July 2010

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2010.

Is your property in need of some targeted, early fall exposure? Check out two new low-cost marketing opportunities available through WH&LA.

Waukesha County/Lake Country Fall Fun Guide Co-op
Reach more than 39,000 households throughout Waukesha County, including: Brookfield, Elm Grove, Lake Country, Oconomowoc and Waukesha. The median household income in this target area is $72,000 with a median age of 38. This co-op opportunity is similar to other WH&LA co-ops like MPI and Midwest Outdoor, which includes a photo, up to 45 words of text and full contact information for your property. This is a glossy, 4 color special section insert into four different community newspapers throughout Waukesha County – Brookfield-Elm Grove Monthly, Oconomowoc Enterprise, Waukesha Freeman & Lake Country Post. The cost is $170. Download the sign-up form here. DEADLINE FOR SIGN-UP IS MONDAY, AUGUST 2.

WRMN 1410 Chicago’s Radio Travel Show Trade Out
WH&LA has organized a special campaign withthe Radio Travel Show on WRMN1410AM radio in the Chicago market to advertise September as “Wisconsin Getaway Month.” Your property will be promoted during this campaign by making a trade out with the station – it’s as simple as this: you trade room nights for radio commercials.

The radio station will provide you with advertising credits based on the number of rooms traded, based on your highest rack rate. Each 60 second radio spot is valued at $80. If your property trades 10 gift certificates valued at $160 each, you would receive a $1,600 credit – which is 20 radio spots! WH&LA will also get to run general ads to drive traffic to wisconsinlodging.org based on of the total number of room night trades from participants. Bonus: You will receive a free on-air interview during the Radio Travel Show if you trade 8 certificates or more! Online sign up form and additional details on this program can be found here.

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While the Virginia Graeme Baker Act (VGBA) went into effect in December 2008, interpretations of the law seem to still be unsettled.

As of July 1, 2010, state and local health inspectors inspecting pools around the state are now requiring that each licensed pool must be in compliance with the VGBA by showing paperwork documenting the state Department of Commerce has approved the pool’s compliance or that the pool is documented as applying for Plan Review for the changes needed.

In contrast, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) inspectors show no mercy for pools not currently in full compliance. They do not hesitate to shut down any pool and impose penalties, regardless if a property is part way into the Plan Review process or has done nothing. A pool is considered either compliant and open or non-compliant and closed.

More information about the controversy and potential exemptions for small properties can be found here by clicking the July 27 link. (This page is password protected for WH&LA lodging members only. If you forgot your password, contact Michelle in the WH&LA office. To inquire about WH&LA membership, contact Bill in the WH&LA office by e-mail or call 262/782-2851.)

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July 13 was the deadline for candidates to register to run for state office or for current officials to declare they will not run for re-election. There are candidates running for offices that can directly impact how business operates in the lodging industry.

To help lodging property owners and operators make the most informed election decisions, WH&LA has compiled several resources, including: rosters of candidates for state Senate, state Assembly, Governor & administrative offices, US Senate, and US House Representatives; and tips to help secure a time to meet and speak with candidates; lodging industry-related questions for candidates to determine their stances on issues important to the industry and your business.

The full set of resources can be viewed here, by clicking the July 20 link. (This page is password protected for WH&LA lodging members only. If you forgot your password, contact Michelle in the WH&LA office. To inquire about WH&LA membership, contact Bill in the WH&LA office by e-mail or call 262/782-2851.)

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Occupancy was up in Wisconsin in June 2010 compared to June 2009 and all market areas saw an increase in occupancy, with the largest increase in Eau Claire/Menomonie. ADR was down slightly statewide compared to June 2009, with the largest increase in LaCrosse.

To view Smith Travel Data for your region for June 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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EPA Region 4 and ENERGY STAR ®  Present a FREE Webinar Series for Hospitality: Best Practices for Hotel Energy Management

Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Time: 11:00 am, CDT
Length: 1 hour 30 minutes
Description:
Learn about energy management strategies for the lodging industry, including best practices for operations, maintenance, and housekeeping; lighting upgrades and controls; the procurement of ENERGY STAR products; developing a highly efficient HVAC system; and more. Guest speakers will share the best practices that they have used to drive down energy consumption and costs.

