Nobody Asked Me, But 14 Markets Have Lost Hotel Rooms
1. Can you believe that while industry data shows that recovery in the hotel industry remains solid, a dozen of the top 25 markets have lost hotel rooms last year? Some rooms have been taken off the market and converted into residential condominiums. Some older hotels have been renovated and converted into condo hotels in which individual units are sold separately as investments or second homes. Here are the markets that have lost the most capacity:
Year-To-Date Change* Aug. '04 - Aug. '05
- Oahu Island, Hawaii - 4.6%
- Orlando - 1.8
- San Francisco/ San Mateo - 1.5
- Miami/ Hialeah - 1.4
- Tampa/ St. Petersburg - 1.3
- Detroit - 0.8
- Phoenix - 0.8
- Anaheim/ Santa Ana - 0.5
- Los Angeles/ Long Beach - 0.5
- New York - 0.4
- Philadelphia - 0.4
- Seattle - 0.3
- Dallas - 0.2
- Denver - 0.2
* New York Times
2. Did you read about the demonstrations, organizing campaigns, grievances, picketing and lawsuits by franchisees of a major sub sandwich chain? Apparently, many Quiznos franchisees are fed up with the franchisors highly publicized "fast-growth" techniques which cause encroachment abuses and a decrease in franchise profitability. The turmoil has spread to franchisee websites like Quiznosucks.com which are trying to publicize the message that buying a Quiznos franchise is a bad idea.
3. Did you ever hear about the Safer Travel Directory ($17) published to help "chemically sensitive" guests find lodging in 40 states and 12 foreign countries? Some of these hotels are:·
- Natural Place, Deerfield Beach, Florida featuring suites with organic bedding and filtered water. Guests are asked to sign a "quality assurance" form promising not to use perfume, cologne or any scented make-up, lotions, soap, deodorant, hair spray, etc.·
- Crow Wing Crest Lodge, Akeley, Minnesota with a no-pet, no-smoking policy and home-made organic cleaning products and insect repellants. ·
- Arbor House, Madison, Wisconsin
Some of the hotels in the Safer Travel Directory use air and water-filtering devices offered by Ever Green Rooms and Green Suites International. Other hotels are creating wellness rooms and suites. For example, the Inns and Spa at Mills Falls, Meredith, New Hampshire created a wellness room which features a Nikken Kenko Sleep System, an air filtration system for allergen-free air and a Pi Mag water filtration system. The Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown has two wellness suites created in conjunction with the Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The suites offer the Nikken purified air system and filtered water system, hypoallergenic cotton towels and in-room pillow libraries featuring seven varieties of pillows. They also feature healthy mini bars, yoga kits and a selection of relaxing or invigorating music.
A recent study done by Cornell University's Survey Research Institute reveals most guests want a room specially treated to remove airborne allergens. A company called PURE advertises Allergy Friendly Rooms. They can be reached at pureroom.com.
4. At last, someone has figured out a way to provide better music in hotel guestrooms. In 2005, Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels & Resorts announced a partnership with XM Radio to provide a XM satellite radio service free-of-charge in guestrooms at Hyatt hotels across the United States. That means that guests will have more than 150 choices of commercial-free digital radio channels through custom-designed XM tabletop radios found in each guestroom.
5. Historic Hotels: The World's Fair Hotel at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893) was built and run by Dr. Herman Mudgett, alias H. H. Holmes. His hotel offered rooms at low rates with gas jets in many of these rooms that were controlled from Holmes's office. There were also airtight and soundproof chambers and a hidden chute from the second floor to the basement where a kiln capable of burning human bones was located. Holmes would kill anyone for pleasure but he was apparently most aroused by the murder of young children and women. Hundreds of people went missing during the exposition but Chicago, with one of the highest homicide rates in the U.S., hardly noticed. We will never know how many people fell victim to Holmes. When convicted and facing execution, he said "I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing.”
Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC, is a New York-based hotel consultant specializing in hotel franchising issues, asset management and litigation support services. He is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants and can be reached at [email protected] and 917-628-8549.