Archive for February, 2011

Use the Power of Packaging to Sell Your Rooms

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Use the Power of Packaging to Sell Your Rooms

by Sandy Soule

Although the economy is gradually improving, and both leisure and corporate travel is on the upswing, we continue to operate in a highly competitive environment where consumer purchasing is primarily value-driven.

Innkeepers are under increasing pressure to think creatively about different ways to keep their RevPar (revenue per available room) maximized; effective use of packaging is certainly worth considering. After all, it’s more feasible to increase revenue per available room than it is to increase your room count. In general, there are two types of packaging — all-inclusives and add-ons. We’ll be discussing both in this article, along with some survey results from both innkeepers and consumers.

Survey results: Innkeepers

After the second quarter of 2010, we surveyed both innkeepers and consumers to determine packaging preferences. We asked innkeepers:

Do you offer packages to potential guests?

* On & other B&B sites: 55%
* On my own website: 77%
* Telephone inquiries: 45%
* After arrival at the inn: 13%
* On other travel websites: 28%

Comment: Many innkeepers think that packaging is synonymous with discounting, and avoid it for that reason. Others realize that value-added packaging can increase income and reservations, and can be an excellent alternative to discounting.

Suggestion: About 20% of innkeepers aren’t taking the few minutes required to cut and paste their package information from their own websites to their directory listings. Give it a try — you never know what will attract a potential guest to your listing, your website, and your inn!

If you don’t offer online booking of packages, why not?

* No guest interest: 21%
* Don’t want the extra work: 25%
* No package components available: 22%
* Technological/website limitation: 32%

Comment: Of approximately 600 respondents, 400 skipped this question, 200 replied, and 118 commented. Responses included many who said they don’t need or want online packaging; some misunderstood, thinking that packaging involved either discounting or high commissions; and a number were interested, as soon as a new website was ready; others had PMS issues that either didn’t allow for packaging or the setup made it overly complex.

Suggestion: Both packaging and rate discounting are viable strategic marketing techniques, each with different advantages and disadvantages. Investigate them both to decide which approaches will work best for your property during different dates and seasons. When testing pricing levels, be sure that you understand both the fixed and variable costs of renting a room (or having it sit empty), so that you can balance the cost of an unsold room with one that is booked.

If you do offer online booking of packages, what has been the effect on sales?

* Increased: 39%
* Decreased: 2%
* No change: 59%

Comment: The fact that almost 40% of respondents found that online booking of packages increased sales makes it well worth testing.

Survey results: Consumers

Have you ever booked a package at a B&B or inn?

* Yes: 56%
* No: 44%

Comment: Many consumer comments ran along the lines of “it depends on whether it’s a good value,” while other remarks reflected confusion about what constitutes a package. Several mentioned singles as a neglected group. Some samples:

* “If the packages are a good value, I like to book them, but if it’s just a way to increase the price, then no.”
* “I especially like packages that include a reasonable price for fine dining nearby.”
* “We booked a wedding package for our small ceremony; it was wonderful!”
* “I love getting away on my own, but packages are always for families or couples. Change that, and I’ll be there!”

What kind of package add-ons interest you?

* Food: 73%
* Activities: 50%
* Romance: 35%

Comment: Food was clearly the most appealing add-on. Consider offing a dinner certificate as a profitable extra on busy weekends, or make it a freebie to build occupancy midweek. In either case, work with high-quality locally owned restaurants, and negotiate a discount with the owner. To test this, contact local restaurant(s) and offer to pay $40 for a $50 gift certificate for two entrees (or whatever amount is appropriate for your area; excludes tax, tip, drinks). Guests get the dining certificates at check-in. You pay the restaurant the $40 when/if certificates are redeemed. The restaurant owner is happy because of the added covers on a slow night; their 20% discount softened by extras (alcohol, dessert). You get a two-night midweek reservation for a cost of $40. Some guests won’t use the certificates, costing you nothing.

“Activities” was the second most popular add-on; work with local outfitters to offer bike, kayaking, fishing, riding, and other experiences. They should offer you a commission or discounted price that you can incorporate to make your package attractive to potential guests.

“Romance” packages generally include some combination of roses, chocolates, champagne or sparkling cider, and often, two wine glasses with your inn’s name. Purchase these elements as needed for your packages at discounted rates, so that you make a small profit when offering them to guests.

