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SOLON, OH, AUGUST 6, 2020 — As people return to public spaces, two issues loom large: guiding individuals safely around the interior, and reminding everyone to maintain a safe distance from each other. Wayfinding and zoning are simple ways to help people navigate your space, and flooring has long been a key component of the solution. Adding new visual cues beneath people’s feet helps coordinate their movement, reducing the likelihood of individuals coming into close contact. Tarkett, a worldwide leader in sustainable flooring, is offering a suite of solutions aimed at helping businesses address these challenges, while creating appealing spaces for people to work, play, learn and heal safely.

A number of preconfigured wayfinding solutions from Tarkett make specification easy, and may be customized to meet individual needs. Die-cut shapes are available through the company’s IMAGINATIONS® program in a wide variety of materials from modular soft surface to heterogeneous sheet vinyl. Designs include 24” x 24” arrow or footprint tiles that can be easily dropped into an existing floor to integrate clear distancing markers. Modular 18” circles are another way to mark appropriate distancing, while larger 6-foot diameter circles help delineate individual workspaces or zones. Custom Powerbond® area rugs offer yet another opportunity to add iconography and messaging onto the floor.

For LVT, 18”x18” tiles printed with “Stand Here” messaging are a simple and stylish way to integrate distancing markers into an existing space with the switch of a few tiles, whether a long- or short-term solution is needed. Also, arranging 6” x 36” LVT planks into arrow patterns is another easy way to provide subtle wayfinding.

“As the world begins to emerge, businesses, schools, healthcare facilities and retailers are working to balance the reopening of the economy with the continued health and well-being of their people. Returning to public space presents a set of unprecedented challenges, and flooring can play a crucial part in addressing them,” said Leslie Thompson, director, workplace segment strategy. “Tarkett’s Human-Conscious Design™ is our promise that we will put people first in everything we do. As the world gets back to business, Tarkett has the knowledge, products and services necessary to guide you through the next normal.”

For completely customizable solutions, Tarkett’s IMAGINATIONS® Custom Floor Design program enables architects, designers and facilities personnel to create custom die-cuts for carpet, LVT, rubber or resilient sheet. These can include specific designs, messaging or imagery, which can then be fabricated and shipped directly to the jobsite.

Tarkett’s Collections Infinies™ program is another unique solution for creating custom, digitally printed LVT with wayfinding and zoning elements. The collection lets businesses either co-create a brand-new design or recolor an existing design to suit their brand or theme.

Facilitating social distancing may also require expanding or repurposing existing space. Tarkett offers a wide variety of flooring options designed for fast installation, immediate occupancy and easy cleaning and maintenance, while also contributing to healthy indoor environments. iQ® Optima® sheet vinyl, for example, retains its superior wear, stain and abrasion resistance with just an occasional dry buff. No wax or finish is needed for the life of the product, and maintenance requires only a damp mop with a neutral cleaner. The series has earned the asthma & allergy friendly® certification from the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Tarkett also offers a number of innovative, safe adhesives, including RollSmart™, which dramatically reduce the time needed for installation and curing. Installers are able to get in and out of buildings faster, lowering potential health risks and letting building employees get back to work more quickly.

For more information about Tarkett and the company’s comprehensive range of flooring solutions and accessories, visit www.tarkettna.com

 
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ISAC Hotelier & FFE International is pleased to announce the appointment of Stuti Kothari to the position of Marketing Executive. 

During these unprecedented times, she has been brought onboard to maximize business opportunities and drive growth.

Recently moved to Canada, Kothari, a University of Mumbai Alumini has a Masters in Marketing and brings 4+ years of international experience in the digital space.

 With the industry coping through a lot of issues due to the pandemic, she will be driving sales by designing innovative marketing strategies.

 
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WASHINGTON (July 29, 2020)As Congress debates a new round of COVID-19 recovery legislation, a new survey of American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) members shows that the pandemic continues to have a devastating effect on the hotel industry and its employees. Results show nearly nine in ten hotels have been forced to lay off or furlough employees due to COVID-19 and the resulting drop in travel. Four months into the crisis, only 37 percent of survey respondents report that they have been able to bring back at least half their full-time employees.

To raise awareness for hotel industry priorities, AHLA is declaring Wednesday, July 29 “Save Hotel Jobs,” a National Day of Action for hoteliers across the country to urge lawmakers to swiftly pass additional stimulus relief.  Among hotel owner respondents, more than half are in danger of foreclosure by commercial real estate lenders.

