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a MAGAZINE from Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association

SUMMER 2016

VIRGINIA HOSPITALITY INSIDE

Representing VIRGINIA'S RESTAURANT, LODGING & TRAVEL INDUSTRIES

BUYERS GUIDE 2016

AIRBNB LEGISLATION Why It Matters In VA 3

COASTAL VIRGINIA MAGAZINE

/ DECEMBER

2013

TOURISM IN VA Aiming For The Top


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Coastal Virginia Magazine

/ December

2013


CONTENTS

supported by:

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CHAIR LETTER

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Staff

Letter From The Chair

President Eric Terry eric@vrlta.org Director of Membership Katrina Washington katrina@vrlta.org

Would you go to an Otolaryngologist—the ear, nose and throat doc—for Cataract Surgery? That may seem like an odd question—so bear with me a moment. Not too long ago, I was sitting in a Harrisonburg hospital awaiting my husband’s aforementioned cataract surgery, contemplating how we’d ended up there. Not why were we there, but how did we get there. The why answer is clear, because my husband needed cataract surgery, something we were familiar having a friend who had recently undergone the same procedure successfully. She told us about her surgeon, who completes thousands of these operations a year. So we scheduled a consult and, well, there I was, sitting in a hospital waiting room...thinking about this queue of patients lining up for this specialized procedure with this one surgeon. Well, if I haven’t lost or overly confused you, I’ll ask the same question again. Would you sign up with your ear, nose and throat doctor for cataract surgery? By proximity, it’s very close to the eye and the doctor is probably well-respected and credentialed. So wouldn’t that doctor be good enough? I’m hopeful that by now you’re starting to understand the how aspect and realize the better option is the individual who routinely completes these surgeries each day. The point I’m trying to make is this—there are many wonderful associations across the Commonwealth. Many of which I am personally a member. However, if you want an expert on a particular topic—ABC Laws, Health Department or Fire Marshall, meals taxes or lodging issues—you don’t go to someone just because they are nearby and respected. You go to the specialist. You seek out the best person, company or association for the job. You go to VRLTA. Because of the Association’s expertise, 2015 and early-2016 have been wildly successful for the hospitality and tourism industry of Virginia. We knocked down minimum wage bills, increased tourism funding, convinced the General Assembly to study the state’s ABC Laws for improvements,

Northern Virginia, Director of Membership & Government Affairs Kristen Karrfalt kristen@vrlta.org

Director of Education & Workforce Development Jim Wilson jim@vrlta.org

Director of Marketing & Communications Seth Petersen seth@vrlta.org

Administrator Jenny Latina jenny@vrlta.org

VRLTA | 2101 Libbie Ave, Richmond, VA 23230 | (804) 288-3065

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and have lawmakers taking a hard look at how to regulate and tax short-term online rental companies (i.e., Airbnb). I came to VRLTA 14 years ago. Since that time, I’ve seen many successful and some less-than-successful years. This year served to remind me how strong our association is. Remind me that WE are the experts on restaurant, lodging, and travel businesses. So as we look forward to the remainder of 2016 and the 2017 Session of the General Assembly take a long, hard look at all VRLTA accomplished. Think about all that is happening in the next 9-12 months—a brand new restaurant and lodging expo, the VA-1 Tourism Summit, ABC Laws Study, Airbnb work groups and the continued fight to regulate this growing industry player, and more. Think about all the ways VRLTA can save you thousands through suppliers and partners—workers comp and health insurance, Comcast Cable, Heartland Payment Systems just to name a few. As I look ahead to my second year as Chair, I want to urge you to talk to other business owners you know, share your positive stories about the association, and earnestly ask them to consider joining. Help VRLTA continue to fight for our industry by donating to the VRLTA Political Action Committee. We have a strong goal this year to raise $25,000 for the VRLTA PAC. That’s less than $50/member and would go an enormous way towards continuing our efforts. Most importantly, I want to thank you for all your support as I begin my second year as Chair. Let’s go out and make 2016/2017 a great year for VRLTA and our industry. Excited to eat, drink, stay, and enjoy your destinations— Debbie Donehey

VRLTA Chairman

ServSafe Coordinator Ann Campbell ann@vrlta.org Magazine Ad Sales Kendall Burns kendall@vgnet.com


CONTENTS

CONTENTS 4 Letter From The Chair 12 2016 Buyers Guide 8

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6 new members 7 VRLTA NEWS BRIEFS 8 2016 Legislative recap

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9 Airbnb legislation 11 AirBNB work group 13 partners

17 Education

foundation updates

19 BROCHURES

DIGITAL AGE

20 THE STATE OF

VIRGINIA TOURISM

22 UPCOMING EVENTS

Your local source for foodservice products.

rfsdelivers.com • tracsdirect.com

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new members

NEW MEMBERS | SUPPLIERS ABC Consulting – Alcohol Industry Experts Smithfield Acme Paper and Supply, Inc. Richmond

Holiday Inn Christiansburg-Blacksburg Christiansburg

Ornery Beer Company& Public House Woodbridge

Holiday Inn Express Virginia Beach

Southern Inn Restaurant Lexington

Holiday Inn Express Fairfax Arlington

The Boathouse Richmond

Big Spoon Agency Richmond Green Business Advisors of Virginia Winchester Harford Mutual Insurance Bel Air, MD

The Golden Pony Harrisonburg World of Beer Ashburn + Charlottesville

| Travel

James River Transportation Richmond Patrice and Associates Chesapeake + Newport News

