ABVI Members Renew Internet Marketing Surcharge
At Annual Conference, Members Okay Six Resolutions
Owners of Americas Best Value Inn properties voted on six resolutions at the chain’s annual convention last week in Las Vegas. The membership (including properties in the Canadas Best Value Inn chain) overwhelmingly approved all six initiatives. The most important may have been to extend to the end of 2016 a $1 per room per month surcharge to enhance Internet marketing programs for the chain and its member properties. The resolution passed with a 90.2% positive vote.
The fund is one of two members have authorized for Internet marketing. (The other one is in effect until the end of 2015.) The monies are used for search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, social media and more. ABVI has seen some significant results from its Internet marketing efforts. Impressions have increased from 10 million in 2010 to more than 26 million this year. Visits to the brand’s website have grown by a compounded annual rate of 35% since 2006, while reservations traffic on the site has increased by 31% annually.
Under ABVI’s membership rules, resolutions must pass by a two-thirds margin to take effect. Here are the results of the other resolutions voted on last week:
• With 86.9% of the vote, members agreed to upgrade the visual appeal of their continental breakfast areas.
• The members chose Hotel Emporium as its preferred amenity supplier. The firm won the vote over Concept Amenities (which held the contract since 2008) and RDI.
• With 73.1% approval, the members agreed that new members to the brand must post a security deposit or personal guarantee, which in case a property leaves the system the chain can use to remove signs and other references on the chain’s websites, Yellow Page listings, billboards, etc.
• About three-fourths of the group voted to mandate members who provide in-room microwaves and refrigerators that they “place both appliances in an attractive configuration.”
• A near-unanimous vote (94%) calls for all member properties to display signage at the front desk that clearly states “Independently Owned and Operated under a License from Vantage Hospitality Group, Inc.” The concern was when a guest has a less-than-satisfactory stay at one ABVI property, the misperception of common ownership may have a negative effect on other properties in the brand.
The two brands, and their sister flag Lexington, presented Best of the Best Awards at the convention’s closing dinner last Thursday. Most categories have two winners: one for 60 rooms or less and one for more than 60 rooms:
Americas Best Value Inn/Canadas Best Value Inn
Curb Appeal: Less than 60 rooms: Scarborough, ME; More than 60 rooms: Jackson, TN
Lobby Presentation: Less than 60 rooms: DeSoto, TX; More than 60 rooms: Romulus, MI
Best Renovation: Less than 60 rooms: Great Bend, KS; More than 60 rooms: Burnsville, MN
Inn Unity: Less than 60 rooms: Waller, TX; More than 60 rooms: San Diego downtown
Best Website: Less than 60 rooms: Calgary, AB; More than 60 rooms: Oakhurst, CA
Best Marketing: Less than 60 rooms: Kamloops, BC; More than 60 rooms: Cherry Hill, NJ
Overall Excellence: Less than 60 rooms: St. Augustine Beach, FL; More than 60 rooms: Newberry, MI
New Property of the Year: Less than 60 rooms: Branson, MO; More than 60 rooms: Bismarck, ND
New Member Development: Bernard & Elizabeth Kreiger, Cheyenne, WY; Dipak Patel, San Francisco
Spirit Award: Julie Vance, Manitou Springs, CO
Vendor Commitment: American Hotel Register
Lexington by Vantage Lexcellence Award Winners
Overall Excellence: Jackson, WY
Lexington Inn Unity: Edison, NJ
Best Quality Assurance Inspection: Billings, MT
Leadership Award: Peter Pecora, Flushing, NY