January 2011

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2011.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is a leader in providing updates on federal-level issues to our joint members. WH&LA has a condensed summary of each of the following key federal issues: Form 1099 requirements, Health Care Law repeal update, a change in the federal Estate Tax, CPSC prohibition of drop-side cribs, changes in congressional seats after 2010 Census redistricting and ADA regulation changes that may affect your lodging property – featuring a helpful AH&LA Webinar.

The full text with links of the Capitol Insider e-mail is available here by clicking on the January 10, 2011 link. Please note that Capitol Insider e-mails are for WH&LA lodging members only and you will need your user ID and password to access the above link. Need help logging in? Contact Michelle in the WH&LA office via e-mail or call 262/782-2851.

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An entire year worth of electronic and print advertising opportunities is now available from WH&LA! Maybe your property has found success with co-op ads or you’re looking to try something new like Featured Properties, we’ve got all the details below.

Got questions? Contact Bill via e-mail or call 262/782-2851.

Featured Properties: Every month we feature up to 9 different properties at wisconsinlodging.org. The cost is $90-$115 per month depending on positioning. Take a look at this month’s Featured Properties, or download the 2011 Featured Property Reservation Form.

WisconsInn Getaways Email Blast: Every month we send an email blast out to more than 5,500 subscribers who are looking for getaway deals around the state. Participation is limited to approximately 10 properties per month. View a sample or download the 2011 Email Blast Reservation Form.

View a short video explaining WH&LA electronic marketing in more detail.

Digital and Print Co-op Advertising: WH&LA has secured cooperative advertising placements – including an expanded digital billboard campaign with locations across the state. Print publications include target audiences in meetings business, bus groups and leisure niches. Discounts are available for larger orders – download the 2011 Co-op Advertising Guide for complete details and order form.

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New Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been sworn into office, with a full slate of ideas, including many that will impact the lodging industry. His primary theme is “Wisconsin is Open for Business,” with a commitment to add 250,000 jobs by 2015. He has called for a “Special Session on Jobs” in the State Legislature with a number of proposed reforms, and a goal to have the reforms passed by the end of February, an aggressive plan.

On December 30, Governor-Elect Walker announced his new Cabinet Officials (Department Leaders), with our new Secretary of Tourism, Stephanie Klett, host of Discover Wisconsin TV/radio series & Managing Director of Discover Wisconsin Media Network.

Read the entire WH&LA Capitol Insider here, by clicking on the January 3, 2011 link. This page is protected for lodging members only – email Michelle in the WH&LA office if you need help accessing your login information.

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From the Wall Street Journal:

Hotel guests have left all manner of personal items behind in guest rooms—pillows, false teeth, chocolate-covered ants, a book on how to improve your memory.

But nothing compares with mobile-device chargers. The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, British Columbia, has acquired about 300 of them. In California, the Fairmont San Jose is left with about 250 chargers a year. Maids at the Fairmont St. Andrews in Scotland find as many as 35 a month still plugged into wall outlets.

Why chargers? For starters, they are dark-colored and affixed to out-of-the-way outlets. “You plug it in at night and in the morning you just forget it,” says Joe McInerney, chief executive officer of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, who has lost a half dozen chargers himself.

Hoteliers say they could alert guests to a left-behind item, but don’t for reasons including privacy: A guest may not want his significant other to know about a stay, says David McCurtain, general manager at the Sands Inn & Suites in San Luis Obispo, Calif. “Also, the sheer volume of all lost and found on a daily basis would require too much time and effort,” Mr. McCurtain adds. “And these days a lot of reservations come through Expedia, Orbitz, etc., which give us neither address nor phone number.”

Read the entire Wall Street Journal article here.

What was the weirdest item a guest has left behind at your property? How many electronic device chargers are left each month? Have you found anything that’s left behind as often as chargers? Tells us in the comments!

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From the Los Angeles Times:

A comfy mattress and a hot breakfast are still important to hotel guests, but free wireless Internet access is the most desired amenity, according to a new survey of 53,000 travelers.

