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Generation Y’s flexible loyalty: Hospitality research from Bridge. Over Group

A recent survey of Millennials conducted by Bridge. Over Group questioned how loyal Generation Y is to hotel brands when choosing a place to stay, and how exactly the group defines loyalty. The survey of 350 Millennials (with an average age of 26) raised some interesting points.

70 percent of Millennials born between 1980 and 2000 feel that they have less brand loyalty than their predecessors and when asked about their own customer loyalty, 81 percent said they do not feel a particular loyalty to a specific hotel brand. The remaining 19 percent who did feel a sense of loyalty to their hotels mentioned Starwood, Hilton and Marriott.

Interestingly, Generation Y see brand advocacy as proof of loyalty with 65 percent saying that frequenting a specific hotel, or choosing where to stay, is the obvious display of loyalty. Recommendations of hotels and brands follows closely behind with 58 percent of respondents saying that is also a clear sign of loyalty.

Getting value and a good deal is also cited as essential to Millennials when picking a place to stay, highlighting that they are a particularly price conscious consumers and eager to get a good ‘price – value ratio’.

The team at The Refinishing Touch has provided furniture asset management services to many reputable hotel brands such as Hilton, InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood. In our experience, innovation, creativity and forward thinking are appreciated by Generation Y and we echo the advice from eHotelier suggesting the inclusion of social elements and metrics within marketing strategies.

Blog poll result: Sustainability – are hoteliers and campus facility managers doing enough?

As we move deeper into April, we have Earth Day on our minds (be sure to mark your calendars for April 22nd). While sustainability is a common theme for our weekly blog polls, we wanted to take the time to look back on some other important questions posed in recent months.

It’s undeniable that facilities managers across each of our main sectors – hospitality, government and higher education – are working hard to implement green programs, processes and products. However, it is also undeniable that there is ample room left for improvement.

So, we asked our loyal readers two questions. The first was: Do you feel that hotels need to increase the number of sustainable establishments available to guests? 

The Refinishing Touch blog poll: Sustainability /green questionsThe results were mixed. Half of you felt as though hoteliers’ current green initiatives are making adequate impact, while the other half of those polled weren’t so confident.

In an industry with an expansive, worldwide presence and massive energy output, sustainability in every sense of the word is imperative. And with new green ratings on sites such as TripAdvisor, guests are more attuned to green accolades now than ever before.

We also had the same question for the higher education sector: Do you feel that colleges need to increase the number of sustainable housing options available to students? 

While one-third of respondents felt that the industry is currently doing its fair share of environmental perseveration, the remaining two-thirds stated that university housing and facility staff needs to be more proactive in implementing eco-friendly best practices.

In the higher education sphere, awareness and action have the potential to do more good than any other. College campuses are full of young adults ready and willing to learn and create life-long habits. By creating a living and learning environment in which sustainability is integral, these campuses are ensuring a greener future.

Do you have a question you’d like to see on our weekly blog polls? Tweet it at us at @RefinishTouch and check out our website.

Americans have caught the travel bug again

This year, 83% of Americans will pack their bags and head for the hills – or wherever their pent-up wanderlust may take them.

airplaneThis high number of projected travelers for 2013 – as highlighted in a recent study done by Priceline.com – is up as much as 50% when compared to recent years. Following a period of economic downturn, the hospitality and travel industries have begun to see an increase in new reservations.

Travelers, however, are still looking to cut costs – driving nonstop, sleeping in scars and pre-packing meals – so, it is imperative to ensure guest satisfaction when they do, finally, arrive at your hotel, motel or resort.

By integrating appealing design aesthetics, cost-effective amenities and various sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives throughout facilities, hoteliers can garner and maintain a competitive edge, as well as increase guest retention rates.

By upcycling guest room, lobby and meeting space assets, the life of your pre-existing furniture can be extended at a fraction of the cost to buying new. In addition to preserving valuable assets, by using The Refinishing Touch’s low-VOC lacquers, the renovation process’ carbon footprint will be greatly diminished and appeal to the green tourist.

Would you like to see a project from beginning to end? Click here for a time-lapse video of The Refinishing Touch’s hospitality work. To request a free quote today, please visit our website

A sustainable excursion: TripAdvisors adds green rankings to site

The Refinishing Touch rewards 29 businesses with its Sustainability AwardsHoteliers, property managers and other professionals immersed in the hospitality industry are increasingly facing the need for greener practices and accommodations within their establishments. As a supplier of sustainable, cost-efficient services to countless resorts, hotels and motels for over 35 years, The Refinishing Touch has witnessed the industry change first-hand and is enthusiastic to see the environmental evolution continue.