AHLA conducted the survey of hotel industry owners, operators, and employees from July 23-27, 2020, with more than 1,200 respondents. Key findings include the following:

  • 87% of hotels report being forced to lay off or furlough staff because of COVID-19
  • 36% have been unable to bring ANY of their furloughed or laid off workers back to full-time employment
  • Just 37% of hotels have been able to bring back at least half their full-time employees
  • Only one in four hotels (24%) is back to a minimum of 60% of their pre-COVID staffing levels, while less than one in three (29%) is still at or below 20% staffing
  • Of the more than 600 hotel owner respondents, more than half stated that are in danger of losing their property to foreclosure by commercial real estate lenders due to COVID-19

“It’s hard to overstate just how devastating the pandemic has been for the hotel industry. We have never seen a crisis of this magnitude,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “We are encouraged to see many of AHLA’s industry priorities included in the Senate package released this week. We urge Congress to direct help to the industries and employees that need it the most, and to move swiftly to support them.”

Rogers urged hoteliers to immediately contact the offices of Members of Congress with calls, letters, and social media posts to ensure the industry’s top priorities are included in the next relief package passed by Congress. The most pressing concerns for the industry right now include access to increased liquidity, tax relief, and limited liability protection.

“It is critical that Congress hear directly from hoteliers so that you get the help you need,” said Rogers. “Hotels have a presence in every congressional district in America, building strong local economies and supporting millions of jobs. Every Member of Congress needs to hear from us about the urgent need for additional support so that we can keep our doors open and bring back our employees.”

Hoteliers can visit www.ahla.com/hotelsact to connect to their elected officials.

 
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PLAINFIELD, IL, JULY 16, 2020 - Renovating a hotel can be a daunting task, one fraught with financial risks. However, by carefully determining the Scope of Work, the sticky issues that might derail a renovation project can be addressed effectively and strategically before the first day of construction.

First
off, what is a scope of work? A scope of work is a detailed document explaining exactly what is expected of a team completing a construction contract. It contains information that gives direction and purpose to every facet of a renovation—information hotel owners and contractors need to budget accurately. It will be referenced constantly for details concerning any and all parts of a project, from milestones to payment schedules, to unique requirements. Because of the valuable information in the scope, it is extremely important that it be created with the intent of being as accurate, crystal clear and thorough as it can be.

HOTEL RENOVATION SCOPE
If the hotel is flagged, the brand partner will provide a corporate-specific set of renovation guidelines, referre
d to as a Property Improvement Plan (PIP). A PIP and a scope of work are not the same thing. No matter how complete, PIP guidelines do not provide everything required for an accurate scope of work. PIPs give owners many variables and the leeway to negotiate things like finishes, surface materials and other elements on the basis of value engineering, as well as the renovation's timelines, methods of execution, division of responsibilities, and reporting and payment schedules. In short, a PIP only outlines expected outcomes. It doesn't provide the elements that must come together to get to those desired outcomes. That is the job of the scope.

On the
other hand, if the hotel is independent, the designer will have greater freedom with the scope but may come under pressure from the owner to make alterations during construction both minor and major, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as "scope creep". Changing the vision midway can result in serious cost overruns and time delays that the hotel can ill afford, whether branded or independent. 

SURPRISE, SURPRISE!
"In a poorly defined scope of work, there are always surprises. Most of these surprises could have been eliminated, or at least better managed, if the scope of work took them into account," explained Sam Cicero, Jr., president of Cicero's Development Corp., a General Contractor specializing in hospitality renovations. "For that reason, it is recommended that the owner do a complete survey of the property in the early stages of pre-construction, recruiting the help of third-party engineers or a general contractor. The survey will identify any problems and quantify the costs to fix them."

Cicero said that analysis of the survey will uncover aspects of the project that require special considerations or instructions that must be incorporated into the scope of work, so that costly, last minute change orders are not needed in the field. Surveys are especially important if the property is an older building that needs to be brought up to current standards. 

AVOIDING DELAYS
Every well-planned scope of work includes an accurate timeline for construction and deliveries. When you have an obligation to honor existing reservations, you cannot afford to have delays. In establishing a timeline, the hotel owner must decide whether the hotel will close down so that all renovation work can be completed as quickly as possible... or if the renovation work will be phased in on a floor-by-floor basis while the hotel stays in operation to maintain cash flow. This is a delicate balancing act: the longer a room is out of service, the more it costs the hotel’s bottom line.

"If the choise is to keep the hotel open the selection of a General Contractor takes on special importance," notes Cicero. "Only a GC with extensive experience in hotel renovations will know how to work without interrupting business, maintaining safety and cleanliness, and most importantly, not annoy guests with undue noise and inconveniences."

