Insurance
Christopher  Bolger
  • Insurance
  • From Valet to Shuttle: How Better Hiring and Training Can Prevent Losses
  • Both the workplace and our roads have become safer in recent decades, but when employees of hotels or any business get behind the wheel in the course of their work, they are still at risk. In fact, transportation incidents are the leading cause of occupational deaths across all industries and a major source of costly insurance claims. To mitigate this risk, hotels should examine hiring practices and training for the valet attendants and shuttle drivers they employ, and implement best practices in both areas. Read on...

Christopher  Bolger
  • Insurance
  • With Cyberattacks on the Rise, Is Your Hotel Protected?
  • With the volume of credit card swipes at hotel check-in, as well as at their bars, restaurants and shops, hotels offer ample opportunities for cyberattacks. Cybercrime is evolving and escalating, and the potential damage of a data breach to a hotel’s bottom line and reputation cannot be ignored or understated. Every hotel executive should take seriously the threat of computer security breaches, implementing the most up-to-date prevention and risk management practices, creating an emergency response plan and securing sufficient insurance coverage in the event there is a breach. Read on...

Christopher  Bolger
  • Insurance
  • Preventing and Managing Food and Beverage Risks
  • From devastating fires and employee theft to the major liability exposure associated with food contamination and serving alcohol, food and beverage operations present some of a hotel's most significant risks. Hotel executives can limit their exposure by implementing a thorough risk management program with proven safety and training initiatives, as well as by ensuring they have adequate insurance coverage for all their food and beverage risks. The result can be a safe and profitable food and beverage operation that provides value and pleasure for guests. Read on...

Fran  Sarmiento
  • Insurance
  • Managing the Unexpected: Crisis Planning, Communications and Response
  • Beyond the immediate security measures taken by hotels in the days and weeks following the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, the tragedy raised broader questions around crisis planning and response. Crises represent significant risk for a hotel's business continuity, public image, customer base and short- and long-term financial performance. This makes it imperative for hotels and other business to have a comprehensive emergency response plan that takes into account all type of potential crises, internal operations and available external resources. The plan should provide clear,detailed protocols for response and address key operational issues and communications. Only with a plan that is developed carefully, practiced and updated regularly, can hotels respond effectively in a crisis. Read on...

Fran  Sarmiento
  • Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation: Keeping Your Employees and Your Bottom Line Healthy
  • From the moment your guests register at the front desk to the housekeeping team knocking at a guest's door, your employees are the face of your hotel. That's why so much training goes into how employees interact with customers when they check them in, clean their rooms and cook or serve their food. But it's difficult for your employees to maintain high service levels when they slip, fall or suffer strains and other injuries-all of which are a fact of life in hotels. That's one important reason to focus on employee safety and wellness. Another is the rising cost of workers' compensation insurance, medical care and claims. In this article, I'll address how hotels can combine loss control, safety and wellness programs with effective claims management to keep a smile on the face of their employees, while also driving down workers' compensation claims and costs. Read on...

Fran  Sarmiento
  • Insurance
  • Risky Business: New Amenities Bump Revenue – and Claims
  • From rooftop nightclubs to water parks, unique amenities are springing up at hotels across the country. These attractions can help attract more guests, but they also open hotels to an array of insurance exposures. With the right risk management tactics and insurance coverage, you can adopt new amenities while keeping your business safe. Read on...

Fran  Sarmiento
  • Insurance
  • Unpredictable Weather: Understanding the Risk and Protecting Your Property
  • Superstorm Sandy was just the latest in an increasing number of extreme weather events that have affected hotels and resorts across the country. While the fallout is being felt in the price and availability of property coverage, you can still take steps to keep your costs and exposures under control. Not only should the hospitality industry embrace risk management and disaster preparedness as essential preventative measures, but also consider business interruption coverage to protect against a loss of income that can occur when a disaster hits. With the right planning and protection, hotels and resorts can ensure they weather today's unpredictable climate. Read on...

Fran  Sarmiento
  • Insurance
  • The Hotel Spa: Evolving Risks and Coverage Needs
  • As hotel spas have grown from the “nail salons” of the eighties to the “Medi-Spa” of today, they face new risks and exposures. Today’s hotel must examine a wide variety of potential spa risks—from tanning beds and the smallest slip and fall to catastrophic medical malpractice or Legionella bacteria claims. It’s essential to understand your risks, ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for each one and then implement a risk management program that will establish best practices to reduce the frequency and severity of losses. A safe environment will ensure your spa’s relaxing luxurious experience will keep guests coming back for more. Read on...

