September 2011

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Recently, many hotel properties have received a Patent Infringement Legal Notice related to a company known as Innovatio IP Ventures. A law firm has acquired “the controlling patents in the area of WLAN (Wi-Fi) and mesh networking.” They are actively pursuing all hotels, restaurants and other Wi-Fi offering companies, mandating the purchase of a license to use such equipment and continue to offer free or charged wireless. They are charging $2,300 for a onetime fee.

Read more from AH&LA Legal Counsel on ways to deal with so-called “patent trolling,” here.
This link is password protected for lodging members only. If you need help logging in, email Michelle in the WH&LA office or call 262/782-2851.

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The state Department of Revenue just released a September 2011 update to its former 2009 publication about how lodging property operations are affected by sales and use taxes.

This publication is a handy reference for the lodging industry, covering everything from sales tax exemptions on sleeping room rentals to what charges and purchases are taxable, and so much more. The full issue of this WH&LA Advisory is available here by clicking the September 28. 2011 link.

The above link is password protected for lodging members only. If you need help logging in, email Michelle in the WH&LA office or call 262/782-2851.

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Over the coming weeks we will feature information on each educational session to be held at the Wisconsin Lodging Conference. The highlight series will give you a glimpse into the sessions, introduce the speakers, and provide a link to register to take advantage of the abundance of lodging information planned.

Search Engine Optimization for Lodging Properties


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Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show
November 6-8, 2011
Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, Appleton

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Enabling Independence: Service for Guests with Disabilities (Video)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees basic rights for people with disabilities, including full and equal access to your property and services. This new video highlights the unique needs of guests with various disabilities and identifies how lodging employees can accommodate their desire for independence. It also covers expanded ADA requirements regarding power-driven mobility devices, service animals, and practical steps you can take to ensure the safety and satisfaction of guests with disabilities.Bilingual DVD (English/Spanish). The companion material with this DVD will include a Leader’s Guide and sample Learner’s Guide in PDF format.

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Over the coming weeks we will feature information on each educational session to be held at the Wisconsin Lodging Conference. The highlight series will give you a glimpse into the sessions, introduce the speakers, and provide a link to register to take advantage of the abundance of lodging information planned.

What Lodging Properties Have to do by March 2012 Regarding Accessibility

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Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show
November 6-8, 2011
Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, Appleton

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By Cheryl Baldwin, Ph.D., Vice President of Science & Standards, Green Seal
This article is published courtesy of the American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Institute

Businesses that incorporate sustainable practices benefit with increased financial success. This was illustrated during the economic downturn in 2008–2009, when businesses committed to sustainability financially outperformed industry averages by 15 percent (Mahler et al., 2009).  Sustainable practices in lodging and hospitality have traditionally translated to energy and water efficiency and waste reduction, for the rooms and conference space.  For the food and beverage services, however, the focus should be on food.

Why food?  The production, distribution, preparation, and disposal of food are sources of enormous environmental damage. The amount of energy used to produce, process, package, store, and transport food is seven-and-a-half times the amount of energy the food actually provides in return (Heller and Keoleian, 2000). This has led to the food supply contributing significantly to climate change, responsible for about one-third of global greenhouse gasses (Bellarby et al., 2008). Agriculture is also one of the primary sources of biodiversity loss (Convention on Biological Diversity, 2010). Topsoil is being lost at rates significantly greater than it is being formed. Agriculture is responsible for two-thirds of fresh water use and 70 percent of the pollution of rivers and streams (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1995; United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1998). As a result, most of the environmental impact from the day-to-day operation from food and beverage services isn’t from energy or water use, it is from the food purchased or wasted (Baldwin et al., 2010).  The damage from food – the “foodprint” – can be reduced to become more sustainable and better for the planet, its people, and your bottom line.

Read more here.
This link is password protected for lodging members only. If you need help logging in, email Michelle in the WH&LA office or call 262/782-2851.

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There were 111 cases of acute illness confirmed from the use of insecticides to control bed bugs in seven states from 2003 to 2010, U.S. officials say. A report, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, said 93 percent of the cases occurred among people living in private homes where the pesticides were applied by do-it-your-selfers. The ailments most frequently involved nervous system, respiratory and gastrointestinal effects, the report said.

“Frequently contributing factors included excessive insecticide application, failure to wash or change pesticide-treated bedding, and either a lack of notification or ineffective notification of pesticide application,” the report said.

If pesticides are warranted, certified applicators should do the application, health officials said.

WH&LA and Wil-Kil Pest Control have hosted several online webinars on treating and preventing bed bugs in lodging properties. Lodging members of WH&LA can access the webinar archive here.

The above link is password protected for lodging members only. If you need help logging in, email Michelle in the WH&LA office or call 262/782-2851.

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Over the coming weeks we will feature information on each educational session to be held at the Wisconsin Lodging Conference. The highlight series will give you a glimpse into the sessions, introduce the speakers, and provide a link to register to take advantage of the abundance of lodging information planned.

Straight Talk on the Industry 2011


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Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show
November 6-8, 2011
Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, Appleton

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From the American Hotel & Lodging Association:

While Hurricane Irene and its ensuing damage served as a learning experience for the lodging industry, hoteliers along the eastern seaboard provided exceptional service and safety to guests. The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) polled members to determine the extent of their damage and recommendations and tips. A number of hoteliers relayed stories ranging from employees who went above and beyond to salvage disrupted weddings to sleeping on cots in order to stay on property to acts of kindness by both employees and guests.

The survey revealed that the top issues hoteliers faced were labor challenges around employees being able to get to work, power loss, wind damage, flooding, leaks, and food spoilage.  Hoteliers said among the things they’d do differently include getting a generator, better employee training and communication, addressing prepaid rooms needing to be cancelled, and revising action plans.

AH&LA culled together a lengthy list of action items to consider in advance, during, and following a natural disaster, including:
-Review insurance coverages and reporting requirements with your agent
-Designate a signal phone number for employees to call for the latest information on schedules, closing, rooms, etc.
-Secure storage of vital employee and financial records
-Block rooms for employees and corporate team members
-Conduct inventory and order additional non-perishable food and paper products
-Secure sandbags if flooding is anticipated
-Procure additional cash for purchases post storm
-Store as much water as possible in tubs, sinks, and other containers, as well as ice
-Provide glowsticks to guests and place in halls and stairs

“This year has shown us that you don’t have to be in a traditionally natural disaster prone area to be affected,” said AH&LA President/CEO Joe McInerney.  “The best thing for hoteliers to do is to start preparing before a warning is even issued.”

For a complete list of member recommendations, along with federal and allied member resources available to help members prepare for natural disasters ranging from hurricanes to earthquakes to tornados, visit http://www.ahla.com/irene/

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Over the coming weeks we will feature information on each educational session to be held at the Wisconsin Lodging Conference. The highlight series will give you a glimpse into the sessions, introduce the speakers, and provide a link to register to take advantage of the abundance of lodging information planned.

Simply Service: How to Gain Guest Loyalty

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Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show
November 6-8, 2011
Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, Appleton

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