Packaging online: all-inclusives and add-ons

The Castle in the Country in Allegan, Michigan effectively promotes and books both all-inclusive and add-on packages on its well-designed website, giving potential guests the choice of telephoning or reserving online. Their all-inclusive Celebration Package, for example, makes it easy for guests to enjoy a special occasion escape while generating significant additional income for the inn with relatively little effort. Use of the RezOvation Booking Engine makes it easy for guests to read reviews, check pricing, and select the room of their choice for their preferred dates. If a potential guest is not interested in an all-inclusive package, add-on upsell items like a massage, flowers, etc. are also presented as part of the checkout process; this makes it easy for guests to pick these extra items. Innkeeper Ruth Boven was exceedingly generous in sharing some of her advice on how packaging works for them:

“We sell a lot of packages because they are a great way to give guests exactly what they really want in a getaway experience. Value is created not only by the package components, but also in the service we provide by bundling together the best of what our inn and area offers. Here are our primary packaging objectives:

* “Sell multiple night stays: Potential guests must view us as a destination getaway location, allowing us to compete with other lodging alternatives such as casinos and resorts with multiple activities/attractions, plus more centrally located B&Bs. Our all-inclusive packages make it easy for the guest to understand how much our area offers for them to do, despite our slightly out-of-the way location.”
* “Increase revenue: We want to make money on our packages because they cost us money to implement. For long-term sustainability, we aim for a profit of at least 30%. We prefer bundled packages so we can recoup our costs over several components. We sacrifice this profit only when we need to increase reservations with specials.”
* “Brand our unique selling proposition: Not only do our packages make the guest experience different from a stay at a competitive property, but the take-away package components continue to remind them of their experience here.”

Castle in the Country Special Packages


Packages increase SEO

If travelers wanted to find a country B&B in which to celebrate Thanksgiving, they might enter a term like “thanksgiving bed and breakfast” into Google. If you have such a package, you might end up with a three-night reservation from folks who would never have found you otherwise.

Promoting your packages: In describing and promoting your packages, keep these goals in mind:

* Keep the descriptions concise, clear, and appealing, with the focus on WIIFM (what’s in it for me, the guest).
* Enhance your written description with great photos relevant to your packages.
* Work with state/local chambers/tourist offices to promote your packages and your property.
* Send press releases to local media about your packages, especially those with a timely theme and/or a news hook.
* List your packages prominently on your website, directories, state B&B association, CVBs, etc. and ensure that your staff is well informed about this as well.

Social Marketing: Use your blog, Facebook and Twitter pages to attract potential guests possibly looking for package options. Younger guests often use social marketing sites as an alternative to email or telephone when doing research. Take a look at the Castle in the Country’s Facebook page to see how they are using it to promote their engagement, wedding, and anniversary packages; another excellent example is the Empress of Little Rock.


Take-away: In conclusion, bear in mind that packaging is not for every property. Test packages that will grow income by increasing RevPar and/or occupancy, while avoiding packages that require too much time or money with no guarantee of success. Offer simple up-sell packages online in your checkout to increase revenue risk-free.

Soda may be the key to many of your health problems

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Soda may be the key to many of your health problems

The fact remains, though, that MOST victims don’t have a clue that soda which contains a chemical called aspartame may be the cause of their many health problems problems! Many reactions to aspartame were very serious including seizures and death.

Those reactions included:
Abdominal Pain
Anxiety attacks
Asthmatic Reactions
Bloating, Edema Fluid Retention
Blood Sugar Control Problems Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia
Brain Cancer Pre approval studies in animals
Breathing difficulties
burning eyes or throat
Burning Urination
can’t think straight
Chest Pains
chronic cough
Chronic Fatigue
Excessive Thirst or Hunger
feel unreal
flushing of face
Hair Loss Baldness or Thinning of Hair
Headaches, Migraines dizziness
Hearing Loss
Heart palpitations
Hives Urticaria
Hypertension High Blood Pressure
Impotency and Sexual Problems
inability to concentrate
Infection Susceptibility
Joint Pains
like thinking in a fog
Marked Personality Changes
Memory loss
Menstrual Problems or Changes
Migraines and Severe Headaches Trigger or Cause From Chronic Intake
Muscle spasms
Nausea or Vomiting
Numbness or Tingling of Extremities
Other Allergic-Like Reactions
Panic Attacks
poor memory
Rapid Heart Beat
Seizures and Convulsions
Slurring of Speech
Swallowing Pain
Vision Loss
Weight gain

Aspartame Disease Mimics Symptoms or Worsens the Following Diseases
Multiple Sclerosis MS
Parkinson’s Disease
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities MCS
Diabetes and Diabetic Complications
Alzheimer’s Disease
Birth Defects
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Lyme Disease
Attention Deficit Disorder ADD
Panic Disorder
Depression and other Psychological Disorders

Aspartame is also one of the major reasons for obesity.

