June 2010

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2010.

In addition to WH&LA’s Smoking Ban Guide for Lodging Properties sent to members a few weeks ago, there are new resources and interpretations now available from the state.

Latest State-Provided Resources
Each of the following resources can be viewed and/or downloaded from WH&LA’s Smoking Ban Resource page.

1. A new six-page “Wisconsin Legislative Council Information Memorandum – Smoking Ban” was written earlier this month and released this week. While it is not specific to lodging properties, it does reinforce and address a number of the components in the WH&LAs Guide.

2. “Clarification of the role of the Department of Commerce,” which is limited to rules on specifications for “No Smoking Signs,” is now posted at their Web site.

3. The Department of Health Services (DHS) was directed to provide information on smoke-free efforts, including resources encouraging employees and others to cease smoking in general. The following are the materials they are distributing in collaboration with Smoke-Free Wisconsin and other public health organizations:
-DHS Secretary’s letter
-flyers about the ban for employees
-strategies for employers to help employees wishing to quit smoking
-flyer advising customers about the statewide ban.

4. Basic no smoking symbol signage. This signage is without the enhanced language on WH&LA’s signage that includes actions that may be taken by the lodging property, like assessing fees for cleaning rooms where smoking has taken place.

WH&LA Resources
The following WH&LA resources on the Smoking Ban were previously released to lodging members and continue to be available for download from WH&LA’s Smoking Ban Resource page.

1. WH&LA Smoking Ban Guide for Lodging Properties, for properties that currently provide smoking sleeping rooms of any quantity

2. WH&LA Smoking Ban Guide for Smoke-Free Lodging Properties, with special information for properties that are already smoke-free

3. WH&LA Suggested Signage, available in full-page, half-page and quarter-page sizes

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Click on the image above for more information from the AH&LA Educational Institute.

Need help with your AH&LA ID Number or not sure if you’re an AH&LA Member? Contact Denise in the WH&LA office for assistance.

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There is a possible federal bill that would remove the obligation for Online Travel Companies (OTCs) to collect or pay taxes on the sales of sleeping rooms. Pressure from the OTCs is mounting to remove their liability in lawsuits being filed by cities and CVBs to require the OTCs to pay tax on the amount they pay to lodging properties and on the amount they charge the consumer for the sale of the room/unit.

There may be a vote today in the Senate on a bill that will include this draft, and we need your help in contacting our two Senators to ask them to sign on to a letter from one of their counterparts, which is available here.

Ask Senator Kohl and Senator Feingold to contact Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to sign on to the letter, to allow for more complete review of what special tax exemption the OTCs are trying to authorize and what impact this will have on tax-paying lodging properties.

Please take a moment to help!

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…but, if you’re like me, there are times Google just doesn’t understand what you’re looking for – OR – gives you way too many search results to sort through!

When you have questions about running your Wisconsin lodging property, head first to the Lodging Resource Guide (formerly the Innkeepers’ Resource Guide).

Available to all WH&LA members for download off the members’ site, the updated Guide contains more than 20 pages of answers, information, links, download-able checklists, WI codes & statutes and more…

What you’ll find inside the updated Guide:

  • Federal & State lodging and meal per diem rates
  • How the State addresses guest room maximum capacities
  • Links to the latest Smoking Ban resources & signage
  • Guest registration requirements
  • Sample job descriptions & wage comparison tools
  • & much more!

Your User ID & Password are required to access the Guide (located in the Member Resources/ Info Center). Please contact the WH&LA office for assistance if needed.

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Occupancy was up in Wisconsin in May 2010 compared to May 2009 and all market areas saw an increase in occupancy, with the largest increase in Appleton-Oshkosh MSA. ADR was down slightly statewide compared to May 2009, with the largest increase in Janesville/Racine and Wausau/Stevens Point. To view Smith Travel Data for your region for May 2010, click here. (password protected – e-mail Michelle in the WH&LA Office if you need help logging in)

Data is provided by Smith Travel Research, an independent research firm founded in 1985. Smith Travel offers WH&LA members discounts on various STR reports and products. For more information, visit strglobal.com.

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It’s time to start planning for the 2011 Wisconsin Lodging Directory!

