2015 - 05 May

American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute eNewsletter

Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry

Guidance on Financial Ratios and Operating Metrics in the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry, 11th Revised Edition

Agnes DeFranco USALI The 11 th revised edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry(USALI) was published in the spring of 2014, with an implementation date of January 1, 2015.  The responsibility for revising the USALI lies with the Financial Management Committee (FMC) of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA).

Throughout the implementation process, the FMC has received several questions from the worldwide lodging industry. To answer these questions, the FMC has created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the USALI resource portal page of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute's website (www.ahlei.org/usali).

In an effort to assist hotel owners and operators with their implementation, the FMC presents a series of monthly articles that address some of the most frequently asked questions. Some of the topics to be discussed include gross versus net revenue reporting, service charges, the change from cover to customer counts, and mixed-ownership facilities.

For this month we present guidance regarding the new financial ratios and operating metrics presented in the USALI prepared by committee member Agnes DeFranco.

The FAQ for USALI 11 th Revised Edition is full of many insightful pointers. One of the questions in the FAQ is as follows:

Question: Did the F&B schedule in USALI take into consideration the Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants?

Answer: The Food & Beverage Sub-Committee considered all reporting standards in the food & beverage industry and the activities of the F&B Council of the AH&LA. As you are aware, the Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants anticipates internal financial reporting for a single stand-alone business operation, whereas the USALI anticipates internal financial reporting in the multi-faceted business operations of the lodging industry.

Indeed, the USALI 11 th revised edition contains a list of twenty metrics known as the AH&LA Food and Beverage Council Metrics that measure catering/banquet revenue per square foot (or meter) of function space to in-room dining revenue per occupied room.  Metrics represent a report card of the performance of a certain department, or the entire hotel.  They are tools for managers to track, assess, and evaluate performance. They can be used to set goals so that management can compare actual performance to budgeted figures. They can also be used as comparison points against the competition. Metrics are so vital that in the 11 th revised edition, the Ratios section in the previous editions is now expanded into the Financial Ratios and Operating Metrics.

The USALI 11 th revised edition provides hotel operators and owners metrics in the seven major areas of a lodging property: Rooms, Food and Beverage, Golf Course and Pro Shop, Health Club and Spa, Parking, Utilities and Refuse or Waste, and Labor Cost.  For each of these areas, besides the definitions and formulas to calculate all these metrics, the most useful and informative part perhaps is the recommended tables as to how these metrics should be presented.  For example, in the Rooms area, an excerpt of the recommended table to present the metrics for rooms inventory can be seen in Table 1.

Table 1.  Room Operating Metrics: Room Inventory

 Current MonthYTD
ActualVariance to BudgetVariance to Prior YearActualVariance to BudgetVariance to Prior Year
1. Total Room Inventory (Total Keys in Property)      
2. Seasonally Closed Rooms      
3. Extended Closed Rooms      
4. Rooms for Permanent House Use      
5. Total Rooms Not Available for Sale (2 + 3 + 4)      
6. Rooms Available (1 - 5)      

For Food and Beverage, besides the useful metrics from the AH&LA F&B Council, the 11 th revised edition also recommends similar tables to track revenue mix, cost of food, cost of beverage, inventory turns.  The book presents three charts for users to track F&B performance using revenue and departmental profit per available seat by venue (with the number of seats per venue clearly stated), food cost and beverage cost by venue (with the number of seats per venue clearly stated), and finally customer count and average check per venue per meal period. These three tools afford food and beverage directors with solid and tangible performance information to share with his or her staff in order to set proper strategies to enhance profitability for the overall lodging operation.

There is more information and details for these two departments.  More importantly, the metrics presented in the other areas can really assist operators and owners to have the proper knowledge to better manage their hotels. Some of the GAAP principles include relevant (timely), consistent, and comparable accounting information. Thus, using these metrics, owners and operators can compile timely reports and perform accurate analyses.  Then, these metrics can be brought to live in charts and mapping points and then share with associates and team members.  Just as students like to see A's on the report cards, operators and owners would also like to have a dashboard so they can easily ascertain the performance of their hotel.  This section of financial ratios and metrics is the answer. Let's get started!