Note: It often takes at least sixty days without any aspartame NutraSweet to see a significant improvement. Check all labels very carefully including vitamins and pharmaceuticals. Look for the word aspartame on the label and avoid it. Also, it is a good idea to avoid acesulfame k or sunette.

If you are a user of any products with aspartame like Soda Pop, and you have physical, visual, mental problems take the 60 day no aspartame test. If, after two months with no aspartame your symptoms are either gone, or are much less severe, then it is the soda that is causing all your health problems.

There are over 9,000 products on our grocery shelves that contain Aspertame!

Why Attend NABB Winter Regional Meetings?

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Why should you attend your NABB Winter Regional Meeting? Here are just a few reasons:

1. Learn more about our award winning website!!

2. Discuss Social Media’s impact – it made a difference to Egypt! It will to your B&B too.

3. Network with fellow innkeepers.

4. Learn about your membership in PAII – Professional Association of Innkeepers International

5. Enter your name in a drawing for a FREE night’s stay at the River Inn Resort, site of the Fall NABB Conference in October. One winner will be drawn from names of all NABB innkeepers in attendance. Value = $60.

Here are the locations. I’m excited and hope you are too. Call your host today to RSVP!!

Frontier Trails: Burchell’s White Hill Farmhouse, Minden – Feb. 16 @ 1:00pm; snow date, Feb. 23 @ 1:00pm. Call: 308-832-1323; email:

Pioneer Country: Dempster Woods, Geneva – Feb. 20 @ 1:30pm. Call: 402-759-4171; email: email:

Metro & Lewis and Clark: Ofts B&B, Bennington – Feb. 27 @ 1:30pm; snow date March 6 @ 1:30. Call: 402-614-7509: email:

Panhandle & Prairie Lakes: Patriot Inn, Hemingford – April 16 @ 2:00pm. Call: 308-487-3388; email:

Innkeepers are welcome to attend ANY region’s Winter Meeting or multiple meetings, just confirm with the hosts that you’re coming!

Contact President Harriet Gould if you have questions. Email:

Bicarbonate and Maple Syrup Treatment for Cancer

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Tonight we are going back to medical basics with the application of the least expensive, safest and perhaps most effective cancer medicine there is. Sodium bicarbonate has been on many cancer patients’ minds this past year. It has not been easy though to get to Rome or even contact Dr. Tullio Simoncini for treatment. And doctors willing to give bicarbonate IVs are not on every corner so it’s been somewhat frustrating to have something so simple and effective remain elusive. If doctors doing such treatments want to be listed by the IMVA for referral please contact us.

Though we have known that oral intake of sodium bicarbonate will have the Simoncini effect on oral, esophagus and stomach cancer we have not focused at all on the systemic effect of bicarbonate taken orally. Every cancer patient and every health care practitioner should know that oral intake of sodium bicarbonate offers an instant and strong shift of blood pH into the alkaline. So strong is the effect that athletes can notice the difference in their breathing as more oxygen is carried throughout the system and as more acids are neutralized.[i] The difference can be stunning for those whose respiration is labored under intense exercise loading.[ii] This tells us to take very seriously the oral use of bicarbonate for cancer treatment no matter what other treatment is used.

This diagram shows the diffusion directions for H+, CO2, and O2 between the blood and the muscle cells during exercise. The resulting concentration changes affect the buffer equilibria, shown in the upper right-hand corner of the diagram (yellow). If the amounts of H+ and CO2 exceed the capacity of hemoglobin, they affect the carbonic acid equilibrium, as predicted by Le Châtelier’s Principle or the quantitative treatment in terms of equilibrium constants. As a result, the pH of the blood is lowered, causing acidosis. The lungs and kidneys respond to pH changes by removing CO2, HCO3-, and H+ from the blood.