Candlewood Suites Alexandria Fort Belvoir Alexandria

Restaurant Positive Richmond

Fairfield Inn & Suites Virginia Beach

| RESTAURANTS

Hilton Washington Dulles Airport Herndon

Cabo Fish Taco Blacksburg

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Clementine Harrisonburg

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Boulevard Fairfax Holiday Inn North Beach Virginia Beach Holiday Inn Oceanside Virginia Beach Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner McLean Residence Inn Virginia Beach Sheraton Oceanfront Virginia Beach Springhill Suites Virginia Beach Springhill Suites Alexandria Alexandria


VRLTA news Briefs

GSA Lodging Per Diem

2016 Annual Meeting Concludes with Board Updates

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n April, VRLTA’s Members took to Norfolk for the Association’s Annual Meeting. The event saw nearly 60 participants from across the state meet over two days to discuss some of the biggest issues affecting our hospitality and travel industry, including Airbnb, food-to-beverage ratio, and more. But perhaps most important to the two day event, was the election of new board members. In a vote conducted by all the members in attendance, eight members were selected to fill open responsibilites with the VRLTA Board of Directors. Those individuals were:

Executive Committee Restaurant Component President Jeremy Gill, Comcast Business Travel Component President Kevin Costello, Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau

Elected Directors Steve Beyer LeisureMedia360 Appalachia and Blue Ridge Highlands John Shaffer Luray Caverns Shenandoah Valley

Directors at Large Virginia Hotel & Lodging Association Tim Peters — Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Virginia Restaurant Association Kevin Rowell — Whiskey Kitchen circa 2014 Virginia Travel Association Barry Biggar — Visit Fairfax

Additionally, Debbie Stocks, owner of Your Benefits Partner, LLC in Glen Allen, Virginia, was elected to the fill the officer position of Treasurer in a special election following the conclusion of the Annual Meeting. Please congratulate VRLTA’s newest board members when you have a chance.

At the end of April, the U.S. House armed Services Committee passed an amendment that would repeal the per diem rate cuts instituted by the Department of Defense in December 2014. The amendment would restore the per diem rates to the reasonable levels they were at before the cuts. Since the Department of Defense instituted this policy, these per diem reductions have damaged our military readiness, and, ironically, are actually costing taxpayer money instead of saving it in certain cases. Further, the cuts have imposed hardships on military personnel and made it difficult for hotels catering to military communities to serve Defense Department workers. VRTLA and AH&LA helped lead a broad coalition of industry and employee groups to encourage Members of Congress for a repeal of the per diem cuts through an extensive campaign of grassroots outreach and meetings on Capitol Hill. Charlottesville-Albemarle Convention & Visitor’s Bureau becomes a Virginia Green Travel Chapter The Charlottesville travel and hospitality community was recently honored by Virginia Green Travel Chapter Program for its past and future efforts to make green tourism a key contributor to the region’s sustainability efforts. Fifty-four Charlottesville tourism operators have already become certified Virginia Green Travel Partners, including 29 hotel and lodging partners. As one of the newest “chapters”, Charlottesville-Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau will work the Virginia Green program annually to set goals to add more certified partners in other key sectors such as restaurants, attractions, breweries and wineries, and community festivals and events. Moreover, the program will allow Charlottesville to proudly market its green tourism accomplishments. NO FAIRFAX

FOOD TAX

Fairfax Co. Meals Tax Rolls Forward

Over the past few months, VRLTA has been voicing the Industry’s opposition to the proposed 4% meals tax in Fairfax County. The 4% tax would apply to all prepared food and beverages (ready-to-eat) at restaurants, all food and beverage operations in hotels, lunchrooms, cafeterias, coffee shops, delis, food trucks, and more. The Association has been working on a meals tax opposition coalition with the National Restaurant Association, other area organizations, and restaurateurs. The coalition has met with members of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, and is running a web and social media campaign (stopthefoodtax.com) to help educate the community on how this affects the local hospitality industry. To initiate the meals tax requires about a four-month leadtime on behalf of the County. The first step in the process is to have the tax voted on by the budget committee. On May 10, the Budget Committee voted to approve the 4% tax—with 70% allocated to Fairfax County Public Schools and 30% allocated to county capital improvements. Next, the Fairfax Board of Supervisors needs to approve the tax by majority vote to initiate a referendum. The BOS would need to approve the resolution in early-July for it to go on November’s ballot. Currently, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on this on June 7. If you would like to be more involved with VRLTA’s efforts and the coalition to oppose the meals tax, please reach out to Kristen Karrfalt, Director, Membership and Government Affairs for Northern Virginia at 703-352-1037 or kristen@vrlta.org. W ww . V R L T A . O R G

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2016

LEGISLATIVE RECAP

Legislative Recap

Minimum Wage: All efforts to raise the minimum wage, including raising the tipped wage for restaurants, were defeated this year. Raising the minimum wage would have very little impact on reducing poverty while having a significant impact on small businesses and employers across the state. Labor Day: Labor Day bills have once again been defeated. Detailed studies have shown that there is no educational benefit from beginning school prior to Labor Day and has shown a drastic negative impact on businesses that rely on tourism. Short-Term Online Rental Market: VRLTA was successful this year in its attempt to ensure that short-term online rental marketplaces, such as Airbnb, are fully understood before rash legislation is passed. Thanks to our efforts, the General Assembly now plans to review the issue for the remainder of the year before addressing it again during the 2017 General Assembly Session. (Read More on pages 9 & 11) Transient Occupancy Tax: More localities were added to the list of those allowed to impose the Transient Occupancy Tax. These funds go directly to supporting regional tourism marketing and promotional efforts. With this the industry can continue to provide needed funding for those regions to maintain the industry’s success. Virginia ABC: During the 2016 General Assembly Session, legislators realized the necessity for analyzing the current ABC laws in Virginia and the need for a clear direction going forward. For this reason, nearly all the legislation regarding ABC regulations in Virginia will be studied by the General Assembly this upcoming year. Mixed Beverage: One of the main points the ABC study will address is the foodto-beverage ratio. There have been many complaints across the restaurant industry with the way the law is currently written. The goal of the study is to enter into the 2017 Session with a plan to address the issue and provide a productive solution that will benefit Virginia’s restaurant industry, as well as the consumer. 8

