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October 15, 2012News for hotel and lodging professionals

  Front Desk 
  • Best Western unveils extended-stay prototype
    Best Western International has revealed details of its upcoming extended-stay product. The concept involves a three-to-four-story building that would fall into Best Western's Plus or Premier tiers and comprise 85 rooms measuring as much as 500 square feet. Developers have the choice of designing 20% or more of such a structure's rooms as extended-stay. (10/12), (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Business Update 
  • Ryman Hospitality will target group-oriented hotels for growth
    Ryman Hospitality Properties plans to expand its portfolio as a newly formed real-estate investment trust through acquisitions of hotels that focus on the group segment, says Mark Fioravanti, the company's executive vice president and chief financial officer. The company's experience in the group and meetings segment will be a benefit in managing group-oriented hotels, Fioravanti says. "Our management team, being a management team that built the Gaylord Hotels brand and spent the last 11 years in the meetings business [segment], have a deep understanding of what the meetings segment's needs are," he said. (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Market Trends 
  • Guest expectations are likely to drive more in-room safes
    The market for room safes at hotels in the U.S. is expected to expand as international travel traffic continues to surge along with guests who carry electronic devices. "In the U.S. there's still a very high percentage of guestrooms that don't have safes," said John Foley, a sales vice president at Safemark Systems. (10/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Add-on fees in the travel industry continue to spread
    Hotels, cruise lines and car-rental companies are increasingly exploring the potential revenue gains from unbundled service fees, this feature says. In the hotel industry, paid in-room Internet services are gaining wider acceptance. "I don't foresee it changing. I think that if, in the marketplace, if the hotel thinks the customer will pay for it, they will continue to do it," said Joe McInerney, president and CEO of AH&LA. USA TODAY (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Asia-Pacific hotel market is thriving in slow economy
    Despite a sluggish economy, Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide, says the Asia-Pacific market still offers growth potential. He joined other executives at the 23rd annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific to discuss the future of the market. Jim Abrahamson, CEO of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, said the region was largely dominated by five-star accommodations, but would shift toward more four-star establishments. (10/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotels teach mixology arts ahead of holiday season
    Mixology courses at the Riviera Maya in Mexico, the Hotel Bel-Air in California and the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago teach guests how to put together delicious cocktails as the holidays approach. At the Riviera Maya, guests can learn how to make drinks with fresh fruits and vegetables. The Radisson Blu Aqua offers classes on how to prepare classic cocktails. HotelChatter (10/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  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.
  Best Practices 
  • Hotel experts weigh in on link between rates and online ranking
    Hotel operators and other experts give mixed views on whether high rankings on TripAdvisor are an indicator of underpricing, according to a sampling of responses gathered by consultant Daniel Edward Craig. "I don't think that price is an issue, but rather perceived value for money. In other words, people will happily pay a high rate if they believe that the service/accommodation/etc. warrants it," said Barbara Pezzi of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. 4Hoteliers (10/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Westin New York Grand Central opens after $75M renovation
    The former New York Helmsley Hotel in Manhattan, N.Y., has reopened as the Westin New York Grand Central after undergoing renovations worth $75 million. The upgrade involved a redesign of the property's 774 rooms, fitness studio and meeting space. TravelPulse (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 3 companies submit casino applications for Springfield, Mass.
    MGM International, Ameristar Casinos and Penn National Gaming have submitted applications for a casino license in Springfield, Mass., meeting the Thursday deadline set by city officials. On the same day, Penn National disclosed details of its proposed $807 million gaming facility in the city. The company's plan calls for construction of a 300,000-square-foot casino and hotel, which would house up to 3,500 slot machines and about 100 table games. The Boston Globe/The Associated Press (tiered subscription model) (10/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  AH&LA News 
  • Professional certification for every facet of hospitality‚Ä®
    Widely recognized as the leader in hospitality certification, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute supports and encourages the certification of hospitality professionals at every level of their career. To explore the range of professional certifications available, call 888-575-8726 or visit LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Get new supervisors up to speed
    Supervisory skills can help employees move quickly up the ladder to career success. The newly published fifth edition of Supervision in the Hospitality Industry (Ninemeier/Kavanaugh) available from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, includes access to additional online learning for key supervisory skills. For more information, visit LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."
--Galileo Galilei,
Italian astronomer, philosopher and physicist

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