When one reads my thesis on different medicinal substances one has to always remember that I am a protocol man who does not support single shot cures for anything. With the publication of today’s chapter on sodium bicarbonate and maple syrup sodium bicarbonate slips securely into the number three spot right behind magnesium chloride and iodine. Each of these three substances effects directly onto basic human physiology in a way most pharmaceutical drugs do not. When used together we have a super threesome that will inexpensively go far to resolving many of the physical and even some of the emotional problems we and our children face. And if you have not made the connection please note that all three of these substances are used in emergency rooms and intensive care wards and they do commonly save lives every day with their inherent healing powers. See my chapter on emergency room medicine and cancer treatment.

All cancer sufferers and in fact every chronic disease patient should hold clearly in mind that pH is the regulatory authority that controls most cellular processes. The pH balance of the human bloodstream is recognized by medical physiology texts as one of the most important biochemical balances in all of human body chemistry. pH is the acronym for Potential Hydrogen. In definition, it is the degree of concentration of hydrogen ions in a substance or solution. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. Higher numbers mean a substance is more alkaline in nature and there is a greater potential for absorbing more hydrogen ions. Lower numbers indicate more acidity with less potential for absorbing hydrogen ions.

Our body pH is very important because pH controls the speed of our body’s biochemical reactions. It does this by controlling the speed of enzyme activity as well as the speed that electricity moves through our body; the higher more alkaline the pH of a substance or solution, the more electrical resistance that substance or solution holds. Therefore, electricity travels slower with higher pH. If we say something has an acid pH, we are saying it is hot and fast. Alkaline pH on the other hand, bio-chemically speaking, is slow and cool.

Body ph level changes are intense in the profundity of their biological effects. Even genes directly experience external pH. pH differentially regulates a large number of proteins. Increased oxidative stress, which correlates almost exponentially with ph changes into the acidic, is especially dangerous to the mitochondria, which suffer the greatest under oxidative duress. Epigenetics, which may now have begun eclipsing traditional genetics, commonly describes how factors such as diet and smoking, rather than inheritance influence how genes behave.

The following chapter comes after 100 pages of text in the Yeast and Fungi Invaders section of the Winning the War on Cancer book. Please note that sodium bicarbonate taken in water alone will have a powerful effect on entire body physiology because of the instant shift into alkaline pH levels. Bicarbonate can be taken frequently throughout the day with half teaspoons amounts though for long term use lower doses are safer. For cancer patients initial use should be heavy and frequent to force a greater shift because smaller pH shifts can actually stimulate cancer growth.

Common sense knowledge speaks loudly about cancer and Candida patients avoiding glucose. This is similar to the common sense of pilots who know to pull back on the stick to pull out of a dive. That works until you approach the speed of sound and at that point all the pulling in the world will not work. You have to push the stick forward and do what instincts scream not to do. Several died trying until Chuck Yeager pushed that stick forward and became the first man to break the speed of sound.

Bicarbonate Maple Cancer Treatment

International Medical Veritas Association

The bicarbonate maple syrup cancer treatment focuses on delivering natural chemotherapy in a way that effectively kills cancer cells but significantly reduces the brutal side effects experienced with most standard chemotherapy treatments. In fact so great is the reduction that the dangers are brought down to zero. Costs, which are a factor for the majority of people, of this particular treatment are nil. Though this cancer treatment is very inexpensive, do not assume it is not effective. The bicarbonate maple syrup cancer treatment is a very significant cancer treatment every cancer patient should be familiar with and it can easily be combined with other safe and effective natural treatments.

This cancer treatment is similar in principle to Insulin Potentiation Therapy IPT. IPT treatment consists of giving doses of insulin to a fasting patient sufficient to lower blood sugar into the 50 mg/dl. In a normal person, when you take in sugar the insulin levels go up to meet the need of getting that sugar into the cells. In IPT they are artificially injecting insulin to deplete the blood of all sugar then injecting the lower doses of toxic chemo drugs when the blood sugar is driven down to the lowest possible value. During the low peak, it is said that the receptors are more sensitive and take on medications more rapidly and in higher amounts.

The bicarbonate maple syrup treatment works in reverse to IPT. Dr. Tullio Simoncini acknowledges that cancer cells gobbles up sugar so when you encourage the intake of sugar it’s like sending in a Trojan horse. The sugar is not going to end up encouraging the further growth of the cancer colonies because the baking soda is going to kill the cells before they have a chance to grow. Instead of artificially manipulating insulin and thus forcefully driving down blood sugar levels to then inject toxic chemo agents we combine the sugar with the bicarbonate and present it to the cancer cells, which at first are going to love the present. But not for long!