Agnes L. DeFranco is a Professor and the Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Chair at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston.  She served as President of the Hospitality Financial Technology Professionals (HFTP) in 2006-2007 and currently chairs the committee for HFTP to develop the Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices, an online, searchable database of detailed operating financial practices.

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To purchase a copy of the 11 th edition of the USALI, which will allow you to access the nearly 100 questions and answers on the FAQ, or submit your own question for the FMC, please visit www.ahlei.org/usali.  

Orlando Spotlight

Aloft Orlando Downtown: A Unique Piece of Orlando’s History

Aloft Orlando by Casie Shimansky, Social Media Manager 

One of the greatest advantages to having an AHLEI office in Orlando, Florida might very well be that we're truly surrounded by the heartbeat of hospitality.  As Orlando welcomed more than 62 million visitors in 2014, the region all but secured its spot as a true leader in tourism.  And while many know Orlando for its exciting theme parks and advancements in technology - there's one other thing we'd like to focus on: our past.

A concern I've heard many times from locals is that there aren't many areas in Central Florida that truly pay homage to our historical culture.  Florida is home to America's Oldest City - St. Augustine, but by and large much of what we know in our day-to-day lives here in the Sunshine State is fairly new.  This is because many of the buildings with any true age to them in Florida tend to get knocked down to become a more modern facility, which is one of many reasons why the Aloft Orlando Downtown, part of Starwood Hotels, is unique.

Originally built and opened as the Orlando Utility Commission (OUC) Headquarters in 1968, the site that is now home for the Aloft Orlando Downtown is registered on the National Register of Historic Places.   At only 47 years old this may seem odd, but a big reason it was so important to obtain this status now was so that the building could continue to be here for another 40+ years, ensuring that when it's 94 years old it truly will be a piece of Orlando's history. Essentially, it is no longer at risk of being torn down and replaced.

Aloft Orlando Downtown saw that it was significant to keep original elements to this property, and so they have the original terrazzo flooring throughout the lobby of the hotel. The lobby walls are adorned with original teak wood paneling that was once on the second-floor executive suite of the old OUC headquarters. Visitors will also notice original pink Italian marble on the way to the elevator in the lobby. The second floor has been completely untouched in terms of layout too, with marble/teak walls throughout.
While the Aloft Orlando Downtown focused on the historical nature of their new home, they also knew that modern elements were equally important for today's guests.  They are on pace for high-level LEED designation due to the property's green initiatives. These measures include low-flow faucets and shower heads, shampoo and body wash dispensers in the showers to limit waste, solar panels installed on the rooftop to heat the water that goes into the guest rooms as well as the laundry, and efficient LED lighting throughout the hotel to reduce energy usage.  The property can also transform its look with the exterior LED lighting that showcases the architecture and adds to the city's ambiance. If the Orlando City Soccer Club wins a game - Aloft Orlando Downtown can go purple to celebrate!
Members of our AHLEI Orlando team were able to tour the property and were very impressed with our new neighbors.  Aloft Orlando Downtown sits just across the street from the brand-new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and is within walking distance of restaurants, nightlife, and the Amway Arena (home to the Orlando Magic, Orlando Predators, and concerts throughout the year).  Aloft Downtown Orlando is also just a quick drive to where the Orlando City Soccer Club plays as well as the theme parks.  With a great location, their ultra-comfortable signature beds, oversized spa showers, and custom amenities, it's easy to see why the Aloft brand was a perfect fit for the Downtown Orlando scene.  We're excited to welcome Aloft Orlando Downtown to the area and are pleased that they have chosen AHLEI's Guest Service Gold® program to assist in their training needs.

