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Managing Real-time Reviews

This is the year of mobile domination. Smartphones now have the numbers and the ‘smarts’ to swing this from rebellion to full-on revolution. Rethink your website, rethink your social media and rethink your external sales channels. There have been utterances about this for months now, which in internet time is decades. As always, with new technologies come new dilemmas, and the topic for today is real-time guest reviews. Rather explicit by its namesake, real-time reviews are those live tweets, Facebook status updates and foursquare comments, or the ten-minutes-after-the-fact TripAdvisor reviews. They could be posted via laptop, but given their immediacy, the delivery vessel is most likely mobile – smartphones and, increasingly, tablets. To address why real-time reviews matter is to address why immediacy matters. What’s the rush? Why does it matter that I expedite my online follow-up to remarks about my hotel which run the gamut from the good and …

Larry MogelonskyManaging Real-time Reviews

Library Hotel Collection – The Secret to TripAdvisor Success

A recent issue of Condé Nast Traveler extolled the success of the Library Hotel Collection’s four properties. Perennially, the organization’s boutique-style hotels rank in the Top 10 (Ranking #1, #3, #5 and #6 as of this writing) of the 437 TripAdvisor listings in New York City proper. How it is that these small (not one property exceeds 103 rooms) and less-than-brand-new properties deliver such stellar results? I’m lucky to have worked with Adele Gutman, the Chain’s affable VP of Sales, Marketing and Revenue. In her own words, the answer is simple, “We cherish our guests and we let them know by our actions that they are appreciated. We respect their needs and care for them as we would a member of our family.” Easier said than done. I was determined to learn for myself, so I joined Adele on an inspection of all four properties.  Here are my observations: No …

Larry MogelonskyLibrary Hotel Collection – The Secret to TripAdvisor Success
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In vino veritas, part IX: South American wines

As with Australia and South Africa last November and December, let’s stay the course during the zenith of our winter with a post about our neighbors in the Southern Hemisphere, where the summer is in full swing. I’ve chosen to approach the wines of South America as a singular unit — a move not borne out of any deficiency of viticultural narrative in each country or any laziness on my part, but because of their common ancestor: Spain. Building on this, the two primary candidates for discussion are Argentina and Chile given their top 10 volumes of global production. As such, I will focus on these two nations. However, this does not preclude such other burgeoning and smaller growers like Bolivia, Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul, Paraguay, Peru (especially the spirit Pisco) and Uruguay. Taken together, Argentina and Chile now make more wine by tonnage than the United States, respectively …

Larry MogelonskyIn vino veritas, part IX: South American wines
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Ruminating on retirement

This short note is for general managers and other senior managers over 50. If you do not meet these two criteria, please discontinue reading right now. On second thought, this serves as a great heads-up for anyone of any age in the business. Having reached the prime age of 60 last month, I am told by many that “60 is the new 40” or “60 is the new 50” — not very reassuring, as the aches and pains of every sports injury of my youth reacquaint themselves with my joints.   Many friends of mine have retired and are urging me in this direction. Still others have left their employers of many years and are starting new businesses or consultancies with a vim and vigor that defies their age. These folks are passionate about their new work, their clients and their relationships, and are determined to do great work.   …

Larry MogelonskyRuminating on retirement
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No-frills hotels attract millennial travelers

As a frequent flyer living in Toronto, the city’s Pearson International Airport is a routine commute. One of the newer additions to the vicinity’s landscape is the Alt Hotel Toronto Pearson. Passing this structure on my return drive home via the airport expressway is a constant reminder of this emerging brand, as well as my thoughts on how the hospitality industry is segueing from the prowess of the baby boomer to the millennial traveler. No-frills chic The Alt Hotel brand is a part of a new niche that also includes such soon-to-be-household names including citizenM, easyHotel, the Pod Hotel and Yotel. Catering almost exclusively to the aptly dubbed “no-frills chic” audience, these brands focus on delivering minimalist product with several near-universally appealing services and all for a competitive rate. These no-frills brands appear to have sharpened their allure around the few top-of-mind features that matter to young, independent travelers: comfortable …

Larry MogelonskyNo-frills hotels attract millennial travelers
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Front & Center Interview With Larry Mogelonsky – LMA Communications