This treatment is a combination of pure, 100% maple syrup and baking soda and was first reported on the Cancer Tutor site. When mixed and heated together, the maple syrup and baking soda bind together. The maple syrup targets cancer cells which consume 15 times more glucose than normal cells and the baking soda, which is dragged into the cancer cell by the maple syrup, being very alkaline forces a rapid shift in pH killing the cell. The actual formula is to mix one part baking soda with three parts pure, 100% maple syrup in a small saucepan. Stir briskly and heat the mixture for 5 minutes. Take 1 teaspoon daily, is what is suggested by Cancer Tutor but one could probably do this several times a day.

There is not a tumor on God’s green earth that cannot be licked with a little baking soda and maple syrup. That is the astonishing claim of controversial folk healer Jim Kelmun who says that this simple home remedy can stop and reverse the deadly growth of cancers. His loyal patients swear by the man they fondly call Dr. Jim and say he is a miracle worker. Dr. Jim cured me of lung cancer, said farmer Ian Roadhouse. Those other doctors told me that I was a goner and had less then six months to live. But the doc put me on his mixture and in a couple of months the cancer was gone. It did not even show up on the x-rays.

Dr. Jim discovered this treatment accidentally somewhere in the middle of the last century when he was treating a family plagued by breast cancer. There were five sisters in the family and four of them had died of breast cancer. He asked the remaining sister if there was anything different in her diet and she told him that she was partial to sipping maple syrup and baking soda. Since then, reported by a newspaper in Ashville, North Carolina, Dr. Jim dispensed this remedy to over 200 people diagnosed with terminal cancer and amazingly he claims of that number 185 lived at least 15 more years and nearly half enjoyed a complete remission of their disease. When combined with other safe and effective treatments like transdermal magnesium therapy, iodine, vitamin C, probiotics and other items like plenty of good sun exposure, pure water and clay treatments we should expect even higher remission rates.

It is very important not to use baking soda which has had aluminum added to it. The Cancer Tutor site reports that Arm and Hammer does have aluminum but the company insists that is not true. One can buy a product which specifically states it does not include aluminum or other chemicals. e.g. Bob’s Red Mill, Aluminum-Free, Baking Soda. Sodium bicarbonate is safe, extremely inexpensive and unstoppably effective when it comes to cancer tissues. It’s an irresistible chemical, cyanide to cancer cells for it hits the cancer cells with a shock wave of alkalinity, which allows much more oxygen into the cancer cells than they can tolerate. Cancer cells cannot survive in the presence of high levels of oxygen. Studies have already shown how manipulation of tumor pH with sodium bicarbonate enhances some forms of chemotherapy. [iii]

The therapeutic treatment of bicarbonate salts can be administered orally, through aerosol, intravenously and through catheter for direct targeting of tumors, says oncologist Dr. Tullio Simoncini. Sodium bicarbonate administered orally, via aerosol or intravenously can achieve positive results only in some tumors, while others such as the serious ones of the brain or the bones remain unaffected by the treatment.

The maple syrup apparently enables and increases penetration of bicarbonate into all compartments of body, even those which are difficult or impossible to penetrate by other means. These compartments include the central nervous system CNS, through the blood-brain barrier, joints, solid tumors, and perhaps even the eyes. IPT makes cell membranes more permeable, and increases uptake of drugs into cells. The maple syrup will make tissues more permeable, too. It will transport the bicarbonate across the blood-brain barrier and every other barrier in the body for sugar is universally needed by all cells in the body. The essence of IPT is that it allows cancer drugs to be given in a smaller dose, far less toxic to normal cells, while building up lethally toxic concentrations in cancer cells. Both IPT and bicarbonate maple syrup treatments use the rabid growth mechanisms of the cancer cell against them.

Dr. Jim did not have contact with Dr. Simoncini and did not know that he is the only oncologist in the world who would sustain the combining of sugar with bicarbonate. Dr. Simoncini always directs his patients to dramatically increase sugar intake with his treatments but has never thought to mix the two directly by cooking them together. Because his treatments depend on interventionist radiologists who insert catheters to direct the bicarbonate as close to the affected area as possible, or physicians willing to do expensive intravenous treatments, I pushed bicarbonate up into the number six slot in the IMVA cancer protocol. With the discovery of Dr. Jim’s work bicarbonate comes back into our number three spot right behind magnesium chloride and iodine.