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VTC Funding: VRLTA is continuing to push hard to provide the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) with the necessary funds to support promotional and cooperative marketing programs. VTC saw a small bump in funding this year but will continue to pursue more significant allocations to help support one of Virginia’s most important industries. This will be a primary focus of the 2017 General Assembly Session. Mandated Sick Leave: Our efforts this year blocked a bill requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave benefits to employees. This was done with the purpose of protecting small businesses who cannot afford such a measure. Plastic Bags: This year legislation was filed again intending to either tax the use of plastic bags or prohibit them all together. This year, just as in years past, we successfully defeated this burdensome initiative. Meals Tax: We were successful in defeating a bill that would have given every county in Virginia the ability to impose a tax on all prepared food sold in restaurants. This was an unfair attack aimed directly at restaurants that would put more strain on an already demanding industry while others who sell food, such as grocery stores, would be unaffected. Food Allergies: A bill was defeated this year that would have required restaurants to have separate deep frying stations for foods containing different allergens. Health Inspections: A loophole in the law that required a health inspection once a year was closed, so that now no more than 12 months may pass between each health inspection. Vaping in Restaurants: Once again there was a push in the General Assembly to ban the use of nicotine vapor products in restaurants. This legislation was defeated so the choice of allowing or prohibiting these products in restaurants may remain up to the owner’s discretion.


AIRBNB LEGISLATION

O Why Does Airbnb Legislation Matter?

n March 1, 2016, Travis Fain of Newport News’ the Daily Press published another piece in a series of articles about the hospitality industry’s legislative battle to develop commonsense regulations for the short-term online rental marketplace (i.e., Airbnb). In the article Fain summarized the finals day proceedings thusly: “The House dealt a blow Tuesday to bills blocking localities from regulating Airbnb.com, calling for a year’s worth of study instead of mere passage. “The House Appropriations Committee added a re-enactment clause to the legislation’s Senate version, putting it in line with what Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. “Tommy” Norment called for after local governments, and the state lodging industry, raised loud complaints over this bill and its House companion.” The Richmond Times-Dispatch had this to say in their coverage: “The House Appropriations Committee has followed the lead of Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City, in slowing down legislation to allow Airbnb to operate legally in Virginia. “The committee voted Tuesday to amend Senate Bill 416, proposed by Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Fauquier, to require re-enactment by the legislature next year before the measure can become law and direct the Virginia Housing Commission to study the implications of the emerging industry for traditional lodgings and local governments.” But why did Virginia’s battle to enact commonsense measures to regulate Airbnb become the biggest fight of the 2016 General Assembly Session?

First, Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky publicly stated on The Daily Show on February 24, 2016 that, “We want to be regulated. Because to be regulated, is to be recognized.” However, the legislation pushed by Vogel and Peace at the behest of Airbnb said little about regulating Airbnb, and a lot about limiting our localities’ ability to regulate locally—superseding any current and seriously limiting any future local regulation. And second, Virginia has an opportunity to lead. Following the introduction of the bills in Virginia, Airbnb introduced similar legislation in several other states. In other words, if the legislation had proceeded, Virginia likely would have been viewed as model legislation—a precedent by other states and localities. The need for clear and thoughtful action. The March 1 proceedings at the General Assembly took us one-step closer to studying this complex issue. And one-step closer to passing commonsense measures to enforce basic licensing and registration, tax compliance and accountability—that’s not only right for Virginia, but for states and localities across the country. Under the signed legislation for 2016, “the Housing Commission shall convene a work group with representation form the hotel industry, hosting platform providers, local government, state and local tax officials, and other interested parties [to review and provide recommendations on the enacted legislation].” Ultimately, the goal of the work group is to develop recommendations and draft legislation for consideration by the 2017 Session of the General Assembly. This group first met on May 10, 2016 and will likely meet again on July 14. With the expectation for two additional meetings. As VRLTA and our industry continue to fight for proper accountability and enforceability, please provide any feedback you may have to the Association and consider joining us in Richmond for these work group meetings. It is extremely important that Virginia be at the forefront of this model legislation. States all across the country are killing Airbnb’s bills following our 2016 successes. They are looking to Virginia to provide model legislation to properly regulate this growing industry competitor.

