From The LH Blog

Here's a sampling of recent entries from Lodging Hospitality's blog, The Front Desk. Check it out at

An amenity with meaning
February 28, Ed Watkins

My wife, Carolyn, is a road warrior personified, and as such she's always full of ideas on how hotels can improve their service, facilities or amenities. Here's one I think has particular merit.

Many frequent travelers, including her and me and probably you, print out their airline boarding passes at home or in the office before they leave on a trip. To do so on the return trip usually means you must pay the exorbitant prices charged by hotel business centers just for a two-minute function or go to the nearest Kinko's where the cost isn't much less.

Her idea of a great amenity is for hotels to print out the passes the night before guests check out and present them at the front desk as the guests depart. The guest would need to provide his or her departure info and confirmation number at check-in or sometime during the stay. Perhaps it could be done online at a secure site. At most hotels, the auditor could print the passes and collate them with the folios with time still left over for homework or to peruse Maxim, Playboy or Cooking Light.

Is Loews next for Blackstone?
February 21, Ed Watkins

The Blackstone Group has been very busy the last few years buying up hotel brands and lodging real estate. The low-profile New York-based company has in the past three years bought Wyndham, La Quinta, Extended Stay America, Prime Hospitality, Boca Resorts, several portfolios of hotels and MeriStar Hospitality. Granted, the company has turned around and sold off some of the assets it has purchased, but it has the foundation for a hell of a consolidated hotel brand company if it chooses to become the industry's next Starwood.

In what could be a related development, Loews Corp. CEO James Tisch hinted last week that the company, which ran into a rough patch during the fourth quarter, would consider selling or spinning off its small, but prestigious Loews Hotels division. The hotel company, headed by bon vivant Jon Tisch, had revenues last year of $350 million, just two percent of Loews Corp.'s overall take.

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