According to a recent survey from TripAdvisor.com, analyzed responses from 1,300 U.S. travelers revealed that 62% of travelers almost always consider the environment when planning their vacations.  Furthermore, another 69% of respondents vouched they will make even more environmentally-conscious decisions in the year to come.

In response to the increase in consumer demand for eco-friendly amenities, TripAdvisor has launched its new rating service entitled ‘Green Leaders’. Having teamed up with Energy Star, the U.S. Green Building Council and the United Nations Environment Programme, the site will now feature a green button alongside other ratings, helping travelers easily sort through the most sustainable near their travel destination.

Ratings, which range from bronze to platinum, will be given based on various environmental practices such as implementation of linen and towel reuse programs, energy-efficiency appliances and practices, solar panels, green roofing and more. Since its launch, TripAdvisor states that 32 million members have utilized the service and over 100 million green reviews have already been written.

Consumers now have a number of ways to obtain information pertaining to a hotel’s green practices – a new deciding factor when making accommodations. In order to maximize business growth, hoteliers must implement sustainable alternatives – which doesn’t always have to break the bank.

For instance, The Refinishing Touch’s furniture asset management services, which include refinishing, re-upholstery and armoire conversion, achieve maximum cost savings and time efficiency while significantly reducing a renovation project’s estimated carbon footprint. Our studies suggest past clientele have saved over 80 percent in budget costs, and nearly 90 percent in carbon emissions. Similarly, we have also begun recognizing our clients for their commitment to sustainability through our Sustainability Awards, a program dedicated to honoring businesses that have reduced their environmental impact through furniture asset management solutions.

For more information about The Refinishing Touch and our furniture repurposing services, please visit our website here.  To inquire about how your own business can go greener, request a free quote today.

Renovation Reality: Understanding the numbers of the hotel industry

As we mentioned in our last blog post, we recently attended the BITAC Purchasing & Design East at the end of July and in addition to meeting some great contacts, we were also able to attend some very informative and educational sessions. One of which was a discussion with Bruce Ford, SVP of Business Development with Lodging Econometrics, a hotel industry research firm.

During the discussion, Bruce provided insight into the current hotel market, including why 27 months of industry improvement has increased the number of renovation projects.

Of the current construction trends, owners of hotel properties in need of renovation are increasingly making those restorations, instead of selling, with the goal of saving long-term money while enabling increased room rates. In fact, this trend has been so widespread, according to Bruce, hotel sale numbers are only half of what experts thought they would be for 2012.

Also, renovation tactics, including refinishing, reupholstering, and remanufacturing, are being used to meet corporate brand product improvement plans (PIPs), which can be pricey and difficult to fulfill. By renovating, as compared to buying new furniture, hotel owners are taking out fewer loans and minimizing upfront costs, while still maintaining their franchise status.

If you’re a hotel owner thinking about renovating, Bruce suggests you start planning now. Even though the summer, conference season and the holidays mean busy hotels for the foreseeable future, the offseason is right around the corner. To read the entire article on Bruce’s BITAC session, visit Hotel Interactive here.

And if you’re looking to complete renovations at your hotel, from armoire conversions to custom remanufacturing, contact The Refinishing Touch for a free quote.

Operational Update: The PGA National Resort & Spa

As the summer continues drawing to a close, The Refinishing Touch has kept busy during the past few months.  The team recently made their mark in hot and sunny Palm Beach Gardens, FL, by beginning a three phase project at The PGA National Resort & Spa, scheduled to be completed towards the end of the year.

Since 2007, The PGA National Resort & Spa has been a designated Florida Green Lodge by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, meeting luxurious standards while remaining environmentally-friendly.  The Floridian resort invests in numerous green initiatives, including energy efficient appliances, water conservation systems, along with recycling of paper, cardboard, oil and batteries.

With sustainability and brand standards in mind, The Refinishing Touch completed phase one of the 379-room renovation project earlier this month.  The team will undergo phase two in August, as we plan on reupholstering 144 king-sized and 190 double-sized bed headboards.  Along with the reupholstering, we will also refinish 325 dressers and 470 nightstands, all requiring a color change, glass installation and hardware replacement.

Our furniture asset management services will decrease the project’s carbon footprint by over 400 tons, an enormous drop for such a large-scale project.  Instead of the estimated CO2 impact of 474.9628 tons to replace the existing furniture with all new pieces, The Refinishing Touch will help keep the PGA Resort & Spa’s carbon footprint at a minimum – with an estimated final calculation of only 4.6996 tons.

The next time you find yourself in the Palm Beach Gardens area, be sure to book a stay at the PGA National Resort & Spa to experience luxury, comfort and sustainability – the definition of a championship experience.

This headboard is part of the first round of projects completed at The PGA Resort & Spa. The renovations were divided into three phases.

Example of completed room set to be unveiled in Fall 2012