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WELCOME

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AIRBNB WORK GROUP

Housing Commission Airbnb Work Group Hosts Positive, Active First Meeting

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uesday, May 10, was the first meeting of the Virginia Housing Commission’s Airbnb Work Group. The group, chaired by Del. Chris Peace, is charged with “developing recommendations and draft legislation for consideration by the 2017 Session of the General Assembly.” Lisa Robertson, Chief Deputy City Attorney of Charlottesville, presented on how Charlottesville had regulated Short-Term Online Rentals. As of Fall 2015, the City requires a “Home Stay” permit to rent homes on Airbnb and similar sites. However, out of nearly 200 Airbnb listings they only have 60 who have registered and, presumably are paying the taxes. It also sounds as if zoning restrictions are not being adhered to. The approved regulation limits a rental to 6 guests per unit, prohibits food sales, and there is no insurance requirement. While it appeared her testimony was to support local regulations, it really raised a number of questions. The next speaker was Neal Menkes, Director of Fiscal Policy of the Virginia Municipal League, speaking on behalf of VML and VACO. In a survey of VML members, 90% are permitting Airbnb to operate and 50% of those ask that Hosts be registered. Neal spoke of the need to allow transparency to the cities and counties to audit and regulate the industry and outlined VML/VACO’s three principles: 1. Adhere to local zoning and other regulations; 2. Allow audits and other transparency; and 3. Pay taxes as appropriate. Edward Mullen, Lobbyist for Airbnb (Reed Smith, LLP) then spoke about Airbnb and how great it is. He opined that Airbnb was trying to pay taxes and such and that the Hotel Industry killed it. He did disclose that there were 4,500 hosts in the state that hosted over 150,000 guests last year—a 160% increase year-over-year. Some other interesting notes, the average host age is 44, the average guest age is 37, and the average stay is 3.3 nights. An average Virginia Host makes $4,300 per year. He repeatedly made a point that was reinforced by Del. Peace that they only wanted to deal with the private individuals who occasionally rented their homes and not the “Illegal Hotels” Next Julia Hammond of Eckert Seaman’s (VRLTA’s lead Lobbyist on Airbnb) and Chris Lloyd of McGuire Woods (Hilton’s lead Lobbyist) spoke about the Hotel Industry in VA and offered our employment and economic clout along with responding to some of the opinions offered by Edward Mullen’s testimony. Mr. Lloyd outlined the Industry’s areas of concern. The pair also responded to several questions about some of the earlier testimony. The next meeting will be held on July 14th at 1:30 pm in House Room 3. There will be opportunities for public comment at that meeting. In addition to the members of the Work Group, the following members of the Housing Commission will be in attendance: • Delegate Betsy Carr—Richmond • Senator George Barker—Fairfax/Prince William County • Delegate Daniel Marshall—Danville/Pittsylvania + Henry Counties (phone) • Mark Flynn—Governor’s Appointee

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WELCOME

BUYERS GUIDE INTRO

2016

BUYERS GUIDE VRTLA’s Suppliers are some of the area’s best sources for products and services. Whether you’re searching for premium local produce or restocking the bar, planning a renovation or just refilling the back office with paper and pens, VRLTA’s Suppliers have got you covered. So check out the pages within this Buyers Guide or try the Online Supplier Search at VRLTA.org/Suppliers, and if you have a supplier you’d like to share with your fellow members encourage them to sign up for a Supplier Membership.

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BUYERS GUIDE Platinum

Silver Heartland heartlandpaymentsystems.com

Heartland Payment Systems is an endorsed partner of VRLTA and the NRA. Heartland offers a complete suite of services, including card processing, payroll services, tip & check management, and gift marketing. With Heartland, restaurants and hotels can reduce expenses, enhance & improve operations, and increase profitability. Angela Ihry • (P) 605.940.9861 • (E) angela.ihry@e-hps.com

Sysco Virginia & Sysco Hampton Roads sysco.com

Along with top quality ingredients, all of our products are proudly backed by the highest quality assurance demanded by Sysco. Our dedicated associates and foodservice experts can explain how easy it is to do business with Sysco. Jason McGuire • (P) 757.855.4097

Connexture energy Vrlta.Org/connexture

Connexture Energy works exclusively with associations to help members save money on energy costs. Connexture can explain energy deregulation and how they can save you money on electricity and natural gas costs... Putting money back into your bottom line. Jason Duty • (P) 206.379.1710 • (E) jduty@connexture.com

Ecolab Ecolab.Com

Better hiring tools, right at your fingertips.

Around the world businesses in foodservice, food processing and hospitality choose Ecolab products and services to keep their environment clean and safe, operate efficiently and achieve sustainability goals. Katherine Hunt • (P) 240.629.9410 • (E) Katherine.hunt@ecolab.com

Snagajob and VRLTA partner to give your hiring an edge.

Fpis Whether you’re looking for servers, cooks, Fpis.Com

FPIS is the southeast’sfront premier brochure distribution service. housekeeping, desk, maintenance and They can help you build audience and awareness without spending the time and more, youancan find them fast with Snagajob. energy doing it yourself. You’ll get more applications, better applicants Linda Higgins • (P) 407.656.8818 • (E) lindah@fpis.com

and a streamlined hiring process—saving you time and money. Post jobs, track applications and manage your new hires, all in one place.

Gold Capital one Capitalone.Com

Capital One has partnered with VRLTA to make securing a small business loan simple. Whether it’s new computers, debt consolidation or a new space, Capital One has a loan or line of credit that can help take your business to the next level. Geeta Anand • (P) 703.896.0916 • (E) geeta.anand@capitalone.com

Comcast Business vrlta.org/comcast

Comcast Business can save you money on your tv, internet, and phone services. VRLTA’s dedicated sales representative will work directly with you to improve your telecom solutions and lower costs. Denise Davis • (P) 703.789.9304 • E) denise_davis@cable.comcast.com

Performance Foodservice - Virginia

performancefoodservice.com

Performance Foodservice delivers more than 125,000 food and food-­related products to 85,000 customer locations on a daily basis from 24 broadline and 10 specialty distribution locations. Robbie Horton • (P) 804.237.1001 • (E) robbie.horton@pfgc.com

Reinhart Foodservice rfsdelivers.com

Reinhart Foodservice is the 4th largest foodservice distributor in the country, serving independent restaurants, delis, sporting venues, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, the military and chain accounts. Our customers benefit from one-­stop shopping, as we offer a vast array of products to suit operators’ needs, like fresh meat, seafood, produce, dairy, coffee, dry groceries, china, utensils, disposables, foodservice equipment and more. John Eheharlt • (P) 757-538-8000 • (E) jgehehalt@rfsdelivers.com

Sil insurance Vrlta.Org/sil VRLTA members save 10%.