Richard Dahm
  • Insurance
  • Certificates of Insurance Can Be Dangerous to Your Health: Know What They Are and What They Cover
  • Buying Business insurance for any business is a complicated process. Whether you're a small entity with one location or a multi-national corporation, insurance is never a topic of likeability. Encompassing a language of its own, insurance has defined itself to be understood only by the few and mostly by those that are in the industry or working directly for it. Those of us who have had the pleasure of learning about insurance have been educated more or less through the process of trial and error, prior claims and their brokers understanding of their clients need base. While the diversity of types insurance is endless, one common factor remains true with all businesses, the necessity to provide proof that they are in compliance with their insurance responsibilities. Whether it is workers compensation, general liability, directors and officers or property coverage, no business can escape the obligation to be able to produce a Certificate of Insurance. Read on...

Richard Dahm
  • Insurance
  • How to Find the Right Insurance Broker for Your Hotel Company
  • Purchasing business insurance in today's economy has grown to be a large ticket item on businesses' increasing budgets and diminishing bottom lines. As complicated as insurance coverage can be, the process of choosing a broker can make it even more difficult. With insurance rates drastically fluctuating, more businesses are reviewing their current policies and weighing all options - including whether to keep their current broker or look elsewhere. The following are several essential guidelines to help you become a better informed buyer for selecting the right broker. Read on...

Richard Dahm
  • Insurance
  • Valet Parking: Are You Driving Yourself into a Wall?
  • Considered to be a luxury service to the hospitality industry, most hotels, restaurants, airports and even banquet halls, include the service of valet parking. Although this is a value-added service to your clientele, its ultimate costs and risks are a growing concern for the hotel or restaurant owner. While some establishments choose to employ their own staff as attendants, more are leaning toward contracting outside firms who use their own employees. Although outsourcing this risk does lessen some of the liability headaches, both in-house and outsourced services have the same everyday problems that may ultimately end back up on the establishment's doorstep. Read on...

Richard Dahm
  • Insurance
  • A Disaster Preparedness Guide: How to Plan Before, During & After an Event
  • In the last five years the United States and countries around the world have witnessed many major natural disasters. Such disasters include hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, severe windstorms and catastrophic flood damage that have left businesses, large and small, unable to recoup from their loss. Damage assessments by risk management and loss control specialists find to often preventative measures could have been implemented that would in part or significantly reduce the overall cost of a claim or the length of recovery time. The intent of this guide is to help business owners in the planning process for preparing and implementing an emergency plan. One that is activated before, during, and after an event. Read on...

Richard Dahm
  • Insurance
  • Green Buildings & the Implications on Your Hotel Insurance
  • As oil penetrates the $130-a-barrel mark and natural gas prices increase to rates four times what they were since the late 1990s, the use of green building (or building green) has taken seed to a new beginning to reform the cost of energy across all sections of industry. Green building is no longer just another popular cause or fad; it is here to stay as a vital and profitable part of the commercial real estate and construction industries. Anyone in the building trades or anyone involved with real estate investing or leasing needs to understand fully -- green building trends, opportunities, and consequences that can affect all areas including building codes, insurance rates, employee health, customer satisfaction, and more. This article will set out to serve as a survey of the important fundamentals and forecasts of what has happened and what will happen going forward in the efforts to build a green environment. Read on...

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NOVEMBER: Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive

Brian Obie

When people arrive at a hotel they have usually traveled a long distance. They are typically tired and stressed to some degree or another depending on how easy or difficult the journey. When they finally come into our driveway and understand this is where they should be – with the valet right there ready to greet them – they get the sense that they can finally relax. There’s a huge sense of relief. They now can begin their business trip or holiday with the family knowing they will be rested and renewed. Read on...

Rob Uhrin

When you think of the word resort, what comes to mind? Upscale amenities such as white sandy beaches, luxury pools, first class dining and entertainment and the ultimate spa experience to name a few. The word “resort” probably does not conjure up images of urban cityscapes, or streets filled with busy pedestrians in business suits. There is a new class of resorts coming to the fore in the hospitality industry right now called urban resorts. This article will explore this new type of transformational city design and how to achieve it. Read on...

Vince  Stroop

In a time when experiences are moments-long and shared over Instagram by many users, it is hard to top the surprise factor when it comes to creating a new destination. Nor should we, as hotel designers, try. With the pace of changing trends that is being communicated to us by branding agencies, designing the next new thing can be tempting. But I am not sure that’s what guests genuinely seek. And judging from the rise of Airbnb, I may be right on my guess that guests want memorable, meaningful experiences, not more selfies. Read on...

Michael Tall

An urban resort is a property that connects guests to the unique and vibrant elements within a city and outside the hotel. The hotel itself acts as a concierge service, forming a direct link between the local community and those guests who crave localized and authentic excursions. With no signs of slowing down, the urban resort trend is here to stay, and hoteliers can successfully capitalize on this growing segment by keeping the guest experience in mind. At its core, an urban resort is a respite from daily life, offering guests the freedom to choose between relaxed disconnection or active participation within the local community. Read on...

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.