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In Vino Veritas Part XXXVIII: A Wine List Time Capsule

A friend’s cookbook gift unearthed a remarkable bonus: a 50 year old wine list from a luxury East Coast resort. Half a century ago, in 1966, I was not even of legal drinking age, nor had I any inkling of the varieties of wine available for purchase. At the time, my parent’s wine habits consisted of ‘red’ or ‘white,’ while the Californian wine industry was basically a volume business of jug wines at low prices. Drinking fine wine was clearly a fringe experience reserved for the finest restaurants and aristocratic palates. Oh, how times have changed! So, how did they sell wine half a century ago? As a ‘primary source’ for historical research, this wine list gives us some strong evidence. First, there is a detailed description about each of the types of wines with grapes and growing regions. Rarely have I seen such a voluminous text inclusion on any …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas Part XXXVIII: A Wine List Time Capsule
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RevPAR vs RevPOR vs RevPAG

Let’s get the acronyms out of the way so there’s no confusion: RevPAR = Revenue Per Available Room RevPOR = Revenue Per Occupied Room RevPAG = Revenue Per Available Guest The first term, RevPAR, is the most commonly used these days, but as I’ve advocated before, it may not be the best overall indicator of a property’s financial or business health. Hence, I vouched for using the second term, RevPOR, as it incorporated occupancy percentages to better forecast actualized revenues instead of projecting a figure based on 100% rooms booked. It’s a subtle change, but one that can nonetheless have a tremendous impact when evaluating quarter-over-quarter or year-over-year. Even though most diligent managers will throw RevPAR through an average or ‘per capita’ occupancy grinder for a more accurate calculation of earnings, it is still hard to account for seasonal disruptions. That’s where RevPOR shines through; by factoring occupancy into the …

lmaadminRevPAR vs RevPOR vs RevPAG
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To the Ends of the Earth – Fogo Island Inn

Far away from far away lies one of the most interesting resort experiences on the planet. Just off the northern shore of Canada’s Newfoundland province (closest airport is Gander, about a three-hour combined ferry-service plus drive) lies pristine Fogo Island and its namesake property. With incredible contemporary architecture, paying homage to the traditional fishing outport stages of the region, Fogo Island Inn promises a worthwhile adventure to all who journey to this remote part of the globe. The property has been extensively reviewed in most every destination travel publication. With publicity that any hotelier would give his or her eyeteeth for, this is definitely a ‘bucket list’ property for a guaranteed never-been-here travel destination. But your mind spins for a minute. This is the east coast of Canada, not known for luxury resorts per se, except perhaps those magnificent grande dame Fairmont properties resurrected from the old turn-of-the-century railway masterpieces …

lmaadminTo the Ends of the Earth – Fogo Island Inn
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When Your Property Is In Sad Shape

Recently, I had an unfortunate experience while staying at a branded property that was clearly well past its best before date. Despite its prime location in its market and good promotional efforts, it was obvious that this chain outlet was not meeting any of the defined standards outlined by the corporate website. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that this economy-plus level hotel wasn’t meeting some of the most basic criteria that characterize ‘a good night’s stay’. Being part of a group booking, it was apparent that I was not the only one who took notice of the property’s blatant shortcomings. The grumblings passed along throughout the event sessions would have made for exceptionally shrill TripAdvisor commentary. The one saving grace was the staff – all were gracious and attentive, but it still wasn’t enough. Alas, we are all here to learn, not just to admonish those …

lmaadminWhen Your Property Is In Sad Shape
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Loyalty Through Adversity

Angry guests with insurmountable problems; we’ve all encountered them. Rivalry, opposition, antagonism, conflict or whatever other synonym you deploy to convey obstacles in the workplace like this would be better viewed as helping your business goals instead of detracting. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? When applying this adage to guest-staff interactions, it’s all too easy to deem livid, annoying, testy, arrogant, needy, rude or whining guests as enemies to your organizational goals which are likely to be high guest satisfaction scores and the pursuit of higher occupancies for heightened profits. When we are confronted with opposition of this nature, our first thoughts might run to something like, “This person is being unnecessarily irate; he’s asking us to perform tasks that far beyond what we normally do for our guests.” It’s a little trickier, however, to identify how such opposition can actually improve your operations. Negatives are Not …

lmaadminLoyalty Through Adversity
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LMA Welcomes New President and Partner John Ozikizler

