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October 3, 2012News for hotel and lodging professionals

  Front Desk 
  • Best Western International will enter extended-stay market
    Best Western International has unveiled initial details of a new prototype that will become the chain's entry into the extended-stay segment. The prototype gives developers the option of changing the percentage of extended-stay rooms from 20% to 100%, based on anticipated market demand in the property's location. "Our approach is to give developers a lot of flexibility depending on the market. It's exactly what's needed because not everyone who stays in an extended-stay property is a long-term guest. This flexibility allows the developer to be more cost-effective," said David Kong, president and CEO of Best Western International. (10/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Business Update 
  • Peninsula Hotels prioritizes service refinement over brand growth
    Peninsula Hotels places the enhancement of its properties' technology and service offerings as its foremost goal rather than brand expansion across the globe, says Clement Kwok, CEO of The Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels, which owns the Peninsula brand. This strategy is exemplified by the ongoing renovations on its Hong Kong property, Kwok says. "We would far rather be a collection of 10 or 15 landmark hotels than replicating our brand many times over. However, we are looking at many markets, including in the U.S., and if the right opportunity came along, we are open to it," Kwok said. (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Full House Resorts closes on $70 million Miss. casino acquisition
    Full House Resorts' $70 million purchase of the Silver Slipper Casino in Bay St. Louis, Miss., has been completed, the company said. "We believe management will be focused on maximizing the Slipper's profitability and building a hotel at the property, but likely will not sit back and relax regarding its growth strategy," said Brean Murray Carret analyst Justin Sebastiano. Las Vegas Review-Journal (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Market Trends 
  • Report: Hotels could see added costs from Expedia's pay-later plan
    Hotels could lose about $20 million in yearly profits from guest stays using Expedia's new Traveler Preference Program, a report from Hotel Asset Value Enhancement says. The program allows guests to pay for their stays during check-out, which would burden hotels with credit card fees previously shouldered by Expedia and higher royalty fees based on gross revenue from the room sale, this feature says. "While the change in structure will not affect what the guest pays in rate, it will have a negative impact on U.S. hotel ownership to the tune of $500 million in real estate value unless concessions by Expedia, brands and managers occur," according to the report. Travel Weekly (10/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Concierge apps can point travelers only so many ways
    When Ritz-Carlton and InterContinental looked to develop their mobile concierge applications, they turned to their employees for insider tips. Though these apps offer personalized information, they cannot replace what a human concierge has to offer, says Allison Sitch, vice president of global public relations for Ritz-Carlton. CNN (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Spotlight on Technology 
  • Report: Pinpoint travelers' needs, habits for mobile success
    EyeforTravel's new Travel Consumer Report contains some eye-opening information that this writer says hoteliers need to consider when planning mobile strategies. Travelers from different countries use mobile websites and applications differently; some want restaurant reviews while others use devices as their boarding passes. 4Hoteliers (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Spa design should encompass local, nature elements, experts say
    Lisa Holt, director of design for DLS Hotels & Spas, says designers should incorporate elements from nature into spa designs in moderation in order to make sure contrasts exist. Meg Prendergast, principal at Gettys, offers another suggestion. "It's important that a hotel spa be reflective of a strong brand statement, or of the local area," she said. Hotel Management online (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

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  AH&LA News 
  • GSA freezes per diem rates at 2012 level
    In response to AH&LA's efforts, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced that it is freezing per diem rates at the FY2012 level and will not alter its market-based methodology in calculating federal rates. While not ideal, the rate freeze is a far less radical approach than other options under consideration. AH&LA will work with GSA to ensure per diem rates reflect the market and are good value to the federal government. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Information center provides wealth of resources
    AH&LA members have unlimited access to a full-service research center dedicated to assisting them with industry-related questions. The AH&LA Information Center maintains extensive working files on thousands of hospitality-related topics. Contact Research Manager Tamika Figgs at or 888-743-2515 with your member questions. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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There is nothing so agonizing to the fine skin of vanity as the application of a rough truth."
--Edward Bulwer-Lytton,
British politician, poet, playwright and novelist

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