Joan Eisenstodt answers additional questions from the 08.31.16 Contracts: Accommodations webinar.
Q1: Some hotels will only offer ROH. Is there a better way of getting the room types you need?
A1: It depends—on your needs, on their availability, and what you are willing to pay, give/give up. Part of the reason is that hotels don't know what their inventory will be on a particular night because of occupancy so guaranteeing your entire block of a particular kind of room is tough.
BUT in your RFP if you specify, say, that you need x number of California Kings (as an example) because you are housing a basketball team, it might be more negotiable.
Q2: Is there a standard attrition percentage? Our association normally negotiates 80%.
A2: As noted in the webinar, there isn't. It all depends on the particular meeting, market, what's negotiated and all the other considerations. Look at the overall picture of what's best for you and negotiate with your needs and the hotel's in mind.
Q3: I recommend making sure it states whether attrition is either daily OR cumulative. This is different.
A3: Thanks. It is—just as cumulative on pick up is critical, attrition noted per night or overall matters. And it does too on whether it's on the peak nights or all nights or ??? whatever you negotiate! Who said this wasn't brain surgery or rocket science?!?!
Q4: To answer your question about the 3 days pre and post; this concessions is typically 3 days prior to the first dates of the contracted block and 3 days from the last date in the group block. - Katherine Ellis, Rosen Hotels & Resorts.
A4: Tyler wrote: Thanks Katherine. You work for a great hotel company. I had a chance to interview Mr. Rosen a few years ago or so and he's an amazing, charitable person. Joan adds: I concur re Harris Rosen—what a mensch! And for your hotel, it may be “typical” but it's not an industry standard which is why I like spelling out the dates. Thanks for being part of the webinar.
Q5: Is there a sample RFP we can see laying out all these detailed questions?
A5: I have one that badly needs to be cleaned up. If you use the contract negotiation checklist (on the Meetings Today website now) you can get a good idea.
Q6: Is it legal for a hotel to charge the service charge (i.e., the 22% - 24% added to F&B) to the cancellation charges?
A6: As noted, it depends on the state laws. Check with the state department of taxation to learn more.
Q7: Have you utilized city occupancy rates in your negotiations, and have you found a current centralized repository for city OCR's?
A7: I used to and haven't for a long time because it's sometimes skewed by city-wides or festivals or other events in a particular year. Have you found it works?
Q8: When you get to ATTRITION, hotels are now often specifying “per night” attrition versus cumulative … thoughts?
A8: See above comment from a participant and my agreement that it should be cumulative … generally … though I could probably make a case for per night for either side! This is the tough part of negotiations—everything is so meeting- and property- specific.
Q9: If a guest is able to get a better "company" rate than contracted rate, but still staying at the hotel—should there rooms be included in our room block numbers?
A9: Linda—if I understand the question … if someone stays outside the block during a meeting at their corporate rate versus the negotiated meeting rate, should the group negotiate an audit to receive credit for those rooms? I think the group should try!
Q10: I just stayed at a DC hotel that had a “women’s floor.” Is this something you are seeing, and do you suggest blocking rooms on this floor if you know you have single women in your group?
A10: I've read that a number of hotels are doing this and I don't have a good answer for this! It is also related to hotels being or not being able to negotiate a number of a particular kind of room for your block because they won't know their occupancy.
IF those rooms are available and IF you think people will reserve them and you want to guarantee x number, you can try to negotiate it and offer these rooms on a "first-come" basis based on the hotel's availability (Did the hotel offer that to you at the front desk at check in?).