June 2011

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2011.

Do you have a good promotion that you would like to put in front of our more than 2,500 Facebook and Twitter followers? Every Wednesday we post an exclusive promo from one of our member properties, and we run Facebook ads to drive traffic. The cost is $125, and space is filling fast – there are only a handful of weeks left for the rest of the year. You can reserve the week of your choice by clicking here.


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For more than 35 years, WH&LA has honored the best of those in Wisconsin who have distinguished themselves in the lodging industry. In keeping with tradition, WH&LA is now accepting nominations for the 2011 Innkeeper and Associate of the Year awards and the new Spirit of Hospitality Award!

Download the nomination form here. To receive a copy of the nomination form in the mail, call the WH&LA office at 262/782-2851 or email Jennifer. Forms must be completed and returned to the WH&LA office via mail, fax or email no later than August 5, 2011.

All nominees must be employed by a current WH&LA member. An official nomination form must be submitted for each nominee. Once WH&LA receives a nomination, staff will notify the nominee by forwarding a 2011 official entry form, which notes the award’s criteria and the materials needed for review by the judging committee. Judging will be performed by the WH&LA Awards Committee and the entry form will list all judging criteria in detail.

New for 2011 – the Spirit of Hospitality Award! This award has been created to honor employees who reflect exemplary role models of the true spirit of hospitality in Wisconsin. Recognition will be given to each eligible employee nominated for the Spirit of Hospitality award. Limit one entry per property and owners, operators and general managers are not eligible.

All submitted materials become property of WH&LA and will not be returned. In fairness to all candidates, no extensions will be permitted in the case of missed deadlines. Recent recipients ineligible for the 2011 award include innkeepers of the year Robert Dove, Brian Brandstetter and Kari Zambon; and associates of the year Joe Holland and Doug Nysse.


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Occupancy was up in Wisconsin in May 2011 compared to May 2010 and nearly all market areas saw an increase in occupancy, with the largest increase in Madison. ADR was also up statewide compared to May 2010, with the largest increase in Eau Claire/Menomonie.

To view Smith Travel Data for your region for May 2011, click here. (Password protected for lodging members only – 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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Congratulations to the following WH&LA members on their recent awards and recognition!

The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee was honored by the American Hotel & Lodging Association at its Stars of the Industry Awards ceremony, held during the Summer Summit at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, GA. The hotel was a winner of the Guest Relations, Small Property award and the Special Events, One-time Only, Small Property award for its celebration of the 77th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, where the property was transformed into a 1933 speakeasy.

Bob & Anita Dhir of DHIR Group LLC, Milwaukee were recognized at the Choice Hotels International 2011 Convention as 2011 Premier Alliance Winners, which recognizes exceptional franchisees that develop properties with Choice Hotels, live up to the brand promise through excellent property performance and are active in the franchise community.


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Ann Maletzke of Spur of the Moment Ranch in Mountain, Wis. was published in the June issue of AH&LA’s Lodging magazine with an article titled, “Small and Independent Hotels: Finding Alternatives.”

From Lodging magazine:
Often, independent properties are family-owned businesses. Whether through a bank or SBA mortgages, their entire worth is rolled into the venture. Many of these owners have worked a lifetime for their businesses, which have provided comfort and pride in the good times, and required cutting back in the lean years. But the game has changed in this last economic downturn.

Early on, many of these independent owners were mortgaged in small, community banks where decisions were made locally. Owners did business on a handshake, and entire communities pulled together to help fellow neighbors and businesses to survive. In this last recession, many of the small, community-owned banks were sold to larger national, or regional banks. Attitudes changed, and new owners were unfamiliar with small businesses that resided in the banks’ communities.

The full text of the article can be found here.


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On June 8, Catherine Garozzo of TravelClick presented a “Growing Revenue Through Electronic Channels” webinar for lodging members. The presentation dissected the four parts of electronic revenue channels: voice, brand websites, Internet (minus “brand.com” web sites – places like Expedia and Travelocity) and the GDS.

Topics included knowing your place in the market and where your customers are coming from, driving business directly to your brand Web site, where to start, search rankings, why travelers don’t book and more.

If you missed the presentation, members can access a recording here. (You will need your member ID and password for access – contact Michelle the WH&LA office if you can not log in.)


Perhaps you heard it on the radio. Or maybe you saw the article at the Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee’s Web site. One thing is for certain… WH&LA’s new “Gas Card Getaways” campaign has been a hit in the media! An expert from the UW-Madison School of Business’ Center for Brand & Product Management called the campaign “brilliant” on the Wisconsin Public Radio broadcast this morning. WPR also interviewed WH&LA President/CEO Trisha Pugal about the program and summer travel. We’ll post more media mentions and stories when they become available.

If your property would like to participate in this program, we are accepting more registrations through Monday. Please contact Bill Elliott in the WH&LA office by email at bill@wisconsinlodging.org or call 262/782-2851.


WH&LA and Financial Independence Company Insurance Services have re-launched the Prescription Drug Card Benefit program for WH&LA members, their employees and families. The program offers prescription drug buying options like:

Brand Name Mail Order Benefits, where members can search medications and their discounted prices and order online in one of five co-pay tiers of $25, $40, $50, $60 or $75 (also includes discounted prices on more than 1,400 generics)

Walk-In Pharmacy Benefits, where members can shop locally on immediate-need medications with an average savings of 13%.

Additional benefits include the discount applying to all family members listed on the card, no deductibles, no annual maximum, no exclusions and no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

To learn more about the new prescription drug card program, its benefits and to enroll, click here.