After attending this session, you will be able to…
•    Identify and implement a number of low-cost opportunities to improve the energy performance of your hotel
•    Understand how a staged approach to energy improvements can be used to leverage early savings into more comprehensive measures

Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Time: 11:00 am, CDT
Length: 1 hour 30 minutes
Description:
Designing a green program for your hotel is just the first step in developing an environmentally-friendly property. After that, you must bring your owners, senior management, and staff on board, and communicate your achievements to your guests and potential customers.

Join us as we discuss new ideas to engage staff and guests in your green efforts. Learn how to develop a communications plan that demonstrates your hotel’s environmental commitment – helping to heighten public awareness and gain market share. Hear from your peers who are communicating their successful green efforts to internal and external audiences, and learn about helpful resources, including ENERGY STAR.

Click on each of the dates to register. The WH&LA does not endorse these seminars, materials, or information, and will not be held accountable for any such representations. The information above is simply provided as a courtesy to our members.

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From Focus on Energy:

Building Operator Certification (BOC©) is a hands-on training and certification program offering building operators, managers, and consultants an in-depth look at the best ways to manage a facility, from the latest technologies to tips, techniques, and best practices.

Attendees earn certification by attending a series of training sessions and completing project assignments at their facilities. BOC certification enables recipients to distinguish themselves to employers through improved job skills and a commitment to their profession.

BOC participants save an average of $12,000 per facility, per year, and more than 90 percent of participants and their supervisors say that BOC training has improved comfort, saved energy, or saved money in their facilities!

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Increase the safety, comfort, and air quality of their facilities
  • Reduce energy costs and unscheduled maintenance
  • Improve customer service to building occupants
  • Comply with environmental regulations in a timely manner

Industries which benefit from Building Operator Certification include the hospitality industry, property management, retail and more.  Classes meet in Brookfield over 8 days from September 15- December 15.  To learn more, see the Focus on Energy certification page here.
The WH&LA does not endorse these seminars, materials, or information, and will not be held accountable for any such representations. The information above is simply provided as a courtesy to our members.

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Direct from the AH&LA Web site:

Labor Department Targeting Hotels for Audits: Be Prepared
Wednesday, July 28
2:00-3:30 p.m. (EDT) [1:00-2:30 CDT]

Free for AH&LA members, $99 for non-members

Newly enacted regulatory strategies by the federal government are targeting hotels and their employees, which could lead to increased federal enforcement actions, class and collective action lawsuits, and union organizing should the industry not live up to these new standards.

Learn how to comply and make sense of the recently-announced “Plan/Prevent/Protect” regulatory and enforcement initiatives by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) during this practical Webinar.   Topics include new challenges and best practices around:

  • How your property will be impacted by increased enforcement
  • H-2B seasonal visa holders
  • Safety and health initiatives, including ergonomics
  • OFCCP audits
  • Wage and hour investigations, including exempt status and independent contractor classification

Presented by national law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, P.C., you’ll hear from a panel of labor attorneys who work with AH&LA members on an ongoing basis and can answer your toughest questions.

To protect your property and your employees, you need to know and play by the rules.

Register online or by downloading this form.  Please direct any questions to Tara Allen at tallen@ahla.com or (202) 289-3171.

This Webinar is free for AH&LA members and $99 for nonmembers.  To learn more about membership, click here.

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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Publication 216, Filing Claims For Refund of Sales and Use Taxes, has been revised and is available for download here.

“This publication explains who may file a claim for refund of Wisconsin state, county, and stadium sales or use tax. It also includes information relating to forms, time limitations for filing, interest and penalties.”

For more information on sales and use tax for Hotels, Motels and Other Lodging Providers, please see the Dept of Revenue’s Publication 219, available here.

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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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On Friday, the state Department of Justice released an “Advisory Memorandum” on the new state of Wisconsin Smoking Ban, which went into effect yesterday, July 5.

While a number of components in this 9-page document are already covered in WH&LA’s Smoking Ban Guide for Lodging Properties, there are a few points with more guidance than we have previously found from the state. To read more, visit the WH&LA Legislative Archive and click the July 6 link to the full text of this Legislative Brief (password required).

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