That number three slot for a brief time was held by hemp oil containing THC. The great advantage that maple syrup and bicarbonate treatment has over this type hemp oil is that it is legal thus easily obtainable. The two together, backed by a solid protocol of other nutritional substances makes winning the war on cancer almost a certainty. When using these substances it is safer to change one’s vocabulary and not say one is treating and curing cancer. Far better to conceptualize that one is treating the infectious aspect of cancer, the fungus and yeast colonies and the yeast like bacteria that are the cause of TB.

Dr. Simoncini says that, In some cases, the aggressive power of fungi is so great as to allow it, with only a cellular ring made up of three units, to tighten in its grip, capture and kill its prey in a short time notwithstanding the prey’s desperate struggling. Fungus, which is the most powerful and the most organized micro-organism known, seems to be an extremely logical candidate as a cause of neoplastic proliferation.

pH of the blood is the most important factor to

determine the state of the microorganisms in the blood.

Sodium bicarbonate therapy is harmless, fast and effective because it is extremely diffusible. A therapy with bicarbonate for cancer should be set up with strong dosage, continuously, and with pauseless cycles in a destruction work which should proceed from the beginning to the end without interruption for at least 7-8 days. In general a mass of 2-3-4 centimeters will begin to consistently regress from the third to the fourth day, and collapses from the fourth to the fifth, says Dr Simoncini.

There are many ways to use sodium bicarbonate and it is a universal drug like iodine and magnesium chloride. Raising pH increases the immune system’s ability to kill bacteria, concludes a study conducted at The Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine in London. Viruses and bacteria that cause bronchitis and colds thrive in an acidic environment. To fight a respiratory infection and dampen symptoms such as a runny nose and sore throat, taking an alkalizing mixture of sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate will certainly help.

The apple cider vinegar 1/4 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda taken 2 times or more a day is another treatment as is lemon and baking soda, or lime and baking soda formulas. Perhaps honey could be substituted for maple syrup for those who live in parts of the world where maple syrup is not available but to my knowledge no one has experimented with this.

Mark Sircus Ac., OMD

Director International Medical Veritas Association

[i] The breakdown of glucose or glycogen produces lactate and hydrogen ions – for each lactate molecule, one hydrogen ion is formed. The presence of hydrogen ions, not lactate, makes the muscle acidic that will eventually halt muscle function. As hydrogen ion concentrations increase the blood and muscle become acidic. This acidic environment will slow down enzyme activity and ultimately the breakdown of glucose itself. Acidic muscles will aggravate associated nerve endings causing pain and increase irritation of the central nervous system. The athlete may become disorientated and feel nauseous.

[ii] By buffering acidity in the blood, bicarbonate draws more of the acid produced within the muscle cells out into the blood and thus reduce the level of acidity within the muscle cells themselves.

[iii] Enhancement of chemotherapy by manipulation of tumour pH. Raghunand N, He X, van Sluis R, Mahoney B, Baggett B, Taylor CW, Paine-Murrieta G, Roe D, Bhujwalla ZM, Gillies RJ. Arizona Cancer Center.

Never Too Late For Love

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Never Too Late For Love
What happens in some hotels on February 15th and beyond
Monday, February 14, 2011
Francine Cohen

So, it’s February 14th. Valentine’s Day. The one day a year where hopeful romantics flood into your hotel for an overnight like no other, and your restaurants are full with hungry guests hankering for the promise that that complimentary glass of bubbly provides. But why stop there? It doesn’t have to. There are 14 more days left in this month, and 320 more days remaining in the year and you could, as some other hoteliers have done, put them to good use to show your guests just how much you love them and their business.

Chocolatiering is a serious business, especially around Valentine ’s Day when we imagine production of confections hits an all-time high. Of course chocolate making wouldn’t be as crucial if chocolate loving guests didn’t make it their business to celebrate with cocoa treats. But they do. And the Kimpton brand loves to give their guests the things they love the most.

And this month, it’s chocolate. Throughout the month of February chocolate fiends will find themselves in chocolate heaven when they check into or dine at a Kimpton property. Complimentary chocolate themed events will be going on at more than 50 Kimpton hotels and restaurants across the country including: On February 17th there’s a “Chocolate Lover’s Day” Celebration from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in hotel living rooms with complimentary chocolate-inspired desserts, tastings, hors d’oeuvres and Kimpton’s ultimate hot or chilled chocolate drinks; throughout the month guests visiting participating Kimpton restaurants will encounter Chocolate-Drenched Desserts – a dessert menu offering at least two very chocolately desserts.