SIL Insurance offers you expert advice, leveraged pricing, fast service, & Visit solutions snagajob.com/vrlta today. insurance and more. Members flexible for workers compensation can often save up to 25% on workers compensation premiums. Derek Lynch • (P) 804.888.7216 • (E) dlynch@silinsurance.com

Snagajob Learn.Snagajob.Com/vrlta

Snagajob is America’s #1 spot for hourly employment. Posting your jobs on Snagajob.com gives you access to over 60 million job seekers, most of whom don’t visit other job sites. Millennials love applying using our mobile­ friendly website and app. Hiring managers value Snagajob’s paperless application and new hire paperwork process, which makes it easy to quickly identify and hire quality workers. Now partnered with the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, Snagajob is proud to offer preferred pricing, including a 10% discount for VRLTA members. Joe Gabriel • (P) 703.457.7873 • (E) joe.gabriel@snagajob.com

OTHER MONEY SAVING PROGRAMS Fishbowl Vrlta.Org/fishbowl

Fishbowl is the leading online marketing solution for the restaurant industry, and a great option for small and independent hotels. If you need email marketing, social media management, reputation monitoring or full­service­ online marketing, Fishbowl has it covered. As a VRLTA member, you’re eligible for a free local email marketing account with 500 free monthly messages, 10% off list price thereafter, and more.

OFFICE DEPOT Vrlta.Org/officedepot

Office Depot and OfficeMax offer you up to 80% off office supplies, both in­store & online. You’ll receive next day delivery on orders over $50. Plus, you can get an additional 15% off your first online order using coupons. To get all these benefits and more, just register online using company tracking code 0337. W ww . V R L T A . O R G

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BUYERS GUIDE Architects

Business Consulting/Loans

APR Associates, PC, Architects Fred Bosserman 286 E. Market Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 (P) 540.434.9807 (E) fcb@aprassoc.com www.aprassoc.com

Concepts for Profit Kevin Collier 5604 Eagle Lake, Glen Allen, VA 23060 (P) 804.273.0391 (E) kcollier@conceptsforprofit.com www.conceptsforprofit.com

Advertising/Brand Development BCF Art Webb 4500 Main Street, Suite 600 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 (P) 757.497.4811 (E) awebb@boomyourbrand.com www.boomyourbrand.com

Sunny Day Guide/Surfside East Edna Mahan 800 Seahawk Circle, Suite 106 Virginia Beach, VA 23452 (P) 757.468.0606 (E) edna@sunnydayguide.com www.sunnydayguide.com

Mikula-Harris David Mikula 6 Walnut Avenue Vinton, VA 24179 (P) 540.774.9932 (E) dmikula@mikulaharris.com www.mikulaharris.com

Dana Communications Bob Prewitt 2 East Broad Street Hopewell, NJ 08525 (P) 609.466.9187 (E) bprewitt@danacommunications.com www.danacommunications.com

Charles Ryan Associates Caryn Durham 1900-A E. Franklin St. Richmond, VA 23223 (P) 804.643.3820 (E) cdurham@charlesryan.com www.charlesryan.com

Big Spoon Agency Kevin Clay PO Box 5491 Richmond, VA 23220 (P) 804-338-1182 (E) kevin@bigspoonagency.com www.bigspoonagency.com

Statmats Meeting Focus Gregg Anderson 655 Montgomery Street, Suite 900 San Francisco, CA 94111 (P) 319.861.6180 (E) gregg.anderson@statmats.com www.statmatscommunications.com

VistaGraphics Randy Thompson 1264 Perimeter Pkwy. Virginia Beach, VA 23454 (P) 757.422.8979 (E) randy@vgnet.com www.vgnet.com

Colonial Guide Debi Schaefer 800 Seahawk Circle, Suite 106 Virginia Beach, VA 23452 (P) 757.368.2477 (E) debi@sunnydayguide.com www.colonialguideva.com

LesiureMedia360 Steve Beyer 3424 Brambleton Avenue Roanoke, VA 24018 (P) 540.989.0052 (E) sbeyer@leisurepublishing.com www.leisurepublishing.com

Brochure Distribution FPIS Brochure Distribution Linda Higgins 220 Story Road Ocoee, FL 34761 (P) 407.656.8818 (E) lindah@fpis.com www.fpis.com

Highway Information Media Jonathan Lyle PO Box 248 Rockville, VA 23146 (P) 804.382.4850 (E) jlyle@himediallc.com www.himediallc.com

Toth Distribution Service Timothy Toth 2700 Filbert Lane Bowie, MD 20715 (P) 301.464.5859 (E) tothdist@gmail.com www.tothdist.com

Business Consulting/Loans ABC Consulting – Alcohol Industry Experts Crystal Stump 1807 Church Street Smithfield, VA 23430 (P) 757.617.9773 (E) crystal@abcConsultingVA.com www.vaabc.com

Mumford Company David B. Mumford 11818 Rock Landing Road, Suite 101 Newport News, VA 23606 (P) 757.873.0962 (E) dmumford@mumfordcompany.com www.mumfordcompany.com

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association

Bulk TV & Internet Heather Evans 8537 Six Forks Road, Suite 100 Raleigh, NC 27615 (P) 919.792.3500 (E) hevans@bulktv.com www.bulktv.com Showtime Networks Claire Valenti 1120 Sunset Drive Bel Air, MD 21014 (P) 443.567.5925 (E) Claire.valenti@showtime.com www.sho.com\lodging

Coalesce Networks/One-Mesh Wi-Fi Neil Rei 520 West 21st Street, G2-217 Norfolk, VA 23517 (P) 888.481.6660 (E) neil@coalescenetworks.com www.one-mesh.com

