Knowland keeps track of Commune Hotels next steps

I am always interested in knowing what is going on with Commune Hotels and their ground breaking next step directions.

Niki Leondakis (Chief Executive Officer at Commune) is once again showing us what true invention within a box can do.

Commune people are fierce in their commitment to making their new visions fly.

Latest post from Knowland:

Jim Vandevender
Chief Development Officer at Knowland
December 1, 2015

The Secret Site Inspection

Always be ready to grab group business
Hotel News Now -August 3 2015

So much goes into selecting the right hotel property for meetings: sourcing, identifying, negotiating, contracting, planning, confirming and then executing.

What’s the secret to capturing group business? Always know that company’s coming.
– See more at:

Beyond Reconstruction – Tips for Keeping Guests Happy During Renovation


Michael Goldstein, President & CEO of Packard Hospitality Group, talks about the art of managing the Hotel Renovation.

Beyond Reconstruction – Tips for Keeping Guests Happy During Renovation

By Michael Goldstein, President & CEO, Packard Hospitality Group

As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, offering new and exciting properties and products, hotel guests inherently expect more of the hotels at which they stay. They are consistently looking for better accommodations, enhanced amenities and a more comfortable hotel environment. This often leads to either occasional large-scale renovations or smaller, more frequent renovation projects to enhance a property’s offerings.


When Cicero talks, I listen

Three Rules of Renovation

Lodging’s current robust performance is creating a competitive environment when it comes to product freshness. The industry fundamentals have never been better, and these conditions are driving a flurry of construction projects, rebranding and conversion activity, and renovations of every scope throughout the United States.

In the last three years, an estimated 1.2 million hotel rooms have been renovated, representing more than 20 percent of the existing supply, Lodging Econometrics (LE) data reveals. According to Bruce Ford, LE’s senior vice president and director of global business development, the number of renovations will likely trend downward as strong hotel operating profitability discourages owners from making rooms unavailable while being renovated. However, for those hoteliers willing to take the plunge and make some upgrades, here are some key takeaways for making the best renovation decisions for your bottom line.

Rule No. 1: Property Improvement Plans Are Never Cost Neutral
When Cicero’s Development Corp. gets involved in a hotel renovation project, it typically starts with a call from an owner who needs to conduct a property improvement plan (PIP). During the conversation, they discuss the budget and scope of the project and how they can align with the owner’s business plan. “In all cases, we say, ‘Give a range of prices you want us to fall in between,’” says founder Sam Cicero. “It has to be a conscious business decision.”

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When Ian Schrager Talks, I listen


Mr. Schrager, in my opinion, speaks out to a casual elegance where anyone can feel comfortable in their surroundings.

I have admired his approach and his refined aesthetic sensibilities all along.  I think it is because we both started out in theatre.  Theatre translates very well into the Hotel industry because it is all about visual presentation…….and it is in that interpretation where Mr. Schrager shines.

As a great theatrical set design constantly feeds the audience information about the characters in the play and their environment, a great hotel interior should do the same through subliminal as well as obvious means.  Many hotel designs get too busy because of too many choices.

Deciding on a concept and sticking to it is where all design choices should come from.  The challenge lies in all the wonderful things to choose from – the temptation is to select so much the hotel looks like everything but the kitchen sink.

As Mr. Schrager says in this following Q&A, design is the solution to problem solving.  Practical and pleasing.

Anyone who has the courage to create a white interior theme for a hotel has my attention.

This is a recent Q&A session with Mr. Schrager at the Boutique Hotel Investment Conference that ran in Hotel News Now June 8, 2015.


The Heart of Foxwoods Resort Casino – Not Just a Casino


Foxwoods Resort Casino
350 Trolley Line Boulevard
Mashantucket, CT 06338

What Makes a Hotel Unique?
Every sizeable hotel is going to do their utmost to impress and that means the same things for every one of them: Food, Guestrooms, Meeting Space, Activities.  You will always hear about the latest upgrades, the newly renovated Guestroom, the expanded Meeting Space and the exciting Entertainment.

The Foxwoods Resort Hotels create an appeal and heart all on their own.
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Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club – a very special place


Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club
3001 Cameron Boulevard
Durham, NC 27705

What Makes a Hotel Special?

You do. What you know, don’t know, and the level of interest you play in life.
That’s what makes a hotel experience special – not all the bells and whistles a hotel brings out for show.
Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club, to me, is a very special hotel.
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The Essentials of Business Etiquette (for the Hotel) 8/29/14

Tony and Jason Potter – co-founders, Braveagle, Malta   – make good sense.

We recently came across an interesting book called “The Essentials of Business Etiquette” by Barbara Pachter . . . . . .

Insights on Life, Living, and Moving the Needle

Sharing this link with you. See what gg has to say.
Gregg’s Blogg
Gregg Herning, Vice President Hotel Sales at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

Like in our business, no one wants to come in second. Race teams, however, have long moved past relying on an ordinary speedometer to monitor their transition from point A to point B. Instead, they use a tachometer, a highly sophisticated gauge that measures the revolutions per minute of the engine’s cam shaft, because that measurement has more to do with achieving peak performance.

That’s how the racing pro moves the needle in his or her world.

How do we do that in our world?

Strategic Meetings Management Series – Part 3

Hotel News Now December 20, 2013
In order to globalize and consolidate a meeting-management plan, a commonality must be present between all parties.
This is the third column of a three-part series addressing strategic meetings management. The first part examined the overall idea of SMM. The second part explored the challenges of SMM programs, and the third part discusses the global view. – See more at:

Strategic Meetings Management Series – Part 2

Hotel News Now December 19, 2013
Implementing a strategic meetings management plan can pose some challenges. Here’s how to overcome them.
This is the second of a three-part series addressing strategic meetings management. The third part will discuss the global view.

Strategic Meetings Management Series – Part 1

Hotel News Now December 18, 2013
SMM is a tool that could lead to cost savings.
This is the first column of a three-part series addressing strategic meetings management. The second part will explore the challenges of SMM programs, and the third part will discuss the global view.