This love for chocolate and the people who love it fits right in with Kimpton’s philosophy on delivering a personalized guest experience. “At Kimpton, we love a balance of health and hedonism, and we think chocolate delivers on both of those fronts,” said Niki Leondakis, president and chief operating officer at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. “Bringing the Kimpton spirit to National Chocolate Month is one more way for us to create memorable travel experiences and a great opportunity to inspire guests to enjoy this indulgent treat in new ways.”

The entire month of February is one big indulgent and decadent day (or night) at the Mandarin Oriental New York as they roll out their Seven Deadly Sins & Bubbly: Chocolate & Champagne Tasting.

The hotel’s Wine Director, Annie Turso, collaborated with Tumbador Chocolate’s Seven Deadly Sins collection and specially selected two Billecart-Salmon Champagnes and an “aFAIR to Remember” cocktail with FAIR. Trade Goji Liqueur to perfectly pair with each of the chocolates in the collection. “We were inspired to pair Champagnes and a cocktail with The Seven Deadly Sins collection because it’s such a deliciously romantic, elegant and festive way to enjoy Tumbador’s decadent flavors,” says Turso.

Tumbador Chocolate’s 7 Deadly Sins feature:

* PRIDE – infused with blackcurrant, Champagne and ganaches of both milk and white chocolate
* LUST – pomegranate covered in a blend of dark and milk chocolate
* ENVY – creamy passion fruit with hints of lime and vanilla, enveloped in white chocolate
* SLOTH – goats milk dulce de leche, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and a hint of fleur de sel
* GREED – Tumbador’s favorite blend of Peruvian and Ecuadorean chocolates
* WRATH – caramelized almond and praline covered in dark chocolate
* GLUTTONY – an oversized piece of Hawaiian chocolate with cream and black lava sea salt

Priced at $125 the tasting includes Champagne and cocktail pairings for two people served with Tumbador Chocolate’s 7 Deadly Sins chocolate – a selection that offers two heart shaped pieces of each of the 6 “sinful” chocolate flavors and one large bouché for “Gluttony” to be shared. What a sweet way to capture revenue from guests who may not be staying the night.

Increasing revenue via the perfect present was the goal of this year’s Valentine’s Day gift card offer at Historic Palm Beach resort, The Breakers. Gift cards are an annual program with special events, like Valentine’s Day, getting leveraged as more travelers who come to Palm Beach or have friends there contemplate treating themselves to the resort and locals look for a special opportunity to experience the luxury in their own backyard. Between February 1st and 14th gift card purchasers who spent at least $250 were gifted with a complimentary $50 gift card.

Of course it is up to the purchaser to decide whether to pass that extra $50 along to their beloved or keep it for themselves and the things they like to do; but the options are endless. And so is the timing, as there’s no expiration on these cards. Bonnie Reuben Director of Marketing and Communications for the resort notes, “The gift cards give the buyer the versatility to give the gift of The Breakers in whatever dimension fits the recipient. You can really have The Breakers your way. The gift card program is very reflective of the versatility and multi-faceted nature of The Breakers. You can use the cards for anything from court and tee times, to spa treatments to all dining options (including off site – as in Echo and Top of the Point), recreation, even retail. Vacationers like to shop which is reflected in the fact that years ago we developed retail specialty stores. We have big boutiques on property, some our own concepts and others like Ralph Lauren and Guerlain, and so the cards are valid for merchandise there too.”

Since the announcement of the Valentine’s Day gift card promotion sales have jumped 20%. This is truly the gift that keeps giving; both to the guests and to the hotel. Ain’t love grand?

Older Home Restoration Project

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Hello Innkeepers – for those of you interested in restoring and upkeep in your older homes, I came across this workshop that you might want to investigate further: Restore Omaha Conference. It will be held on March 5 @ Metro Community College’s South Campus, 27th and Q Streets. There is a website with full details. Go to
Early registration ends on Feb. 18th so check this out if you’re interested.
~Harriet Gould, President NABB

2011 Nebraska MarketPlace Conference

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

2011 Nebraska MarketPlace Conference is less than two weeks away! Can you believe it? We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait!