Credit Card Processing/Payroll Services Heartland Payment Systems Angela Ihry 3739 Nicanoa Lane Naperville, IL (P) 605.940.9861 (E) angela.ihry@e-hps.com www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com

Zapper Andrea Cox 8920 Business Park Drive, Suite 110 Austin, TX 78759 (P) 432.638.9887 (E) mobile@zapper.com Zapper.com

Discount Programs Barter Authority, The Victor Skunkwiler 200 Colonial Avenue Norfolk, VA 23517 (P) 757.622.4242 (E) barterauthority@aol.com www.thebarterauthority.com

Rewards Network Beth Royals 12417 Pleasant Run Terrace Richmond, VA 23233 (P) 804.347.6227 (E) broyals@rewardsnetwork.com www.rewardsnetwork.com

WellDyneRX Matt Weider 7412 South Tucson Way, Suite 100 Centennial, CO 80112 (P) 703.463.7859 (E) weider@weiderco.com www.welldynex.com

Energy

Capital One Geeta Anand 1680 Capital One Drive McLean, VA 22102 (P) 703.896.0916 (E) geeta.anand@capitalone.com www.capitalone.com

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Communication Network Providers Comcast Business Denise Davis 12345 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite G Reston, VA 20191 (P) 703.789.9304 (E) denise_davis@cable.comcast.com www.vrlta.org/comcast www.comcast.com

Rubin Communications Group Joel Rubin 4542 Bonney Road, Suite B Virginia Beach, VA 23462 (P) 757.456.5212 (E) joel@rubincommunications.com www.rubincommunications.com n

Summer 2016

Connexture Energy Jason Duty 301 Minor Avenue, N, # 202 Seattle, WA 98109 (P) 206.379.1710 (E) jduty@connexture.com www.connexture.com

Bollinger Energy Corporation Meg Brunson 405 Williams Court, Suite 100 Baltimore, MD 21220 (P) 410.327.0500 (E) meg@bollingerenergy.com www.bollingerenergy.com

Sprague Energy Brian Johnson 6 Industrial Way Eatontown, NJ 07724 (P) 732.400.0009 (E) bjohnson@spragueenergy.com www.spragueenergy.com

Entertainment

Clearview ATM’s and Gaming, LLC Randy Jensen 18633 Woodburn Road, Leesburg, VA 20175 (P) 703.863.2864 (E) clear_view64@yahoo.com


BUYERS GUIDE Food and Beverage Distributors Performance Foodservice Robbie Horton 7422 Ranco Road Richmond, VA 23228 (P) 804.237.1001 (E) robbie.horton@pfgc.com www.vsfg.com BEVINCO Jeff Fazio 8741 Old Church Road New Kent, VA 23124 (P) 804.310.1136 (E)jdcbevinco1@verizon.net Reinhart Foodservice John Eheharlt 1201 Progress Road Suffolk, VA 23434 (P) 757-538-8000 (E) jgehehalt@rfsdelivers.com www.rfsdelivers.com

Sysco Hampton Roads Jason McGuire 7000 Harbour View Blvd Suffolk, VA 23435 (P) 757.855.4097 www.syscohamptonroads.com Sysco Virginia Sharon Armentrout 5081 South Valley Pike Harrisonburg, VA 22801 (P) 540.434.0761 www.sysco.com Keany Produce Company Tamara Pilgrim 3310 75th Avenue Landover, MD 20785 (P) 301.777.3333 (E) tmp@keanyproduce.com www.keanyproduce. com

Daubers, Inc. Vance Hobbs 5255 Henneman Drive, Suite 200 Norfolk, VA 23513 (P) 757.855.4097 (E) vance@daubers.com www.daubers.com

HGR Group Teo Simu 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, VA 20004 (P) 212.604.0990 (E) tsimu@hgrgroup.com www.hgrgroup.com

Invincia Insurance Solutions Brittany Totty 9330 Iron Bridge Road, Suite A Chesterfield, VA 23832 (P) 804.751.0600 (E) bmtotty@invincia.net www.invincia.net

Towne Insurance Mike Reff 301 Bendix Road Norfolk, VA 23452 (P) 757-638-6700 (E) mreff@towneinsurance.com www.towneinsurance.com

Laundry/Cleaning PAC Industries Jim Gammie 5341 Jaycee Ave Harrisburg, PA 17112 (P) 717.657.0407 (E) jim@pacindustries.com www.pacindustries.com

Commercial Laundry Equipment Company Tom Brittle 2507 Jefferson Davis Hwy Richmond, VA 23234 (P) 804.231.9668 (E) tombrittle@comcast.net www.commlaundry.com

Legal/Regulatory

General Contractors/Building Green Building Advisors of Virginia Al Stitt PO Box 1852, Winchester, VA 22602 (P) 540.336.2468 (E) astitt@coreadvisors.net www.coreadvisors.net

Hospitality Training/Consulting Food Safety First John Benko 2306 Bryan Park Avenue Richmond, VA 23228 (P) 804.264.0245 (E) foodsafetyfirst@chilitech.com

Murray Enterprises Joan Murray, FMP 102 North George Mason Drive Arlington, VA 22203 (P) 703.528.4564 (E) joan.k.murray@verizon.net

R. Winstead Consulting Reginald Winstead 6204 Wayles Street Springfield, VA 22150 (E) reginaldwinstead@cox.net

Tedesco Hospitality Consulting John Tedesco 48 Fort Williams Parkway Alexandria, VA 22304 (P) 703.357.0797 (E) jtedesco1@verizon.net

