Nobody Asked Me, But...A Laundromat Offers Hotels Ideas

1.  Are there any ideas utilized by the World's Largest Laundromat (Berwyn, Illinois) which are appropriate for a hotel lobby?

  • Saturday afternoon carnival with magicians, jugglers, face painters, even a unicyclist      
  • Santa Claus posing for pictures at Christmas
  • The Easter Bunny handing out chocolate in April
  • Cartoon characters on Halloween
  • On summer weekends, a read-athon raffle with bicycles for prizes
  • Free pizza on Wednesday nights
  • Free doughnuts and coffee every morning
  • Free table and magnet games for a children's play area
  • Live music, comedy nights and nightly disc jockeys

 

  • Diner-style booths near the vending machines serving not just candy and chips but White Castle hamburgers and other microwaveable meals
  • A children's play area open every day of the year

2.  For those of you who can face up to the harsh reality of the perishability of the hotel guestroom, here is a logical and workable solution (made possible by the Internet):

  • give customers the tools they need to make an informed decision on your website.
  • change your per room price hourly online during the day: increase it if occupancy is strong and reduce it if occupancy is weak.
  • customers can play the waiting game and take the chance that a) rates will increase as the day wears on, or b) rates will decrease and they can book a room at a bargain rate at the end of the day.

3.  New York City ended 2005 with an astounding 87% occupancy rate with 22 million room nights, an increase of one million over 2004.  This activity generated $21 billion in wages for 300,000 jobs and $5 billion in city, state and federal tax revenues, according to NYC & Company.

4.  After hotels have spent millions on upgrading mattresses and thread count on sheets, bathrooms are finally getting luxury treatment with bigger tubs and showers with enough nozzles to mimic a car-wash:

  • Gansevoort South on Miami Beach will have showers with multiple shower heads and six-foot-long tubs when it opens in the Fall
  • Sofitel in Los Angeles will have oversize showers surrounded by glass walls that change from clear to opaque with the flip of a switch
  • Rihga Royal Hotel in New York is renovating bathrooms to include all Waterworks bathtubs, fixtures and linens when the hotel reopens as the London NYC
  • Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale placed Philippe Starck- designed bathtubs in 21 of its 194 rooms - next to the bed behind a curtain
  • InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort in Panama has suite bathrooms with shutters that open to the rest of the room so guests can lounge in the tub and watch television
  • Shoreham in New York has new bathrooms with Vichy showers with five nozzles.Believe it or not, in the Bronx, NY house where I grew up many years ago, the master bathroom stall shower contained six side spray nozzles.  So what's new?

5.  Rules of Thumb

  • Checking an egg- when placed in a bowl of water, a fresh egg will sink and lie on its side.  An egg that's not fresh but still edible will sink and stand partially erect on its side tapered end.  A rotten egg will float
  • Adapting a novel for film- as a rule, the more you liked the novel, the less you will like the movie that is made from it
  • The trash rule of three- you have to look through a wastebasket three times to find a missing piece of paper
  • The traveling rule of two- when traveling, take twice the money and half the clothes you think you will need
  • Writing a book- to determine how long it will take to write a book, estimate how long it should take, double it and add six months.  This one I know first hand.  It took me nine years to write "Heroes of the American Reconstruction".  You can buy an autographed copy by sending a $36 check (which includes postage) to: 147-03 Jewel Avenue, Flushing, New York 11367.

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© Copyright 2005, Stan Turkel. 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.

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