Larry Mogelonsky, Founder of LMA Communications Inc., is pleased to announce that John Ozikizler has joined the Company as President and Partner. “John’s accountabilities will be to oversee all clients while helping to grow the agency with new business,” Mogelonsky stated. “I couldn’t be happier with him joining our team.” John Ozikizler is an advertising industry veteran and brings a wealth of proven business expertise to LMA, having served as VP-General Manager of DAC Group, Managing Director of Publicis Modern and President of Maclaren Momentum. Mogelonsky will assume the role of Chairman providing strategic input and counsel to the agency’s clients. “I’m thrilled with the opportunity to work with Larry and the team at LMA,” Ozikizler adds. “We both believe this agency is primed for growth.” LMA Communications Inc. is Canada’s foremost hospitality and service sector communications agency reknowned for providing award winning and sales driving digital, public relations and …

lmaadminLMA Welcomes New President and Partner John Ozikizler
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HITEC 2015: The Trends In Focus

HITEC 2015 – the premier North American hotel technology show – has come and gone. Much has already been said about the exhibitors and their products in the immediate aftermath of this June-set convention. But now that it’s September and the summer is in the rearview mirror, it’s time for a dutiful reminder of all of the ways in which the latest trends and innovations will continue to change how we help travelers and earn a buck in the process. Exhibitors, attendees, media, small booths, large booths, two-story booths, tablet kiosks, LCD monitors, live demonstrations, handouts, swag bags and an endless flow of fresh coffee – all these and more coalescing to represent what the next five years will look like for our industry. Emerging onto the showroom floor as the opening bell rings, a vigorous positivity is immediately palpable. Every vendor is hungry for sales, funding, new product insights …

lmaadminHITEC 2015: The Trends In Focus
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Using Art as a Point of Differentiation

The luxury customer is a demanding sort. They are well-traveled and have seen a good portion of what the world has to offer in terms of an upscale hotel experience. As such, they have high expectations, and the only way to command their attention is to bring something truly unique to the situation. Decorating a property with spectacular works of art and becoming a patron of the arts is one viable tactic to this end. Art is visually stimulating and it creates fascinating environments for guests to interact with and remember after they have left (and talk about later with their friends). When you espouse the arts, you are in essence championing a new point of differentiation to distinguish your property from all others in your comp set. But where to start? How does a hotel get involved? To help understand some of the nuances of this process, I’ve recruited …

lmaadminUsing Art as a Point of Differentiation
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Hotels Need Intrapreneuers

As is now customary for this time of year, I choose a topic to write on that I hope will give you some inspiration for the coming of autumn and the denouement of 2015. For many, Labor Day is a time of geographical and mental change. Summer holidays are over and it’s time to get into that ‘back to school’ mode, or ‘back to work’ mode for that matter. This means a gung-ho attitude towards getting jobs done and far less ducking out for a two hour alfresco lunch. Early September is a great time to harness that sense of refreshed ambition and put it to good use for your property by finding and nurturing your intrapreneurs. Firstly, a definition is in order. Like its naming forebear, intrapreneurs carry with them the spirit of entrepreneurship, only they are acting within a larger corporation instead of on their own accord. They …

lmaadminHotels Need Intrapreneuers
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Gray is the New Green Part 11: Cross-Generational Travel

Awhile back, I wrote about cross-generational word of mouth, and about how ideas related to hospitality percolate up and down through the generations – daughters talking to mothers, granddads chatting with grandsons, uncles conversing with nieces and so on. The central observation was that we, as hoteliers and marketers, tend to compartmentalize our target demographics, oftentimes failing to see them as an interconnected web of nuclear families, extended families, workplace colleagues, neighbors and social circles of like-minded peers. Thinking cross-generationally about word of mouth will help you design better promotional materials so that your message carries beyond the select few who hear it firsthand or who have had the pleasure of physically staying at your hotel. In this busy advertising world we find ourselves in, your messages need that staying power to outlast the constant distractions that plague our eyes and ears. But there’s another aspect to cross-generational appeal, and …

lmaadminGray is the New Green Part 11: Cross-Generational Travel