the time they feel unsafe at the Orange and that, perhaps, it was time to move away from the crime-ridden (and poorly reviewed) hotel. Said one woman, “I’m scared, and I don’t want to end up losing my life being in this area.”

She had good reason to be concerned: On May 30, someone was shot to death at the hotel.

The city of Dallas has had enough, and late Thursday filed suit against the owners of the motel that looks decent enough on the outside but is anything but on the inside, according to the City Attorney’s Office. The city wants the court to order the owners — Carrollton-based Dynasty Hotel Group — to clean it up immediately or face thousand-dollar-a-day penalties until the laundry list of problems are remedied.

“The relatively well kept facade of this business belies the abhorrent physical conditions, habitual drug offenses, and violent crime that have pervaded its interior and for which the property has become known,” says the suit, signed by Assistant City Attorney Melissa Miles.

For more: http://bit.ly/1KkzKtx

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “6 Ways to Prepare For the Next Downturn”

“Providing an exceptional guest experience is the best investment any hotelier can make.20150714_downturn_feature This is why we as a brand have rolled out a membership-wide training program all about the importance of unlocking the personalities of the staff and the story of the hotel when guests stay,” she said.

Good times continue to roll for the global hospitality sector with growth in the travel and tourism industry expected to increase by 3.9% this year, according to Ernst & Young’s “Global hospitality insights” report for 2015.

But in the cyclical fashion of the industry, the upswing can’t last forever.

So what should hoteliers be doing now to prepare for the inevitable down cycle, and how much can investing in their products and services now set them up for not so good times in the future?

For Eric Danziger, president and CEO of Debut Hotel Group and Hampshire Hotels Management, preparation now is absolutely key to success in a future downturn.

“Hoteliers should be pragmatic, preparing for when it is a bit more difficult to get those much-needed guests through a property’s doors,” he said. “Hoteliers that are prepared with a product and with services that guests value, appreciate and are willing to pay for will be ahead of the game.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1IflBgM

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Filed under Employee Practices, Finances, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Social Media, Technology, Training

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Three Rules of Renovation”

“In an era when the next big tech invention seems to arrive every week, we recognize that our guests require us to stay on trend,” Spillett says.Renovation “We know that traveling can take its toll and sometimes leaves us vulnerable, without the comforts of home. These comforts increasingly fall in the technology category, so we make every effort to ensure that our guests have convenient access to the latest tech amenities and services.”

Lodging’s current robust performance is creating a competitive environment when it comes to product freshness. The industry fundamentals have never been better, and these conditions are driving a flurry of construction projects, rebranding and conversion activity, and renovations of every scope throughout the United States.

In the last three years, an estimated 1.2 million hotel rooms have been renovated, representing more than 20 percent of the existing supply, Lodging Econometrics (LE) data reveals. According to Bruce Ford, LE’s senior vice president and director of global business development, the number of renovations will likely trend downward as strong hotel operating profitability discourages owners from making rooms unavailable while being renovated. However, for those hoteliers willing to take the plunge and make some upgrades, here are some key takeaways for making the best renovation decisions for your bottom line.

For more: http://bit.ly/1MrH4ks

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Hospitality Industry Risk Management Update: “Settlement Deal Reached in Hotel Pool Electrocution”

The investigation showed that the Hilton Westchase did not meet city, state, and national electrical codes and that the pool did not have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) on the pool lighting systemHouston Hilton – which are standard safety features in pool construction, or kitchen and bathroom design, where electrical systems might come in contact with water.

A final civil settlement was reached Monday in a hotel swimming pool electrocution death that a devastated family claimed was “gross negligence of epic proportions.”

Raul Hernandez Martinez, 27, died 6 days after the 2013 Labor Day weekend incident.

He and his family had gathered at the Hilton Houston Westchase hotel and several family members were in the hotel swimming pool when the pool lights came on.

Martinez’ little brother David Duran, 11, began to convulse in the deep end of the pool. Their mom, Maria Isabel Duran, tried to reach the boy but was shocked unconscious by the electrical current.

Family members pulled her from the pool where she was revived via CPR. Martinez, meanwhile, reached his little brother and pushed him to the edge where others pulled the boy out.

But Martinez became motionless as the current continued to surge through the pool.

Rescued and revived, he never recovered and was removed from life support 6 days later.

For more: http://bit.ly/1PSDdPN

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Filed under Claims, Guest Issues, Health, Hotel Industry, Injuries, Insurance, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Pool And Spa, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Survey Finds Social Media Boosts Hotel Occupancy by 2x”

“The hospitality industry has experienced the impact social media can have on their business, both positive and negative,online engagement but these findings allow properties to quantify the impact of taking action on reviews—and make it easier to justify additional investments in social media engagement,” said Aurelia Setton, Medallia’s general manager for hospitality.

Hotel properties that actively engage with social media reviews grow occupancy at double the rate of properties that don’t, according to a study released by Medallia. The study examines customer and business data from more than 4,400 hotel properties worldwide to understand and quantify the impact of social media engagement on a company’s revenue growth, customer satisfaction, and social reputation.

Results Overview
The study found a direct relationship between responsiveness to social media reviews and occupancy rate. Properties that responded to more than 50 percent of social reviews grew occupancy rates by 6.4 percentage points, more than twice the rate of properties that largely ignored social media reviews. These socially engaged properties also outperformed the hospitality industry as a whole, which achieved a 4.3 percent occupancy growth rate during the same period.