We want this year to be an even bigger success than last year, but we need your help! Help us promote MarketPlace with your friends and connections! How can you do this? Here are 3 easy ways!

1. Say that you will be attending Nebraska MarketPlace on our Facebook event along with sending out an event invitation to your Facebook friends and contacts. Are you not Facebook friends with all your business connections and contacts? No problem! Type in their emails and a message will be sent them right away!

2. Don’t forget to become a fan of Nebraska MarketPlace on our Facebook and Twitter pages too!

3. Tell everyone why you decided to have a booth at MarketPlace and why you are attending MarketPlace on your Facebook wall along with on ours! Are you a multi-year attendee/exhibitor? Tell our fans why you continue to come back! We’d love to hear too! Search for Nebraska MarketPlace and you will be sure to find us!

Are you a Twitter or LinkedIn Fan? Find us on both by searching for Nebraska MarketPlace or clicking the links below! If you prefer to tweet, then tweet away and let the world know why you can’t wait for 2011 Nebraska MarketPlace!

We are trying something new this year and would like your help with this as well! We have created a hashtag #nemp that we would like attendees, exhibitors, and presenters to use before and during the conference. This is a great way to learn what is going on throughout the conference when you can’t be in two places at once! It is also a good way to connect with attendees ahead of the conference! You can start making connections before the conference even begins!

Early bird registration for attendees ends Friday, so remind all your friends and connections to register by Friday!

Thanks for your help in advance and we can’t wait to see you in about 2 weeks!

Lindsey Bierman
Mark your calendar for these Center for Rural Affairs Projects:
5th Nebraska MarketPlace Conference
Feb. 22nd & 23rd, 2011
Ramada Inn, Kearney, NE

Nebraska Energy Fair
July 22 & 23, 2011
Lyons, NE

“The Center for Rural Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer”

Global Business Travel Association

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

To meet the growing demands and increasing globalization of business travel, the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry – today announced the launch of its new name: the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

In conjunction with the GBTA launch, the organization is enhancing its member value proposition through a broader global focus and new member features and benefits which have been refined and expanded so the organization is better aligned with its members’ professional needs. A few of the planned changes include:

* An expanded global footprint of networking and educational events, many of which will be complimentary for members
* Free worldwide registration for members to all GBTA webinars
* Access to new and improved industry research and resources – including global benchmarking tools
* Enhanced online collaboration and information sharing
* An internationally driven and interconnected committee network offering global guidance
* Continued expansion of the GBTA network for representation in every major business travel market

In addition, GBTA will soon offer advanced networking – giving members the ability to find the expert they need on any topic, in any global region, and collaborate with them. This will be coupled with a new, more robust website which will allow members to find resources more easily and enable greater collaboration. GBTA will also continue to have a strong voice in industry advocacy, reflecting the increasingly global nature of the changes happening in the business travel industry.

Michael W. McCormick, Executive Director & COO of GBTA, said, “Following the initial announcement of our evolution to GBTA at the annual International Convention and Exposition last August, we conducted a global membership survey to gain a clear understanding of our members’ needs and expectations. After analyzing the feedback, we have reshaped, refined, and expanded our organization’s benefits to best fit our members. Together with GBTA, members will have seamless access to industry-leading resources, cutting-edge research, an expanded global network, and much more.”

“We are thrilled to roll out a new name and logo that fully reflects the global scope and reach of this organization and is truly aligned with the global nature of today’s economy and business travel industry,” added GBTA President & CEO Craig Banikowski. “As an organization that represents the voice of the worldwide business travel industry, we believe it is our responsibility to actively discuss the needs of our members, advocate for them, and create a vibrant community where members can network, learn from one another, and further the development of the business travel profession. This is a very important milestone in our vision of the future for our association.”

Attract More Travelers and Bookings in 5 Easy Ways

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Attract more travelers – and bookings – in 5 easy ways:
1. Post ANY special offer. It’s better to display even a small deal than nothing at all, in order to capitalize on the increased exposure.
2. Showcase low occupancy periods. It’s a perfect way to increase bookings with lower rates during off-peak seasons.
3. Change your offer. You can post alternative deals as often as you wish to determine the most effective tactics.
4. Track conversions. Telephone, email and web tracking are all easy to set up and will help pinpoint which channel your guests prefer.
5. Go direct. Don’t lose bookings by making customers hunt for your booking engine – send them straight to it.

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