Hotels and Hurricanes

As I finished up my work with another convention group here in Orlando today the client mentioned they were heading out to the airport early due to all the hurricane preparations.

“Huh?  Joaquin has already passed Florida and moving on up North” I replied. “Looks like this one is missing us.”

“We know, and now it’s expected to hit us back in New Jersey, so we need to get outta this place right away and get home!”

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Gay Marriage Orlando Style, Part Deux

So once again, mom’s advice was spot on when she told me, “To stay relevant, keep learning something new every day of your life.” My last post, Gay Marriage Orlando Style, was two weeks ago but gosh, gee wiz, have I learned a lot about gay marriages in that short time span! (And don’t forget, there was a red, white, and blue holiday during that time when all this education was coming my way, so I’m sure there was an adult beverage or two involved with my classes. Ahem.)

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You Be the Judge – It’s Not JUST a Pie!

TRUE CONFESSION: I’m writing this at the end of a weekend wherein I taste-tested over, um, gulp, 27 different pies.

There, I said it, and yes, I’m a pie butt, albeit this past weekend I was officially one for a very good cause. You see, I was honored/happy/over the moon when I recently found out that I had ‘made the cut’ (oye-now starts the pie puns. . .) to be an official judge at the recently completed National Pie Championships sponsored by the American Pie Council, whose purpose is “committed to preserving America’s pie heritage and promoting America’s love affair with pies.”

Yea, there really is, and you betcha, I really was!

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Do You Like Free?

I know I do, and this week I’m sharing an awesome website about all kinds of things that happen in and around Orlando each week, and many of them are free as in F.R.E.E. I know it’s hard to believe given that we live in the land of [yawn] $100 per day tickets to you-know-where [sigh], but maybe that’s what makes this information even more sweet. We all know there are hidden gems in and around OTown, and I’m always happy to share news about any of them that I can. So check out this website called, appropriately, Orlando at Play, and tell me you don’t just love the areas that scream “FREE Events”?

I’m waiting. Are you channeling the love?

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Looking for Interesting Work in the Field of Hospitality?

If so, there’s plenty to choose from, especially here in Orlando.  And in particular if you’re one of the many, many people who actually put this sentence on your resume or job application:  “I’m such a PEOPLE person, I know I’ll be perfect for this job!  People just LOVE me!”  Well go ahead, gag all you want, but some people, and you know who you are, really do put this on their job application.  But good news for all you people-lovers, because guess what?  Seriously, what kind of jobs are out there that don’t require some form of interaction with actual live human beings at some point?  (Okay, I do recognize that there are a lot of virtual workers in the world now; but still, even those jobs must require just a tad of  playing-nice-with-people-when-necessary, right?)

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7 easy-peasy random acts of kindness to brighten the holiday season

. . .and, here in the Hive, we believe that’s always a very good thing.  Of course, ‘RaK’s’ are welcome any day of the year, but for some reason as we approach the twin goodness of Thanksgiving and the mother-of-all holidays that closely follows, it seems even more pertinent to acknowledge the need to pay it forward – if only in the tiniest of ways – as much as possible.  So, in the spirit of being grateful for a multitude of things, how about trying a week’s worth of random acts of kindness?  To get you started, here are seven easy ones that are basic and inexpensive but could leave lasting impressions:

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The Four Seasons – Luxury, Ambience and a Food Truck?

That’s right, a food truck.  Who knew?  For most people (myself included) familiar with the Four Seasons message of over-the-top luxury, the tag-along of a food truck would never be in the same sentence.  Yet here I am writing about both.  One from the standpoint of ‘been there, experienced that’ and the other, well, guess […]

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Can Airline Safety be Sexy?

Whether or not you’re a frequent flyer or just occasionally visit ‘the friendly skies’ (I know use of that quote dates me but seriously, that’s what we used to call them and hey, news flash – before 9/11 many flights actually were consumer friendly and enjoyable), you’ve probably seen some of the recent safety videos offered up by most of the major carriers.  Although I’m not sure who went first, I think it might have been Virgin Airlines with this sexy, funky, crazy version released last year and now seen by over 9 million people.

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Welcome to the Experience Economy

Keeping up with industry buzzwords, I learned recently that we have left the SERVICE economy behind us and are now in the EXPERIENCE economy.  (Technically, this happened a few years back.  For data and details, check out the book The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore that was last updated in, um. 2011. Full Disclosure:  Not the first time I’ve been late to the party. Just sayin’ .) Anyway, here in the wonderful world of hospitality we still believe that service is king, oh yes we do! But, the current challenge is to find more and better ways of providing excellent service experiences at the same time that we’re embracing unemotional systems, policies and procedures.

To put it in a hospitality-hotel nutshell, if you’re smoking your iPhone and are addicted to technology (yes, you out there, currently tapping your thumbs on your you-know-what), do you really want or care about that smile delivered with your room key at hotel check in, or would you prefer to bypass human interaction at the front desk and unlock your room with an app that you’ve downloaded on your very own hand-held piece of legal crack (aka iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Nokia Lumia, or whatever you’ve got)?

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Which Way to the Lobby Bar?

Okay, I’ll admit it.  I do love me a good hotel lobby bar, and yes, living here in Orlando we’ve got a plethora of great ones to choose from, so lucky us!  But I wonder how many locals take advantage of this chic and oftentimes cultured opportunity?  What’s that, you’re asking?  Where’s the ‘opportunity’ in a local having to shed the flip-flops (please?) and drive all the way out to park themselves in the middle of the insanely populated tourist and convention flow (eeuw!)  just to pony up to a bar?  Let me count the ways…

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Welcome to the Hospitality Hive!

First of all, a BIG THANK YOU for visiting the Hive!  I’m honored that you’ve peeked inside to check me out, and hopefully we’ll get to know each other through an open exchange of dialogue that we’ll keep ‘buzzzzzzing’ about (pause for long groan while wondering if this author is going to overuse that overly dramatic descriptive word; then switch to happy face after receiving author’s personal assurance that it simply won’t happen – that’s a TML promise!).  After all, this industry is first and foremost about, well, hospitality, which is loosely defined as friendliness.  So that explains why so many who enter this line of work describe themselves as ‘people-persons’, right?  (Well, at least that’s what it said on their resume, sigh. . .)

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