CREATING A SCOPE OF WORK
Below is a suggested if not simplified path towards avoiding the uncertainty, confusion, delays, and cost overruns notoriously produced by improperly defined or insufficient project scopes.

Start with a Workshop
Begin the process by getting the key sponsors and team members together by running a one-day workshop. Together, the attendees can identify what the requirements of the renovation are and what the ideal solution looks like. A workshop makes it much easier to set an over-aching vision for the renovation so that all stakeholders have a clear direction going forward in creating the scope of work.

First Draft
Following the workshop, develop a first draft of the scope of work with a generic schedule that must be adhered to. In your schedule, include all high-level activities as well as any key tasks that are critical to success. Then add due dates to the activities and tasks so that you know roughly what must be completed and when. This is a high level roadmap, not a detailed project scope.

Deliverables
Break down what was agreed upon in the workshop into discrete deliverables based on the theory that when all of the deliverables have been produced, your renovation will be complete. Having well defined deliverables will help you manage the scope of the project, as well as introduce change control along the way.

Resources and Budget
Next, identify the resources and budget needed to produce the identified deliverables. List the people, equipment and materials required. Once identified, add the costs of these resources to calculate the renovation "budget".

Reporting and Ownership
It's critical the status of the project is clearly communicated in a timely fashion once it kicks off, so describe in detail how that will be done. Will you have regular team meetings? Customer presentations and status reports manually? Will you rely on using an online system for your reporting needs? Finally, list the key criteria for the project so that everyone knows how success will be measured once every phase of the project is complete. An effective project manager should be named to respond to potential issues prior to construction – and carefully monitor the project as it moves forward – to ensure that it is completed according to the scope's specified quality, allocated resources, schedule, and budget.

Once the scope is defined, meet with stakeholders from the initial workshop to mutually agree on all details of the scope including addressing any existing conditions upfront. Now is the time to
 expand on details that will affect the execution of the contract. In a flagged hotel submit to the brand your scope, design documents, and other project initiatives. Procure brand approvals in advance of the renovation to help prevent wasted efforts and possible added expense. Neglecting to get agreements from all stakeholders can negatively impact the scope by placing undue pressure on manpower and resources, and add weeks or months to the schedule.

For more information, visit www.cicerosdev.com.

 
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Toronto, ON (July 6, 2020) – Choice Hotels Canada is thrilled to announce that one of its hotels, the Quality Inn & Suites Val d’Or has been named the 2020 International Quality Hotel of the Year by Choice Hotels International, based in Rockville, Maryland. This is the second time this hotel has been awarded this prestigious international distinction.

The hotel also received a 2020 Platinum Guest Satisfaction Award, given to Choice Hotels Canada properties in the top three per cent of its more than 330 hotels. This is the eighth consecutive year the hotel has been honoured with a Platinum Award, having been recognized each year since 2013. 

In 2014, the Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or was recognized not only as Canadian Hotel of the Year, but also the International Quality Hotel of the Year. In 2018, the hotel won the Canadian Hotel of the Year award again. The hotel has also been awarded six Canadian APEX awards, which recognize stellar performance, sales and revenue growth and ongoing commitment to guest service. In 2018, the hotel’s general manager, Alexandre Audet, was awarded Leader of the Year by Choice Hotels Canada. The award recognized outstanding leadership, with Audet’s focus on employee recognition leading to a reduction in the turnover rate and outstanding customer satisfaction ratings.

"Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or is undoubtably a stand-out star in our system and is frequently recognized for its excellence,” said Brian Leon, president, Choice Hotels Canada. “The ownership, general manager and hotel team has consistently gone above and beyond and their exceptional efforts have not gone unnoticed by guests.”

Choice’s Real Guest Reviews rank the property a 4.8 out of 5 and 98 per cent of guests would recommend the hotel. As of June 30, TripAdvisor ranks the property as number one of eight hotels in Val-d’Or, with an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.

“We are delighted that our hard work and commitment to the guest experience has once again been recognized,” said Alexandre Audet, general manager of the Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or. “The collective efforts of our entire team enable us to provide every guest with a welcoming, comfortable stay. I am forever grateful for everything they do – day in and day out.”

The 82-room hotel is owned and managed by the Cree Regional Economic Entreprises Company (CREECO) of Eeyou Istchee and Trahan Holdings of Val-d’Or. For business travellers, the hotel boasts a full business centre with conference facilities. The hotel also operates a hot breakfast service that is free to guests.

Reservations at the Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or can be made by calling the hotel directly at (819) 874-8888 or by visiting www.choicehotels.com.

 

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