March 2009

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hotel-websiteWhat makes a great hotel web site?  According to this article, it comes down to:

  1. An easy-to-use “booking widget on every page”
  2. “Lots of big, bold, beautiful pictures”

The article goes on to caution properties to be judicious in their use of photos to show your property in it’s truest sense by sharing lots of photos of a variety of room types (not just the best). In addition, include images that depict your property’s atmosphere & personality.  Finally, make it easy for travelers to book their reservations through the use of “Book Now” buttons on every page.

Okay, check & check, your property’s site has both of these, what else? Read the rest of this entry »


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WIA is pleased to share the following from Strategic Marketing Partner- FOCUS ON ENERGY:

Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, announced new staffing grants today to help businesses, manufacturers, farms, schools and government facilities throughout the state complete energy efficiency projects.
“Businesses don’t need to let staffing issues become a barrier to energy savings,” said Ken Williams, Focus on Energy’s Business Programs director. “Focus on Energy is committed to helping companies overcome barriers that prevent them from completing energy efficiency projects.” Read the rest of this entry »


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Rudner Law Offices is offering a no-cost educational audioconference exclusively for hotel, resort and conference center salespeople. During the first portion of the program, they will present educational content addressing a timely issue of concern to salespeople, and then will answer questions on any subject regarding group sales contracts, which have been submitted in advance by conference participants.
Group Sales Contracts: All the Questions You Ever Wanted Answered
March 26, at 4 PM Eastern

Please send an email to no later than 48 hours prior to the seminar. Identify the name and email address of each person who will join in on the call (salespeople at the same location must listen together by speaker phone), and the property at which each participant is currently employed. If you have a question which you want to have anonymously addressed during the seminar on ANY subject regarding group sales contracts, please submit that question at the time of your registration.
The day before the seminar you will be sent an email which will provide the toll-free telephone number for you to call in on to join the seminar, as well as a required code number you will need to join the seminar

Please submit any question you have, on any topic relating to group sales contracts, with your registration.
Topics sure to be addressed include food and beverage minimums, indemnification issues, lowest rate guarantees, rebooking clauses, multiple year agreements, attrition and cancellation issues, “exclusive remedy” clauses, “limitation of liability” clauses and many others. .
There is no charge for participation in the audioconference.

WIA does not endorse Rudner Law Offices, nor will they be held responsible for content of the audio conference.  WIA only offers this information as a courtesy to our members.


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good-times-ahead-by-punki:)The 2009 Hunter Investment Conference wrapped up Tuesday, March 17th and this article details a shift in attitudes seen among attendees.

Here are some quotes from the article:

  • “We will get through this [downturn].  This is a profitable industry and it is a growth industry globally.  It will be hard to keep us down.”  Jim Anhut – InterContinental Hotel Group
  • “You have to remain vigilant because there will be great opportunity presenting itself to you and you have to be ready.”  Nancy Johnson – Carlson Hotels Worldwide
  • “…yes, we have issues, but the sky is not falling and is unlikely to fall. We have been through times of dramatic change and the hotel business has never gone back to where it was before. When we come out of this it’ll be a different normal. But that’s OK. We will always be adapting to the future with new products, markets and ways to attract and manage customers and business.”   Peggy Berg – The Highland Group

Also, Jan Freitag of Smith Travel Research “cautioned against discounting” saying “Discounting not only hurts in the moment but hurts for a very long time afterward.  Think about what you are saying to a customer on what a room is worth.”

What do you think?  Are you optimistic about the opportunities the economy has presented?


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us_capitolWIA members are in Washington DC this week along with hoteliers from throughout the country as part of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Legislative Action Summit.   With a visit to the White House yesterday afternoon and scheduled visits with Wisconsin representatives later today, WIA members will be sharing how issues such as Card Check, the importance of business travel, VGBA and US Travel & Tourism promotion funding impact Wisconsin’s lodging industry.

The WIA works to protect members’ business interests by tracking, actively supporting favorable and educating lawmakers on potentially harmful  industry legislation.  To learn more about WIA’s positions, hot issues tracker & how you can participate in protecting Wisconsin’s lodging industry, visit the WIA Legislative Center(You’ll need your member username & password for full access to information – please contact the WIA office if you need assistance.)


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ei-training-videoWIA & AHLA members can save with this limited time offer from the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Educational Institute (EI) on their Sales Tactics in a Tough Economy video & workbook:

“We’ve gathered first-hand, up-to-date advice from sales professionals at hotel properties. The one goal they all have in common- providing sales personnel and staff with key insights, strategies, and tactics.

This video and workbook provides discussion questions and activities that allow brainstorming methods for implementing tactics individually or as a team. Learn the key to surviving this tough economy.”

(Please contact the WIA office for assistance with your AHLA member number.)

There are a number of resources around the web relating to selling in today’s economy and I just stumbled across this Sales & Marketing Audit for 2009.  Are there others out there that you’ve found?


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googlemapcorrectionsDoes your Wisconsin lodging property show up in the wrong place on Google Maps?  You can change the location!  This Google Maps link walks you through how to edit the location, details (name, address, phone, website, etc), remove or add a place.

This Google Maps link walks you through how to correct the maps marker for your business if you are the business owner.

While you’re at it, be sure to check out your property listing at – do you have a recent photo, text description, contact information & all your amenities listed?  If corrections are needed, please contact Michelle or Joe in the WIA office.


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golf-wi-weekendGolf Wisconsin Weekend
We’re once again working with the Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin (GCOW) and the Dept of Tourism to promote Golf Wisconsin Weekend.  If you’re interested in signing up your property to participate this year, simply complete and return the participation form to the WIA office by April 3rd.  There is no cost for WIA lodging members to participate in this promotion.

WI ADR/ Occupancy Data Just Released
Also, WIA lodging property members should have received the latest occupancy and ADR data available from Smith Travel Research in yesterday’s INNsider e-newsletter.  If you didn’t see it, simply login to the members’ site and download it from the Info Center under the Members’ Resources tab.  (For help with your user name & password, please contact the WIA office.)


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You’ve found the new lodging industry blog from the Wisconsin Innkeepers Association (WIA)!  Be sure to check back often as we share industry news and insights for Wisconsin’s lodging owners, managers and staff.

WIA in the media!
Just out, the searchable traveler site is featured in the spring issue of Fetch magazine – Going to the Dogs: Pet-Friendly Vacations in Wisconsin. Also highlighted in the article are our members: the Stewart Inn in Wausau and the Edgewater Hotel in Madison.

Does your Wisconsin property cater to pets and their people also?  Leave us a comment below and tell us all about it!

Again, welcome to our new blog!

(While your comments are welcomed, please remember that this page is accessible to the public and the media.)


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