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August 24, 2009News for hotel and lodging professionals

  Front Desk 
  • Luxury hotels in Las Vegas lure guests with ultra-low rates
    Consumers are reaping the benefits of a price war among luxury hotels in Las Vegas, finding deep discounts on four- and five-star properties. However, a recent survey of hotel revenue managers by Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration found that price wars lead their list of concerns. "There's nothing wrong with offering selected discounts, but hotels shouldn't give them away to everybody because their occupancy will still be down," said Sheryl Kimes, a hotel school professor who conducted the research. "With fewer people traveling, everyone is fighting for a smaller pie." Las Vegas Sun (8/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Today's travel shopper is looking for the "best price" option – the one that promises the best experience. VFM Leonardo invites you to attend The Five Pillars of Success in Travel eBusiness. Learn how to engage the "content sensitive" travel shopper in the online travel planning process.
  Business Update 
  • Atlantic City Hilton Casino misses July mortgage payment
    The Hilton Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., has defaulted on its mortgage, according to a financial statement filed with state regulators. The company attributed its failure to make a July payment to the "severe impact of the current economic conditions." Hilton Casino will continue to operate and is negotiating with its lender to modify the terms of the mortgage, officials said. Forbes/The Associated Press (8/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • From the oldest to the tallest, these hotels rise above the rest has put out a list for travelers interested in staying at hotels that can claim to be No. 1 -- at something. Dubai's Burj Al Arab, for instance, holds the title for being the world's tallest hotel, while the Hoshi Ryokan in Komatsu, Japan, is the world's oldest, having been in operation for 1,300 years. MSNBC/Reuters (8/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Trends 
  • Hawaii occupancy dips to 66%
    The hotel occupancy rate in Hawaii declined 7.8% to an average of 66% for the first half of the year, the lowest rate recorded in the state since Hospitality Advisors began its survey in 1987. Revenues declined 21.8%, compared with the same period a year ago, to $1.2 billion, as the statewide average daily rate decreased 12.6% to $181. American City Business Journals/Honolulu (8/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Marriott Kansas City completes $9M renovation
    A $9 million renovation project at the Marriott Kansas City Country Club Plaza Hotel has been completed. Upgrades to the hotel include renovated guestrooms, meeting space and public areas, and the lobby has been divided into four zones to accommodate guests with different needs: the welcome zone, the individual zone, the social zone and the business zone. (8/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Caribbean hotels struggle amid economic woes
    Caribbean hotels saw their profits decline by an average of 16% in 2008, with additional declines forecast for 2009, according to a report by PKF Hospitality Research. The region has seen a 4% drop in visitors, despite efforts to lure guests with discounts and special packages. As many as 50 planned construction projects will most likely face delays, the report finds, as developers are having trouble obtaining financing from skittish lenders. USA TODAY/The Associated Press (8/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by AH&LA SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Sponsored Content 

  Best Practices 
  • Hotels use upscale amenities for children to lure families
    As hotels across the U.S. grapple with depressed occupancy rates, they are discovering the rewards of catering to children. "Hotels are trying to maximize their business, and since they have been doing well with the family market, they're trying to capture more of it," said Joe McInerney, president of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Hotels are offering child-focused amenities such as magicians in the lobby, child-size slippers and bathrobes, and Nintendo Wii game systems. The Boston Globe (free registration) (8/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lead by giving employees a reason to follow
    Managers need to give employees a reason to follow them when they present their vision for success. Employees want to know why they should follow their manager and if their manager will lead them in the right direction. Some tips for helping employees believe in your leadership include focusing on what must happen to ensure success and tackling adversity head on to produce opportunities. Bloomberg Businessweek (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AH&LA News 
  • New in the blogosphere
    With pending legislation, a challenging economy, and worldwide events, AH&LA President and CEO Joe McInerney and Executive Vice President for Public Policy Marlene Colucci have a lot to say. Read candid accounts of their travels to Capitol Hill and across the country, advocating for and supporting the hospitality industry. Visit to read their blogs. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Generate more group business
    AH&LA members receive an exclusive 20% savings on Web site advertising with Generate group business through this global distribution channel accessed daily by 500 top meeting professionals and work directly with decision makers when they're shopping. For information on listings, hot deal postings, Web site and eBlast advertising, click here or contact Katherine Markham, CHME, at (301) 975-9462 or LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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