The survey by J.D. Power & Associates found that free Wi-Fi was the most important for guests in nearly every segment of the hotel industry, from luxury hotels to budget lodging.

Of guests staying at mid-scale hotels, 96% said they got free Wi-Fi, as did 64% of guests at budget hotels, according to the survey of guests who stayed in hotels from May 2009 to June 2010. None who stayed in luxury hotels said they got free wireless Internet.

Hotels are likely to feel more pressure to offer the service free of charge, said Stuart Greif, vice president and general manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power. He noted that travelers can now get free Wi-Fi from many businesses, including Starbucks coffee shops and McDonald’s restaurants.

The entire article from the Los Angeles Times is available here.

If your property offers wireless or wired Internet access (free or pay-per-use), make sure you’re using the High Speed Internet amenity icon on your property’s listing page at wisconsinlodging.org. To add the icon to your listing page, email Michelle in the WH&LA office.

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Effective October 1, 2009, Wisconsin sales and use tax law was changed to impose tax on a retailer’s purchases of items that it provides free of charge to its customers with the required purchase of another item.

This article from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue provides examples to illustrate how Wisconsin sales and use taxes apply to various promotions.

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WH&LA would like to congratulate the following properties for their recent employee achievements:

Matt Drusch, Director of Sales & Marketing at the Brookfield Suites Hotel & Convention Center, recently received his Certified Hospitality Sales Professional designation.

Charles Kaiser, owner of the Americas Best Value Inn-Campus View, Eau Claire, received a “New Member Development” award in Americas Best Value Inn “Best of the Best” awards program, which is awarded to an owner or GM who has been instrumental in growing the ABVI brand and provided extraordinary support to the ABVI team.

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The American Hotel & Lodging Association and Department of Homeland Security have compiled a list of materials to encourage and educate lodging employees to recognize, report, and react to suspicious and crisis situations that occur on property. The second and third videos require an AH&LA log in for AH&LA members. If you need assistance locating your AH&LA ID and password contact AH&LA via e-mail or call (800) 252-2462.

The No Reservations: Suspicious Behavior in Hotels video is designed to provide information to help hotel employees identify and report suspicious activities and threats in a timely manner. The video is approximately 10 minutes in length and intended for use by all hotel employees.

The Protective Measures Guide for the U.S. Lodging Industry provides an overview of threat, vulnerability, and protective measures designed to assist hotel owners and operators in planning and managing security at their facilities.

The Hotel Threat Assessment document specifically helps hoteliers plan and manage security at their facilities.

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The Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association has been recognized by the International Society of Hotel Association Executives (ISHAE) in its 2010 Awards of Excellence program in the categories of Communications and Public Relations. The awards were presented at the ISHAE Winter Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association (WH&LA) Award of Excellence for Communications was for their “ Smoking Ban Guide for Wisconsin Lodging Properties”, providing important and timely guidance to lodging properties in implementing the new statewide smoking ban that went into effect July 5.  The Public Relations Award bestowed upon WH&LA was for their online 2011 Wisconsin Lodging Directory Cover Contest, attracting thousands of visitors to their www.WisconsinLodging.org website to vote to select the new cover and qualify for a getaway weekend prize, while also experiencing the valuable searchable lodging functions at the site.

Other state associations recognized for their efforts in 2010 include the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association, Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association, Rhode Island Hospitality Association, California Hotel & Lodging Association, Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association, Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association and Michigan Hotel & Lodging Association.

“ISHAE is pleased to recognize these ten award winners,” stated Christina Pappas, executive director of ISHAE. “The dual award winning associations in Ohio and Wisconsin deserve special acknowledgement for their level of excellent programming in this past year.”

ISHAE presents the annual Awards of Excellence for the best lodging association programs and services, and are widely recognized as the “best of the best” within the hotel and lodging association industry representing innovation and creativity that has brought tangible results to the association and its members.  Award winners presented their winning entries to all conference attendees at the ISHAE Winter Conference.

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