Santa’s Wish List for Hotel General Managers

I shudder at the thought of seeing many of the GMs I know sitting on Santa’s knee. Yet, secretly, I know that each one of them has a wish list they would gladly share with Kris Kringle.  If I was a GM, here is what this list would probably look like. No shiny new bicycles here. Read on. 1. Smooth Over the Economy All GMs like stability and predictability. Currency markets with wild fluctuations, political instability, bond devaluations and other macro issues for which there are no local controls all create risks that hoteliers can’t respond to fast enough. A stable economic forecast allows GMs to plan with a higher degree of certainty and allows for better capital management decisions. 2. Increase Consumer Confidence A stable economy will certainly help GMs manage their slates of room rates, services and promotions, but we still need another big push on the customer …

Larry MogelonskySanta’s Wish List for Hotel General Managers

Caribbean Airlines Inaugural Toronto-Grenada Flight

On Thursday, December 15th, 2011, LMA’s own Lindsay Tessis joined Grenada’s Consul General, Jenny Gumbs to help send off Caribbean Airlines’ inaugural direct flight to Grenada, West Indies. Upon check-in for the flight at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, passengers were met by a representative of Caribbean Airlines (www.caribbean-airlines.com) and LMA, and were provided with Grenadian flags and a small gift. The check-in desks were buzzing with activity as passengers lined up for this fully booked flight to the beautiful, sunny island of Grenada. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place and the Consul General and LMA personally greeted all travelers as they boarded the flight, giving them a proper farewell on their way to Grenada. Caribbean Airlines year-round direct flight will run twice weekly, on Thursdays and Sundays. This new direct flight will provide just one more way for visitors to get to the Grenada, ‘the Spice of the Caribbean’.

PRCaribbean Airlines Inaugural Toronto-Grenada Flight

The Butler Did It!

Unless you were born into royalty or lived abroad at some wealthy uncle’s residence, chances are you’ve had limited experience with the latest rapidly-growing luxury hotel service accoutrement – the butler. A recent article in the New York Times discussed several new concierge-style amenities, all designed to take the place of meager service components in the travel sector. Whereas airlines continue to siphon every dollar out of guest services, hotels are stepping in with programs of their own, filling in the disparage in an adept and highly creative manner. Browsing Wikipedia, the word ‘butler’ derives from the Old French bouteleur (cup bearer) and from bouteille, (bottle). The role of the butler, for centuries, has been that of the chief steward of a household; the attendant entrusted with the care and serving of alcoholic beverages. As well, they managed the rest of the staff and liaised matters between the patron family …

Larry MogelonskyThe Butler Did It!

Grenada Wins Top Awards at Caribbean Week 2011

It was another ‘blockbuster’ year for Grenada at the 2011 Caribbean Week Media Awards, during Caribbean Week in Toronto from December 5 to 10, 2011.  The nearly weeklong event serves as a unique celebration of Caribbean culture and diversity.  The Grenada Board of Tourism was represented at media, consumer and travel trade events in Toronto throughout the week. For the second year running, Grenada took home two of the top awards at the annual Caribbean Tourism Organization Media Awards Luncheon, held on December 8, 2011 at the Novotel Toronto Centre.  Nearly 100 media, industry members, national tourism organization representatives and Caribbean dignitaries attended the luncheon.  This event serves to recognize Canadian-based media that have captured the essence of the Caribbean in their story telling. The prizes for Best Article in a Consumer Magazine, followed by Best in Show (received 2010 and in 2011), were awarded to Kailash Maharaj and the …

PRGrenada Wins Top Awards at Caribbean Week 2011

Hotels in 2020: A Scenario

(Note: All names in this essay are imaginary and any resemblance to individuals or corporations is not to be construed as having any bearing in reality.) Jimmy Smitherson, the Director of Revenue, Marketing and Sales of the Rebellion Hotel has a problem. It’s not one of occupancy. The hotel has long since passed all FIT sales onto RoomSteady, an OTA management liaison that meticulously manages occupancy to meet a stated target. Rather, it was a new decree from TravelOrx, the leading OTA formed after several years of ravenous mergers and acquisitions. Between all the boilerplate banter, Jimmy read, “As of October 1, 2020, the Rebellion Hotel will no longer be considered a part of our combined distribution systems.” The OTA was firing the hotel! How could this have happened? How did the tables reverse so quickly from supplier to distributor? Just ten years earlier, OTAs only represented roughly 10% of …

Larry MogelonskyHotels in 2020: A Scenario

Hotels in Film: A Brief Anthology

Hotels have been used as backdrops for movies and television series for many years. If you’re in the business, watching one of these films is a great way to kick back and spend a few minutes watching someone else take the heat. Who knows, you might learn a thing or two. Without giving any of these movies my own individual rating, here are ten (of perhaps hundreds) in chronological order. Most of these are available in DVD, and once in a while are available on Netflix or cable. Grand Hotel (1932): Best picture Oscar winner that year, this classic stars Greta Garbo, Lionel Barrymore and Joan Crawford. The opulent hotel is a backdrop for a theft that turns into a love affair. Brilliant and timeless. Hotel (1967): The setting is the fictional St. Gregory in New Orleans. Peter McDermott, played by Rod Taylor, plays a young general manager trying desperately …

Larry MogelonskyHotels in Film: A Brief Anthology

LMA Launches Its First Mobile Website For The Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa

LMA is proud to announce the launch of our first website specifically designed for mobile devices for the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa. The site is built on ExpressionEngine’s multi-site manager, using jQuery Mobile technology. To see the site, visit hiltoncarlsbadoceanfront.com on any mobile device including iPad, iPhone, Android or Blackberry.

Jerry GrymekLMA Launches Its First Mobile Website For The Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa

Ask the Expert: Is There Any Value in Flash Sales?

Flash Sales at hotels is touted as the best avenue to achieve higher RevPar and occupancy rates. Find out if our expert thinks there is any value in this marketing strategy for hotels. There is value, but its marginal. Flash sales are an excellent tool to offload inventory during low periods, but do so sparingly – once or twice a year.Consider trying them once for Black Friday over the American Thanksgiving weekend, and perhaps again during the thrifty winter months of the first quarter. When you use flash sales too often, however, your loyal base of customers may feel slighted for paying the regular rates. Moreover, you’ll change consumer expectations. They’ll wait for the sales periods and only buy at those discounted rates, eroding your RevPar over the long-term. If you find yourself relying on flash sales to maintain an adequate occupancy, start to look for the underlying issues. Access …

Larry MogelonskyAsk the Expert: Is There Any Value in Flash Sales?

Hotel Reputational Harm Insurance

Most of the time, hotel and resort reviews on popular travel websites are honest and reasonably objective.  Most of the time, these critiques are written by real, unaffiliated guests with the purpose of informing other potential customers of a product’s true worth.  But occasionally, the system is abused and the property may suffer lost business as a result. For example, a guest may denigrate a hotel to well below what is fair, based solely on what would otherwise be perceived as a minor grievance, or even a misperception.  Online anonymity makes it easy for someone with a personal grudge to take on the appearance of a paying, and very angry, guest.  A false, and perhaps highly scathing, rumor may go viral and reach tens of thousands of individuals before countermeasures can be enacted.  These are just three out of many possible scenarios that may ultimately lead to a financial loss. …

Larry MogelonskyHotel Reputational Harm Insurance