We have some great changes this year, including lower prices, free Facebook and Twitter updates and even a highlight in one of our blog articles! Of course we will be continuing the online “Flash” version of the directory as well. (See the 2010 flash version here.)

Download the 2011 Lodging Directory Rate Card here, or reserve your space online.

Suburban Properties: Want a second listing under another city? New this year, you can order one for an extra $199 ($399 with photo).

Full color ads start at just $899 and color photos with your text listing are only $275. Guaranteed print circulation of at least 200,000 throughout Wisconsin, northern Illinois & Minnesota.

For more information, please contact Bill in the WH&LA office today!

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It’s time for our next seasonal “WisconsINN Getaways” email blast!

For only $50 your property’s promotion will go out to over 4,000 email subscribers. We will also promote the program on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, PLUS we will be purchasing targeted Facebook ads to drive more traffic!

Get signed up for the promotion by clicking here.

The deadline to register is TODAY and the email blast will go out to the full subscriber list on Tuesday, June 22nd. Questions? Please contact Bill in the WH&LA office today.

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Direct from the AH&LA Web site:

Your Website: Drive Traffic, Drive Profits in an OTC World
Wednesday, June 30
2:00-3:30 p.m. (EDT) [1:00-2:30 CDT]

As Internet booking becomes more dominant in obtaining reservations, learn how to drive more traffic directly to your Website and realize more revenue – without relying on online travel companies (OTC).

You’ll hear from Capitol Hill insider Shawn McBurney, AH&LA senior vice president of governmental affairs, about how legislation under consideration by Congress may place you in jeopardy of massive tax increases for reservations not made directly through your site. This online booking tax issue is heating up, so learn how to put measures in place that will protect your bottom line now and in the future, whatever may happen.

Consider the second part of this Webinar your e-marketing strategy session.  Presented by TIG Global, leaders in online marketing, Brian Fitzgerald, director of SEO and social media, and Rob Mulcahy, search engine marketing manager, will discuss best practices for reducing reliance on third-party intermediaries (TPIs) and driving revenue direct to your Website, including:

Rate Parity: The importance of ensuring your lowest rate is as low as the OTC.

Search Engine Optimization: The value of making yourself visible to the search engines and the tactics to achieve success in ranking above OTCs.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Essential items to include in your PPC ad copy and the significance of each element.

Local Search:  How to capture more search result real estate by optimizing Local Search.

You’ll also hear a case study from a hotel that has successfully been able to implement these elements to create a seamless experience for the online traveler.

Cost: $49 for AH&LA members; $99 for nonmembers

Registration

Click here to register online.  Once your registration is processed, you will receive an email with instructions on how to obtain your personalized participation login for the Webinar from TIG Global.  Be sure to complete all the required fields in order to receive the link to access the Webinar.

If you prefer to download this form and fax it in to the number provided, you will also receive an instructional email once your registration is processed.

Cancellation Policy: A full refund will be issued for your registration fee only if written notice of cancellation is received five (5) business days prior to the date of the webinar session.  No refunds will be issued for cancellation requests received less than five (5) business days prior to the date of the program.  Substitution of registrants are permitted.

Please direct any questions to Tara Allen at tallen@ahla.com or (202) 289-3171.

Need help with your AH&LA member ID, or not sure if you’re an AH&LA member? Please contact Denise in the WH&LA office at service@wisconsinlodging.org or (262)782-2851.

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Click on the image above for more information from the AH&LA Educational Institute.

Need help with your AH&LA ID Number or not sure if you’re an AH&LA Member? Contact Denise in the WH&LA office for assistance.

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The web is talking about WH&LA members…

Midwest Living lists their pick of 17 Fabulous One-Stop Weekend Escapes here. Four of the 17 are here in Wisconsin – the most from any of the ten states on the list!

  1. Canoe Bay, Chetek
  2. Delafield Hotel, Delafield
  3. Old Rittenhouse Inn, Bayfield
  4. Sundara Inn & Spa, Wisconsin Dells

Also making headlines as a “Mountain Hideaway Right in the Midwest”, is the Percheron Paradise Romantic Hideaway near La Crosse.

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