Listen to the interview HERE. Welcome to this edition of Front & Center, the show that features interviews with the best and brightest hospitality professionals and industry thought-leaders. My guest today on Front & Center is Larry Mogelonsky, Founder and President of LMA Communications, an integrated hotel marketing company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.   Larry is a highly recognized and published writer in the field of hospitality management and is syndicated weekly in six leading industry publications. He is an associate of G7 Hospitality, a member of the Cayuga Hospitality Advisors, and a speaker at industry conferences throughout North American and Europe.   Larry’s firm is Canada’s top award recipient of HSMAI’s Adrian Award.  As a matter of fact, LMA has won that coveted award on 65 separate occasions.  LMA has also won a variety of “Best In” awards from the Caribbean Tourism Organization, TravelMole’s ‘Tourism Board Best Website” …

PRFront & Center Interview With Larry Mogelonsky – LMA Communications
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An indulgent afternoon at The Hazelton Hotel: Valmont Cosmetics and The Spa at The Hazelton

It was an exciting afternoon on Thursday, January 10th, as media gathered at The Hazelton Hotel for a savoury lunch and the launch of the new body-line by Valmont Cosmetics. LMA Communications arranged this media event in conjunction with Valmont, as representatives for The Hazelton Hotel. Valmont is an unique line of Swiss products, used exclusively by The Spa at The Hazelton. Top media from travel, spa, beauty and lifestyle media outlets gathered over lunch, as representatives from Valmont discussed their new products, available at The Spa at The Hazelton Hotel. Media from various publications such as Elle Canada, Travel Industry Today, Flare, Ensemble Travel and West of the City Magazine, as well as a number of top freelancers were in attendance. Guests were privy to an informative presentation by Valmont experts and had the opportunity to test out the new products, while they enjoyed a three-course meal from ONE …

PRAn indulgent afternoon at The Hazelton Hotel: Valmont Cosmetics and The Spa at The Hazelton
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In Search of the Holy Grail – Making the Perfect Website

This past month, I had the privilege of judging entries for this year’s HSMAI (Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International) competition. This annual program calls for hotels and their agencies to submit their marketing efforts to be ranked among the best in the world. Competition is fierce, and this year well over 1,000 entries were received. Judges can choose to examine any number of entry types. I chose websites, as more than 150 different entries were posted. The goal of any judge is to be fair and above board in basing decisions. In doing so, we are provided with a summary of communications, all with the identical format, and a scorecard which ranks five core attributes on a scale from 1 (worst) to 10 (best). The attributes are straightforward, including creativity and results. After reviewing about 65 different individual hotel sites (I chose not to judge sites from CVBs, hotel …

Larry MogelonskyIn Search of the Holy Grail – Making the Perfect Website
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The idyllic Canadian property that could: Kingsbrae Arms

Every hotel is different. A blasé approach to reading about other properties would be saying to yourself, “This place is way too different from mine, so whatever they’re doing doesn’t apply to me.” I subscribe to the believe that even though this rumination might be true in a lot of ways, there are still opportunities to learn from everyone, even if it’s just one tiny morsel of information. Hence, learning by example will always be practical, and with that, I hope to present a full range of successful hotels to kick off the New Year. I first heard about Kingsbrae Arms through my relationship with Relais & Chateaux. Located in St. Andrews By-the-Sea in New Brunswick, Canada, just north of the border with Maine, I was perhaps most intrigued to visit because I spent much of my childhood in Saint John, less than a half-hour’s drive north.   Revisiting the …

Larry MogelonskyThe idyllic Canadian property that could: Kingsbrae Arms
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Hotels in 2023

Happy 2013! I hope all of you had a stellar holiday break and are fresh for an exciting year of electronic action and improving revenues. Whatever is on your New Year’s resolution list, be sure to commit to it for the whole year and don’t give up in February. Keeping this in mind, I want to highlight a potentially dire situation that has been festering for a while now. Not to be a downer, but it’s important to address this while your minds are still in the January “fresh mode.” With so many industry changes — most of which involve electronics in some way, shape or form — you must be mindful of the negative in order to strive for and maintain positive virtues.   (Note: All names in this post are imaginary, and any resemblance to real individuals or corporations is not to be misconstrued as a direct offense.) …

Larry MogelonskyHotels in 2023