International Spotlight

Royal Orchid Hotels Adopt quickSTART Training from AHLEI

Chender BaljeeRoyal Orchid Hotels Ltd is a rapidly growing hotel chain, which owns and manages 30 business and leisure hotels in 20 different locations in India and Africa. The group also operates the Presidency College of Hotel Management in India (Bangalore), which provides easy access to a ready pool of trained talent for keeping pace with the growing needs of the hospitality industry in India.

Through the Presidency College of Hotel Management, the hotel group has adopted the quickSTART line-level training and professional certification program from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). Royal Orchid Hotels will be using the programs to train and certify associates and aspiring students at the beginning of their career paths.

Royal Orchid Hotel Group was founded in 2001 by managing director and CEO Mr. Chender Baljee. The Presidency College of Hotel Management, which is also his brainchild, will be instrumental in monitoring and conducting the START and quickSTART program. The college is one of AHLEI's Registered User Institutes.

With diverse social problems in India, Baljee formed the Baljee Foundation as part of a CSR initiative and established it in the year 2007. The foundation aims at empowering those in marginalized segments of the society, including girls, who cannot complete their education because of lack of funds and give them courage to move forward in their careers with the help of the START and quickSTART program. There is no obligation on the part of the students to work for Royal Orchid Group.

START and quickSTART for Individual Positions provide resources for training new or prospective employees in general hospitality knowledge, soft skills, and position-specific knowledge, combined with the opportunity to earn professional certification. By bundling the training and professional certification into a single product, START and quickSTART provide organizations with streamlined, cost-effective training to bring employees on board quickly and provide workers with a portable, industry-recognized credential at the beginning of their hospitality career.

Royal Orchid Hotels has positioned itself as the preferred group of hotels for the discerning global business /leisure traveler. Under its brand the choices of categories available are:

  • five-star business and leisure hotels,
  • business hotels,
  • long-stay hotels and
  • resorts

"We strongly believe in exceeding expectations with unparalleled levels of professionalism and making sure our guests enjoy a memorable experience always," said Baljee. "Providing AHLEI's quickSTART training and certification to our front-line employees will enable us to provide a consistent, high-quality guest experience throughout all of our properties." 

High School Programs

Anatol Rodgers High School Wins 2015 HTMP International Competition

Anatol Rodgers HS The team of high school hospitality students from Anatol Rodgers High School in the Bahamas were the first international winners of the annual American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) HTMP International Competition held April 23-25 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. Eleven teams of students competed for scholarship money and a trip to the International Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Show in New York City this November. Each member of the winning team received $57,000 in scholarships from leading hospitality management schools.

The competition challenged student teams to display their hospitality knowledge and skills through a variety of events including a night audit, room inspection, banquet planning, case studies, and knowledge bowl quiz. This year's competitors represented schools in the Bahamas, California, Florida, Guam, Idaho, New Hampshire, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Wyoming.

Here is an overview of the winners of this year's HTMP International Competition:  

Overall Winners:

First place: Anatol Rodgers High School, Bahamas. Team members: Ameera Poitier, Dezaraye Dean, Jeanie Farris, Vernajh Pinder. Instructor: Janelle Cambridge-Johnson.

Second place: Okkodo High School, Guam. Team members: Odeth Ignacio, Alyssa Rasalan, Zane Matias, Katrina Mae Tahimik. Instructor: Evon Wong.

Third place: White Mountains Regional High School-Mountain View Academy, New Hampshire. Spencer Nast, Taylor Hill, Megan Sheltry, Wyatt Dodier, Madyson Hopps. Instructor: Morgan Parker-Grima.

Individual event winners were:

Knowledge Bowl: Anatol Rodgers High School, Bahamas (first); Okkodo High School, Guam (second); Monta Vista High School, California (third).

Hotel Operations: White Mountains Regional High School-Mountain View Academy, New Hampshire (first); Anatol Rodgers High School, Bahamas (second); Miami Beach Senior High School, Florida (third).

