January 2012

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Article by Robert Habeeb, CEO, First Hospitality from HotelNewsNow.com:

When politics enter the conversation, discussions about the role of government and regulatory impact on the hotel industry become polarizing and partisan depending on political affiliations.

The role of government in handling the national economic crisis? Liberals assert the economic downturn would have been much worse without government intervention while conservatives contend that ham-fisted bumbling failed to improve the situation—and quite possibly even made things worse.

The trend toward beefing up regulatory agencies and strengthening mechanisms for government oversight? Conservatives argue it is a reactionary, unnecessary, anti-business stance; liberals counter it is a necessary correction after years of lax regulation.

These bipolar debates, driven by perspectives on either end of the political spectrum, are rarely productive. On the ground of the hotel industry, hospitality professionals do not have the luxury of getting into philosophical discussions about the appropriate role of government. Whatever our personal politics might be, when it comes to supporting and growing our industry, it is all business. From health-care reform and immigration policy, to taxes and organized labor, government programs and policies have a profound impact on the health and prosperity of the hotel industry.

Hotel owners and operators have a vested interest not only in those policies that directly address their concerns but also in any significant piece of business-related legislation. By staying informed and engaged with legislative trends, owners can monitor their economic and political fortunes in some very important ways.

So where does the industry stand right now? Continue reading at HotelNewsNow.com.

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The AH&LA Educational Institute has created a new video training program, “Enabling Independence: Service for Guests with Disabilities, to show employees how to confidently and respectfully deliver great service to guests with disabilities.

The 33-minute DVD training program provides information on new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III non-discrimination requirements that went into effect march 2011. The video, presented in English & Spanish, shares practical guidelines for recognizing a disability, effectively communicating with people with disabilities, offering appropriate accommodations that meet their needs, and respectfully assisting them during their stay as well as during emergency situations. It covers expanded ADA requirements regarding power-driven mobility devices, service animals and practical steps employees can take to ensure the safety and satisfaction of guests with disabilities.

Bonus features include a leader’s guide (in English) with discussion questions, practice activities, an accomplishment checklist, an and optional 10-question quiz. A companion learner’s guide is available in side-by-side English & Spanish.

AH&LA members can receive 20% off of this valuable training program through AH&LA Educational Institute by clicking the image above. Questions about AH&LA membership? Call the WH&LA office at 262/782-2851.

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From HotelNewsNow.com:

A generation gap among U.S. business travelers might define the travel landscape in 2012, according to Deloitte’s annual business travel survey.

Eighty-five percent of the business travelers surveyed said they expected to take the same amount of business trips or more in 2012 when compared to 2011. Younger respondents, aged 18-44, are expected to take more trips in the upcoming year, with 27.1% responding that they will travel more frequently in 2012 opposed to the 16.1% of business travelers in the 45+ age group that reported they will travel more frequently.

The survey also found travelers aged 18-29 tend to be more brand loyal and prefer automated check-in kiosks at lodging properties more often.

The entire article from HotelNewsNow.com can be found here.

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From Fisher & Phillips LLP :

All employers maintaining the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 300 Logs for workplace injuries and illnesses pursuant to OSHA’s recordkeeping standard must post their 2011 annual summary by February 1, 2012. Employers must utilize the annual summary form (form 300A) when complying with the posting requirements. The form is available for downloading from the OSHA website.

More details about the form that are frequently misunderstood can be found here.

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has coordinated with pool & spa industry leaders to develop training materials for the prevention of drowning and drain entrapment. The two newest resources include:

Got it Covered provides safety information for lifeguards regarding entrapment and drowning prevention. The video was created by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals in cooperation with the CPSC. The video can be viewed online or a hard copy can be requested by clicking the link above.

Guidance to Compliance is CPSC’s training video for the proper inspection of pools and spas for compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act. The video can be viewed online or a hard copy can be requested by clicking the link above.

The above links are 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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Occupancy was up in Wisconsin for 2011 compared to 2010 and nearly all market areas saw an increase in occupancy for the year, with the largest increase in Green Bay MSA. ADR was also up statewide for the year, with the largest increase in Appleton-Oshkosh MSA.

Occupancy and ADR were also up statewide for December 2011 compared to December 2010.

To view Smith Travel Data for your region (now with a separate Door County market area) for year-to-date 2011 (and December 2011 monthly data), click here.

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

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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REGISTER NOW!

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WH&LA has updated its Record Retention Guide – the publication is available in the Info Center here.

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

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Interested in serving on a WH&LA committee? Members in good standing are eligible to participate in a variety of committees throughout the year. The committees offer members the unique opportunity to make decisions and recommendations to your Board of Directors plus networking with fellow property owners, managers and industry vendors. All committees meet throughout one full day, three times in 2012, with the Board of Directors meeting the following morning to vote on committee recommendations. 2012 meeting dates and locations are:

January 24 at HotelRED, Madison

May 9 at Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan

September 19 at Jefferson Street Inn, Wausau

No preparation time is required for committee members, we only ask that committee members bring their opinions, objectivity and decision-making skills. Members may serve on multiple committees and are not locked into the committee they sign up for.

The committee sign up form is available here.

 

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The Milwaukee Business Journal has named the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association the 24th largest association in Wisconsin. The list is ranked by the number of members in Wisconsin (ties are broken alphabetically). WH&LA was also ranked #24 last year.

The top five associations include:

1. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation (previously ranked #2)
2. State Bar of Wisconsin (previously ranked #3)
3. Wisconsin Realtors Association (previously ranked #4)
4. Wisconsin Medical Society (previously ranked #5)
5. Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants (previously ranked #6)

The complete list can be found at milwaukee.bizjournals.com (subscription required).

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