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From the Management Side of Things

Newport Hospitality Group (NHG) is a management company that has existed since 1990. Growing primarily from managing distressed properties to prime select and full service hotels, co-founder Mike Pleninger has a lot to say about resuscitating hospitality businesses and sustaining profitability. So, let’s dive in and see what we can learn. What is the state of the business today? Today, NHG manages 30 properties totaling just over 3,000 rooms with two more under construction and four in the planning stage. We manage most major brands: Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Hyatt, Choice and Wyndham, both select-service and full-service. You’ve told me that performance in 2013 and 2014 has been outstanding. NHG RevPARs from 2011 through 2013 were up 23.4% versus 14.2% for our competitive markets. The year 2014 is up 7.9% YTD through June. Our markets have done well also, up by 6.0%. We attribute this success to four main disciplines : …

lmaadminFrom the Management Side of Things
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In Vino Veritas XXXII: 100-Point Wines

What’s in a number? More specifically, what does ‘100’ mean on a rating scale? Typically, something that reaches triple digits like this is equivalent to a perfect score; the best there is. When it comes to wine, numbers are important. Those who are aficionados understand ratings issued by Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate and so on. (New entrants are also coming onto the scene to guide beginner oenophiles on their quest for grape enlightenment; try playing around with the mobile app ‘Vivino’.) Each of these well-known resources ranks vintages every year based upon their staffs’ finely tuned and trained palates. The rating scales used tend to be logarithmic in design whereby an 88-scoring drop – while quite acceptable for the average person – is really the equivalent of a Chateau Plonk for the calibrated tongue. When a wine is ranked 100, it is not just a good wine; it …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas XXXII: 100-Point Wines
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Your Quarterly Performance Audit is Here

St. Patrick’s Day is a special time of year. Aside from the customary green attire and perhaps a celebratory pint or two, this vogue holiday should also be on your calendar to highlight a turning point in the annual cycle. March, as a month, indicates the denouement of winter and the traditional low season for non-business and non-tropical travel (this coming from a North American perspective). Many of us also have our taxes to file around this time of year. And then, of course, Spring Break is upon us and once the snows give way to soggy grass, it’s hard not to start yearning for summer. Alongside that craving for warmer pastures often comes a returned sense of planning and goals, both personal and organizational. For the former, many of you may be looking to shed a few pounds in time for beach season or even begin the undertaking of …

lmaadminYour Quarterly Performance Audit is Here
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What Women Want (And Ten Ways To Give Them Just That)

My dear bride of some 34 years travels with me for leisure, and sometimes business. To be expected, my work activities tend to be carried over into dinnertime conversations so this hybrid mode of travel makes sense. With her as critical input, we’ve come up with a short list of ideas that focus on women’s hotel needs. Travel research indicates that the female head of household makes the bulk of leisure travel decisions – either directly or through ‘grocery list’ male counterparts. So, while we’re fussing over our operating costs to the barebones, we may be cutting corners that really cost occupancy and loyalty. In particular, if you are targeted the premium/luxury segment, or are a fully independent operator, you can easily capitalize upon these suggestions. (These are not presented in any order of importance or cost to your operation.) Choose your bathroom amenities carefully. Whereas most males can’t tell …

lmaadminWhat Women Want (And Ten Ways To Give Them Just That)
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To Tie One On Or Knot

What is future for staff uniforms and how will any such changes affect guests’ perceptions or expectations? There’s much to consider in uniform design and what it means for a brand, so for now let’s focus on one piece of apparel: the neck tie. Keep in mind that as a baby boomer who has spent most of his days living in and around the Eastern Seaboard of North America, I have perhaps a highly traditional opinion on hospitality neckwear. It used to be that anyone in hotel management wore a necktie, with exceptions being few and far between. And, even on those rare holiday outings, it was not surprising to see the general manager sporting a tie. Nowadays, the diminishing presence of the tie – or oftentimes the total lack thereof – in our industry is cause for alarm. It’s hard for me pinpoint exactly when the tie disappeared from …

lmaadminTo Tie One On Or Knot
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Speed is King with Mobile Websites

When it comes to a website’s mobile presentation, slow and steady does not win the race. You want your web pages to load as fast as possible with a fluid, oft-simple navigational flow that lets viewers easily bounce around to find exactly what they want. It’s a different behavior than someone surfing the web via a desktop or laptop. Some of the reasons for this may be obvious while others may not. It’s a given that we all despise the lag while our smart devices’ browsers fill our screens. An extension of this is cognitive drift – the point at which we’ve waited so long we just don’t care anymore. We move on to another site, which (in dire situations) might be an OTA or a direct competitor. While statistics vary by device, demographic and one’s state of mind at the time, a rule-of-thumb average for cognitive drift on mobile …

lmaadminSpeed is King with Mobile Websites