Hospitality Project: Okkodo High School, Guam (first); Mid-Florida Tech, Florida (second); White Mountains Regional High School-Mountain View Academy (third).

Participants at the HTMP competition got a first glance at the beta version of a new 3D virtual hotel simulation AHLEI is working on. The simulation is played from the standpoint of a hotel general manager, and learners are challenged to solve problems related to guest satisfaction, safety, security, and business operations. Students and teachers were positive about the new product, with learners enjoying the 3D immersive environment and the feedback they received throughout the game.

Winning teams were awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships provided by leading hospitality management schools, including the Culinary Institute of America, Florida International University, Johnson & Wales University, Newbury College, San Diego State University, Sullivan University, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore as well as AH&LEF.

Event sponsors included American Express, HCareers, Loews Hotels & Resorts, Best Western International, and La Quinta Inns & Suites. In addition to the sponsors and scholarship providers, the following organizations provided judges and mentors for the competition: AH&LA, Choice Hotels International, CSM Corporation, Diamond Hospitality Services, Gaylord Palms Resort, Hilton Grand Vacations, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Lake Lawn Resort & Spa, New Castle Hotels & Resorts, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Salamander Hotels & Resorts, and University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management.  

Stars of the Industry

AHLEI Honors 2015 Leaders in Hospitality Training and Education

Stars of the Industry The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) has announced this year's winners of its awards for leaders in hospitality training and education. The following people were honored at the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Legislative Action Summit in Washington, D.C., during the AH&LA Stars of the Industry Awards Brunch on Tuesday, April 14.

Gerald Chase, president and chief operating officer of New Castle Hotels & Resorts, is the 2015 recipient of the Arthur Landstreet Award. Named after the Tennessee hotelier who founded the Educational Institute, the Arthur Landstreet Award is presented to an individual who has made a lasting impact on the quality of education and training in the hospitality industry.

Chase is a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry. He got his start with Marriott, was vice president of Interstate Hotels from 1981 to 1988, and came on board at New Castle in 1988.  At New Castle, he leads a corporate culture that strives to support employees at all levels, which includes an emphasis on training and professional development.  He ensures that managers and associates have access to the latest industry training resources through AHLEI's online learning platform. New Castle also promotes the most up-to-date training in key areas such as hotel analytics and online reputation management that are essential to successful property operations. 

Dr. William Frye, CHE, CHO, associate professor, College of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Niagara University, is the 2015 recipient of the Anthony G. Marshall Award.   This award recognizes an individual who has made significant long-term contributions to the hospitality industry in educating future leaders.

Frye is an associate professor in the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University. For 20 years, Frye has been teaching hospitality operations and special topics such as hospitality law and club management, and coordinating internship programs. He has been instrumental in bringing certification opportunities to students in the program. He is the faculty advisor for Niagara University's CMAA student chapter, which has earned the Student Chapter of the Year award for six consecutive years.Frye is the co-author of AHLEI's Managing Housekeeping Operations textbook and shares his expertise through articles in hospitality publications, including a monthly column in Lodging Magazine, and numerous refereed and non-refereed journal articles. Hospitality education is Dr. Frye's passion, and he is an active member of I-CHRIE, and a founding faculty member of the Hospitality Educators consortium, 

Steven J. Belmonte, CHA, CEO of Vimana Franchise Systems, and K.V.Simon, CHA,  retired vice president, AHLEI-India, were honored with the title of CHA Emeritus. The Emeritus honor is presented to select individuals who hold the designation of Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) after a career of distinguished contributions.