Hospitality Ascent Tammy Hedrick-Robertson 101 N. Lynnhaven Road, Suite 101 Virginia Beach, VA 23452 (P) 757.696.0019 (E) tammy@hospitalityascent.com www.patriceandassociates.com

New Horizon Marketing & Consulting Herbert Green, Jr., PHD 8614 Good Luck Road Lanham, MD 20706 (P) 301.437.3787 (E) docgreen98@msn.com

Restaurant Positive Martha Looney 2511 E. Broad Street, Unit 3 Richmond, VA 23223 (P) 804.380.8516 (E) Martha@restaurantpositive.com www.restaurantpositive.com

Tidewater Foodservice Group William Disque 203 Granby Pak Norfolk, VA 23505 (P) 757.472.1003 (E) tfsg@att.net www.tidewaterfoodservice.com

Morley Management Enterprises Grant Morley 687 Factory Mill Road Bumpass, VA 23024 (P) 804.556.2845 (E) rgmorley16@gmail.com

Altria Client Services John Rainey PO Box 26603 Richmond, VA 23261 (P) 804.484.8606 (E) john.rainey@altria.com www.philipmorris.com

Vanderventer Black LLP Anne Bibeau 101 W. Main Street Norfolk, VA 23510 (P) 757.446.8600 (E) abibeau@vanblk.com www.vanblk.com

Setliff & Holland Ryan Furgurson 4940 Dominion Blvd Glen Allen, VA 23060 (P) 804.377.1275 (E) rfurgurson@setliffholland.com

MidSouth Assurance Bill Koehler 13 West Main Street Richmond, VA 23220 (P) 804.477.3073 (E) bkoehler@midsouthassurance.com www.midsouthassurance.com

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellot, LLP Tom Lisk 707 East Main Street, Suite 1450 Richmond, VA 23219 (P) 804.788.7750 (E) tlisk@eckertseamans.com www.eckertseamans.com

Marketing Phillips Destination Management Anne Phillips PO Box 11043, Norfolk, VA 23517 (P) 757-623-4400 (E) anne.phillips@phillipsdmc.com www.phillipsdmc.com

Music Licensing BMI Jessica Frost 10 Music Square East, Nashville, TN 37203 (P) 615.401.2873 (E) jfrost@bmi.com www.bmi.com

Pest Control

Insurance/Financial Planning SIL Insurance Derek Lynch 5310 Markel Road, Suite 203 Richmond, VA 23230 (P) 804.888.7216 (E) dlynch@silinsurance.com www.vrlta.org/sil

Insurance/Financial Planning Gantt Insurance Agency Don Gantt 2015 N. Virginia Street Farmville, VA 23901 (P) 434.392.7200 (E) don@ganttagency.com www.ganttagency.com

Harford Mutual Insurance Bill Langston 200 North Main Street Bel Air, MD 21014 (P) 804.477.4501 (E) blangston@hm1842.com www.harfordmutual.com

A-Active Pest Control Becky Weil-White 2500 Encounter Court, Norfolk, VA 23453 (P) 757-425-0855 (E) beckyweil-white@123bugfree.com www.aactiveservices.com

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BUYERS GUIDE Recruiting/HR/Exchange Programs InterExchange Nancy Perry 161 Sixth Avenue New York, NY 10013 (P) 757.613.3639 (E) nperry@interexchange.org www.interexchange.org

Newport News Hospitality Association Elizabeth Parker PO Box 23612 Newport News, VA 23612 (P) 757.272.5000 (E) eparker@mcrdevelopment.com www.newportnewshospitality.com

Shenandoah Valley Travel Association Julie Armel PO Box 1040 New Market, VA 22844 (P) 540.740.3132 (E) director@visitshenandoah.org www.visitshenandoah.org

Patrice & Associates Tammy Henderson 636 Blackthorne Drive Chesapeake, VA 23322 (P) 757.474.5809 (E) tamylunh@earthlink.com www.patriceandassociates.com

Patrice & Associates Robert Hall 584 Dana Circle Newport News, VA 23602 (P) 757-828-5207 (E) rhall@patriceandassociates.com www.patriceandassociates.com

Virginia Production Alliance Terry Stroud 1813 E. Broad Street Richmond, VA 23223 (P) 804.344.5623 (E) terr.stroud@lobe.com www.virginiaproductionalliance.org

Williamsburg Hotel Association & Tourist Info Ron Kirkland PO Box 1515, Williamsburg, VA 23187 (P) 757.220.3330 (E) ron.kirkland@widowmaker.com www.williamsburghotelassociation.com

Richmond Hotel/Motel Association Mike Watkins 5101 Monument Ave Richmond, VA 23230 (P) 804.662-5500 (E) mwatkins@doubletree.com

Virginia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus Brian Gorg PO Box 3633 Warrenton, VA 20188 (P) 540.904.4710 (E) vacvb@colliegorg.com www.vacvb.com

Real Estate S.L. Nusbaum Realty Company Susan Childress 440 Monticello Avenue, Suite 1700 Norfolk, VA 23150 (P) 757.627.8611 (E) schildress@slnusbaum.com www.slnusbaum.com

Signage/Electronic Displays Interstate Logos Jason Newcomb 10001 Patterson Ave., Suite 201 Richmond, VA 23233 (P) 804.754.0970 (E) jnewcomb@interstatelogos.com www.interstatelogos.com

Holiday Signs PO Box 519 Waynesboro, VA 22980 (P) 540.416.3154 (E) office@holidaysigns.com www.holidaysigns.com SpeedPro Imaging Northern Virginia Roman Blazauskas 22135 Davis Drive, Suite 112 Sterling, VA 20148 (P) 571.313.8334 (E) rblazauskas@speedpro.com www.speedpro.com