For more: http://bit.ly/1cphmkq

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Filed under Employee Practices, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Social Media, Technology

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Issues Loom For Keyless Entry in Hotels”

“At the moment, the complications might be magnified for multi-brand, multi-property operators piloting more than one keyless system from morekeyless-entry than one brand/vendor, but sources said that this somewhat disjointed approach may actually be preferable to a universal solution; at least until keyless tech is a little further along in its development cycle.”

As hotel companies across the industry begin to embrace keyless entry technology, they will also need to work out the challenges that go hand in hand with such integration.

Major conglomerates such as Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide are continuing to conduct pilot testing across multiple properties and brands. Starwood is backing up the technology with a $15-million investment. After launching its SPG Keyless solution at select properties (Aloft Beijing; Aloft Cancun; Aloft Cupertino; Aloft Harlem; W Doha; W Hollywood; W Hong Kong; W New York-Downtown; W Singapore; and Element Times Square), the company is now installing SPG Keyless in 30,000 doors at all of its 150 global W, Aloft and Element hotels.

In the meantime, Hilton is pilot testing its own mobile-enabled room key technology at 10 U.S. properties. By year’s end, the company expects to offer the digital amenity at all U.S. properties of four brands: Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton. Looking ahead to 2016, Hilton will then deploy the technology at scale across 11 brands globally. Similar to the SPG Keyless solution, Hilton’s keyless entry platform is driven by the company’s branded mobile app. Hilton hopes the keyless system will drive usage of the app, which hoteliers can then use to drive incremental revenue through mobile devices. It’s a potentially major revenue source to sway hoteliers who might still be on the fence.

For more: http://bit.ly/1Fusi7x

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry Risk Management Update: “Water Shortages Threaten Hotel Industry”

“It’s no wonder then the hotel industry has become a target of well-meaning legislators and bureaucrats looking to save some precious water for the state.pool The California State Water Resources Control Board recently instituted new rules that among other things require foodservice establishments to provide water only to customers who request it and mandate hotels give an option to guests of not having linens and towels laundered daily.”

Let’s face it: The hotel industry in the United States over the past 20 years has mostly been paying lip service to sustainability issues. It’s difficult to blame hotel owners and operators for that attitude because environmental issues are seldom major operational or profitability concerns at most properties.

There are exceptions, of course, but for the owner of a typical mid-market suburban hotel, green issues typically are only seriously addressed for one of two reasons: the vague promise of operating cost savings or the public relations glow generated by being a good and green citizen.

That situation is beginning to change, especially in California and the Southwest. The culprit is water, or the lack thereof.

For more: http://bit.ly/1yPC4Pa

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Filed under Finances, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Pool And Spa

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “The Good, The Bad, and Especially – The Ugly. Why Responding to EVERY Review is Essential to Your Reputation”

“Address the comment, validate their frustration, apologize for their poor experience, and find a way to make it better.feedback This will, of course, depend on what the grievance is exactly, but it’s probably an easy fix, and your response to the issue will be there forever for all future guests to see.”

Feedback, constructive criticism, or maybe just plain old criticism. Are you shuddering at the thought? If you are, stop, because though it may be hard to take sometimes, it’s essential to the success and well-being of your hotel. That’s right, criticism whether good, bad, or even ugly, is a necessary tool for you and your management team to have and to use. Without feedback, you’ll never know what you’re doing well, and what you could do better. Listening to all comments and responding appropriately and in a timely manner is one of the best tactics for hotel reputation management.

Regardless of whether your hotel has received a positive or negative review, you must give equal attention to both. Don’t be arrogant. Mistakes are made everywhere in life, misunderstanding and miscommunication happens no matter what. Therefore, never turn up your nose at a grievance, large or small. Many potential guests will judge a hotel’s customer service based on how the hotel responded to previous guests comments and reviews. Therein lies the true value of responding to all comments – to show future guests you have responsive management, that you care about your guests and any issues that may arise.

From our very own experience, here’s a quick list of best practices when it comes to responding to reviews

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Filed under Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Hotel Restaurant, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Social Media, Technology

Hospitality Industry Security Update: “New Security Mindset: Focus On The Interior”

“We continue to be more focused on perimeter protection than on internal controls and monitoring. It’s clear that attackers are already inside or could be anytime they want and there’s nothing you can do about it on the perimeterJason-Straight-LG…You would think external attacks cause all the damage. But study after study, two-thirds of attacks are mundane insider errors, lost equipment, technology failures, or lack of oversight over vendors.”

Chief privacy officer Jason Straight shares his insights on why organizations are struggling to stop the breach wave — and manage the aftermath.

Hackers keep on hacking, breaches keep on happening. The cycle continues, as major corporations now routinely get successfully compromised. A key element of the equation now is properly and efficiently responding to an attack as well as managing its aftermath.

The same old security missteps–falling for phishing attacks, not locking down sensitive data internally, giving users too much access, for instance–keep recurring. That’s because many organizations aren’t putting their security energy in the right places, according to Jason Straight, senior vice president and chief privacy officer at UnitedLex, which provides outsourcing services and support for the legal industry.

For more: http://ubm.io/1BTm7L2

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Filed under Crime, Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology, Theft, Training