Belmonte began his hospitality career at age 16, and by 18, became the youngest general manager in the history of Holiday Inn. From 1984 to 1991, he was president and CEO of Equity Hotel Corporation. He served as president and CEO of the Ramada hotel chain from 1991 to 2002, and also as executive vice president of the Cendant Hotel Division.  While with Ramada, he launched Personal Best Hospitality, which offered tuition reimbursement and other incentives to foster a career path in the hotel industry. In 2002, Belmonte launched Hospitality Solutions, a firm specializing in lodging industry issues at the property and corporate level.  And in 2011, he founded Vimana Franchise Systems, where he continues as CEO. Belmonte's industry involvement includes terms as chairman of the American Hotel Foundation and vice chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation, as well as service on the board of industry relationships for the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. He has been widely recognized for his global philanthropic efforts through Childreach and other organizations. 

Simon got his start in hospitality in 1967, when he enrolled in a Mumbai hospitality management school - IHM Mumbai (aka Dadar Catering College).  After completing his diploma, he joined the Reserve Bank of India as a catering supervisor. He then moved to the Middle East and worked with the Gulf Hotel in Doha, Qatar, completed a bachelor's degree in the United States, and returned to Qatar. In 1977, Simon joined his alma mater, IHM Mumbai, as a Head of Department and went on to become the Principal at the college.  He was then transferred to South India to set up a similar institution, IHM Kovalam and simultaneously held the position of being an Officer on Special Duty at the Pondicherry Institute of Hospitality Crafts. While serving there, he had the opportunity to bring the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) into India in 1994.  Simon introduced AHLEI's hospitality management courses to Indian schools and established the Registered User Institute system for schools that offer AHLEI courses. Through his efforts, the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE®) program became a regular feature in India and the country has more than 400 Indian CHEs.

AHLEI presented four Lamp of Knowledge Awards this year. These awards are given to individuals who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to advancing the quality of professionalism and education in the hospitality industry. This year's honorees are: 

Outstanding Educator (International):Dr. Phillip Brown, CHE,  Sandals Corporate University, Jamaica. Brown is the group director, training and service standards, at Sandals Resorts International in Jamaica, where he has been employed since 2008.  He has played a leading role in the implementation and launch of the Sandals Corporate University, which provides training, education, and certification opportunities to 13,000 employees at Sandals' 20 properties throughout the Caribbean. Sandals Corporate University is an AHLEI Global Academic Partner (GAP), a unique designation for a hotel organization. Under Brown's leadership, Sandals has become one of the largest users of AHLEI's professional certifications. Through his efforts, the Beaches Turks and Caicos became the first Caribbean property to earn the designation of Certified Guest Service Property.  Brown is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE®).

Outstanding Educator (U.S.): Dr. Samer Hassan, CHE, Johnson & Wales University, North Miami, Florida. Hassan is a professor in the Hospitality College at Johnson & Wales University, North Miami, Florida, where he has played an active role in educating future hospitality leaders since 2000.  His areas of expertise include human resource management, private club management, and information technology. He is strongly supportive of Johnson & Wales' AH&LA student chapter, and he encourages involvement with AH&LA to continue after graduation. He is also faculty advisor for the Club Management Association of America (CMAA) student chapter. Hassan is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE®), as well as a CHE® instructor.

Outstanding Educator (High School): Eric Chong , CHE,  Simon Sanchez High School, Guam. Chong is a Guam Community College (GCC) faculty member who has taught high school hospitality classes at Simon Sanchez High School since 2008. He works closely with the hospitality and tourism industry in order to provide his students with industry connections that range from guest speakers and mentors to internships and job placements.  He also leads students on field trips to local resorts and to Guam's scenic and historic sites. Chong's high school students complete at least 180 hours of industry work experience as part of their curriculum. He prepares them with employment skills such as building a career portfolio, professional dressing, and interviewing. His students create and maintain their own websites that serve as digital portfolios. As the GCC Summer Work Experience Coordinator for the past six years, he serves an average of 100 hospitality students per summer from all high schools.

Outstanding Student (Distance Learning): Marion Green,  general manager, Navy Gateway Inns & Suites, Marysville, Washington. Green began taking AHLEI's hospitality management distance learning courses in 2007, after first earning the Certified Front Desk Representative certification in 2005.  He completed the Hospitality Management Diploma in 2014, and credits his coursework with giving him the foundation he needed to excel in his career and be promoted to general manager of the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites at Naval Station Everett.  Green recently oversaw a $3 million total renovation project for his property, which has been honored multiple times with Navy Lodging's 5-Star Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Award for Excellence.  Green was Navy Lodging's Supervisor of the Year in 2011, and was nominated as CNIC Navy Lodging Manager of the Year in 2014. 

Distance Learning Students of Excellence Inspire Through Educational Success Stories

Distant Learning Students of Excellence While a formal post-secondary degree is not required for many hospitality positions, professional development and education can help employees to advance and excel in their careers. For more than 60 years, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute has offered Distance Learning courses to help people achieve their educational goals, even if they can't attend college. AHLEI annually recognizes one student with the Lamp of Knowledge Award for Outstanding Distance Learning Student of the Year.  This year, there were so many excellent candidates that we established a new "Students of Excellence" designation for those nominees who did not win, but who inspired us with their stories.

Georges Farhat, general manager of the Crowne Plaza Dubai, UAE, completed AHLEI's 12-course Hospitality Management Diploma through online learning in a record five months.  He said that completing the program taught him the strength of his determination and boosted his professional confidence.  He also said he was able to set an example for his staff.

 "Age is no bar for acquiring and constantly upgrading knowledge," he stated. "I was able to inspire my team to enroll for a higher education by giving personal examples and build a culture of high performance not only for myself but for the entire team."

Farhat cited several examples of how he used the knowledge and information gained through his AHLEI coursework to improve performance at his property.

"I enhanced my marketing knowledge to showcase our product in a strategic manner. I have streamlined the recruitment process and am working toward greater employee engagement through focus group discussion for teams. I am actively involved in local government activities such as Clean Up the World, Earth Hour, etc. I have also been able to approve the hotel's key performance indicators," he said.

For his accomplishments, Farhat has been recognized as a strategic performer by IHG, which manages the Crown Plaza Dubai.  He was also recognized by the Dubai tourism authorities for completing the Hospitality Management Diploma.

Tesa Lopez, public area supervisor, Terranea Resort, Manhattan Beach, California, began taking Distance Learning courses to help her make the transition from a retail background to a hospitality career. Because she has a son in college and because of her work schedule, pursuing her own college degree was not an option, but AHLEI's program was.  Scholarships from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF) and the California Hotel & Lodging Association Education Foundation also made it possible for her to pursue her educational goals.

"I was very motivated to pursue my education to increase my understanding of the hospitality industry and enhance my leadership skills," said Lopez.  "My courses helped me to understand not only my area of work in public area housekeeping, but I can see how all the departments are connected to each other in providing service to guests and maintaining an outstanding customer experience."

Terranea is a 102-acre, eco-friendly resort, which means that Lopez must take into account issues of sustainability and recycling as well as cleanliness and order while managing her team.  She is responsible for front and back of the house cleaning, set-up and tear-down of special events for up to 1,000 guests, and for recruiting, training, supervising, and disciplining her team.

"When I come to work at Terranea, I don't just go to work, but I go to teach what I have learned and to have fun with guest, my team, and co-workers," said Lopez. "I enjoy what I do and I have a passion to see and admire the view of my resort every single day."

Lopez was the winner of Destination Hotels & Resorts "Outstanding Associate Story" career page video feature contest, and was also a nominee for a California Hotel & Lodging Association stars of the industry award.

Shawn Sands, CRM, CFBE, restaurant manager IV, Mosaic, the Cove Atlantis, Bahamas, earned AHLEI's Dual Diploma , completing the requirements for both the Hospitality Management and Food & Beverage Management Diplomas. He is a long-time AHLEI student, having earned the Food & Beverage Certificate of Specialization in 2007. He has also earned the professional designations of Certified Restaurant Manager (CRM) in 2011, and Certified Food & Beverage Executive (CFBE®) in 2013.

Sands began his career as a cook and has been promoted to sous chef, and then through various levels of restaurant manager for various F&B outlets at the property. He has used information from his coursework to implement procedures that have resulted in greater efficiency and improved customer satisfaction scores. For instance, he facilitated training for the grand opening of a new Starbucks at The Reef Atlantis. When he was promoted to Seaglass at The Cove Atlantis, he implemented new systematic service operating procedures that increased both profits and guest satisfaction. As restaurant manager at the Mosaic at The Cove, he has implemented customer service training, health and safety programs, and maintenance and cleaning programs that have increased employees productivity.

Sands said that he chose AHLEI's courses in order to feel more confident and to gain knowledge to share with others.

"I am from the Bahamas, where tourism is our number one industry. With representing one of the biggest employers-Atlantis-I wanted to be the best at what I do," he said.  "I realized that what I did was not just a job, it was a full-time career that truly made an everlasting difference in people's lives. This program encourages me to continue to take more steps in ensuring that I continue to progress in my career and encourage others to do the same."

New Products and Services

Facilities Management Textbook Shows What It Takes to Operate Properties Smoothly

Dave Stipanuk Designing and maintaining the systems that keep a hotel property running smoothly and efficiently is an important job, but most travelers don't even think about-which is as it should be. The new, fourth edition of Hospitality Facilities Management and Design, written by David M. Stipanuk, professor emeritus, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, provides readers with a solid foundation in planning, operating, and maintaining the equipment and systems needed by every property.

"Facilities management runs under the radar-if it's working right, we don't pay attention to it, but if things fall apart, then it's really important," said Stipanuk.

The book takes a systems approach to hospitality facilities issues, while also providing a summary based on functional spaces within a property. Topic areas include water, electric, heating and cooling, lighting, laundry, and safety/security systems, as well as renovation and capital projects. This revision includes new material on green buildings, LEED certification, measurement tools for sustainability efforts, workplace safety statistics, indoor air quality, LEDs, elevator maintenance, Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, and renovation cost guidelines. Two chapters that addressed food service systems and design have been deleted from this edition.

Stipanuk noted that after the economic downturn in 2008-2009, not a lot of money was put into property renovation, but now that the economy is on an upswing, properties are looking at renovation projects and deciding where and how to spend their money in ways that will be most beneficial to guests, owners, and the bottom line. The textbook discusses those industry trends, using data updates from established industry sources like PKF, HVS, and STR.

"For those who haven't made facilities upgrades in a while, there's a lot of new information to consider," Stipanuk pointed out.  He said that contributing author Stephani Robson's chapter on lodging design provides a strong discussion of these topics, such as how design, aesthetics, and technology work together; how cultural changes such as personal cell phones require hotels to consider the effectiveness of having telephones as a revenue source, and how building systems match up with new guidelines for efficient energy systems.

In addition to Robson, a professor at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, fellow Cornell professor Jeanne Varney is also a contributing author to the fourth edition of Hospitality Facilities Management and Design, providing current information on sustainability in the hospitality industry.

"This was the first AHLEI textbook to address sustainability issues," said Stipanuk. "The new edition continues to do that. Varney's research in this area and her experience as an asset manager for multiple hotels means that she brings a wealth of knowledge to the sustainability discussion."

According to Stipanuk, many students aren't sure what facilities management is or why it's important. But he says that he only has to point out television programs like "Hotel Impossible" to highlight the necessity of a strong foundational knowledge of facilities management.

"When you look at the properties featured on the show, major pieces needed for their turnaround include the physical facility," he said. "If you want to be in the hotel business, you need a HOTEL-a physical object. More than that, you need a well-designed and well-run building. You might say, facilities design and management is what puts the real in real estate." 

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