Spirits/Wine Distributors Southern Wine & Spirits – Mid Atlantic John Alvarez 4915 Radford Avenue, Suite 208, Richmond, VA 23230 (P) 804.677.8885 (E) johnalvarez@southernwine.com www.southernwine.com

Trade Associations Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia Amy Hagar 3372 Lady Catherin Circle Triangle, VA 22172 (P) 888-660-2228 (E) info@innvirginia.com www.stayva.com

Virginia Beach Restaurant Association Aimee Taylor PO Box 8066 Virginia Beach, VA 23450 (P) 757.422.4420 (E) aimee@vbra.com www.dineinvb.com National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds Paul Bambei 9085 E Mineral Circle, Suite #200 Centennial, CO 80118 (P) 303.681.0401 (E) pbambei@arvc.org www.arvc.org

Virginia Beach Hotel Association Diana Burke 1023 Laskin Road, Suite 111 Virginia Beach, VA 23451 (P) 757.428.8015 (E) diana.burke@vbha.net www.virginiabeachhotelassociation.com Blue Ridge Hospitality Association Cathy Ring 710 Williamson Road Roanoke, VA 24016 (P) 540.278.2284 (E) cathy.ring@roanokeva.gov

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Trade Associations

SnagAJob Joe Gabriel 4851 Lake Brook Drive Glen Allen, VA 23060 (P) 703.457.7873 (E) joe.gabriel@snagajob.com www.snagajob.com

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association

Virginia Beef Industry Council Anne Cardwell PO Box 9 Daleville, VA 24083 (P) 434.525.5900 (E) acardwell@vabeef.org www.vabeef.org

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Williamsburg Area Restaurant Association Debi Schaefer PO Box 3072 Williamsburg, VA 23187 (P) 757.221.6835 (E) director@wararest.com www.williamsburgarearestaurants.com

Transportation Black and White Cabs Frank Azzalina 6304 Sewells Point Norfolk, VA 23513 (P) 757-214-3574 (E) franka@hrtitaxi.com www.appacab.us

Black and White Cabs Judith Swystun 6304 Sewells Point Norfolk, VA 23513 (P) 757-853-1255 (E) judyswystun@hotmail.com www.appacab.us

James River Transportation Barry Shapiro 915 North Allen Ave Richmond, VA 23230 (P) 804-342-7300 (E) bshapiro@jamesrivertrans.com www.jamesrivertrans.com

Uniforms/Linens/Paper/Chemical/Supplies Ecolab Katherine Hunt 4855 International Blvd, Suite 3 Frederick, MD 27103 (P) 240.629.9410 (E) Katherine.hunt@ecolab.com www.ecolab.com

Beach Chemical & Paper Company John Parker 1356 London Bridge Road Virginia Beach, VA 23453 (P) 757.427.2002 www.beachchemical.com www.weservice.biz

ImageOne Uniforms Joe Markota 12274 Mahoning Avenue, Suite 11 North Jackson, OH 44451 (P) 330.538.9900 (E) jm@imageoneuniforms.com www.imageoneuniforms.com

Virginia Linen Service David Struminger PO Box 869 Petersburg, VA 23804 (P) 804.732.3315 (E) dmstringer@mohenis.com www.yourlinenservice.com

Acme Paper and Supply Joseph Kern 2100 Jefferson Davis Highway Richmond, VA 23224 (P) 804.640.5130 (E) jkern@acmepaper.com

Cintas Corporation Howard Baron 12524 Kingston Avenue Chester, VA 23836 (P) 804.530.2601 (E) baronh@cintas.com www.cintas.com

Squier Associates, Inc. Alan Squier 14650-H Rothgeb Drive Rockville, MD 20850 (P) 301.762.3710 (E) asquier@squierinc.com www.squierinc.com


EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Education Foundation Updates

O

n March 11, 2016, more than 70 students, representing 15 teams, gathered from throughout Virginia to compete in the 13th Annual Virginia ProStart Student Invitational—a Culinary and Restaurant Management competition for High School Students in the ProStart Program. The students competed for honors, scholarships, and the opportunity to compete against the best teams from other states at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s National ProStart Student Invitational, April 29 – May 1, 2016, in Grapevine, Texas. During the day long event, held at Sysco Hampton Roads, teams from C.S. Monroe Technology Center (Loudoun County) and Landstown High School (Virginia Beach) took first place in culinary arts and restaurant management, respectively. “These students practice all year for this competition,” said Jim Wilson, Director of Education & Workforce Development for VRLTA. “They come in early, afterschool and on weekends, because this is what they’re passionate about and they want to do their very best.”

2016 Virginia ProStart Student Invitational Results Culinary First: C.S. Monroe Technology Center (Team II) Loudoun County Second: Wythe County Technology Center Wythe County Third: C.S. Monroe Technology Center (Team I) Loudoun County Management First: Landstown High School – Virginia Beach Second: Tallwood High School – Virginia Beach Third: Phoebus High School – Hampton After winning the Virginia competition, the teams returned to their respective schools and continued to practice and refine their work for the National Competition. Monroe Tech spent hours honing their knife skills with Loudoun County’s National Conference Center by helping them prepare nearly 1,000 whole chickens for a function at the hotel. The National ProStart Student Invitational was held from April 29 — May 1, 2016 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. The teams arrived in Dallas and enjoyed sightseeing and the local culinary flavors of Texas. Landstown High School competed against 41 other state teams in the Management Competition, and Monroe Tech against 45 others in the Culinary Arts Competition. While both teams spent countless hours preparing and put forth an amazing effort during the competition, neither was able to bring a trophy home to Virginia.

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EDUCATION FOUNDATION VRLTA Education Foundation’s 2016 Virginia ProStart Teacher of the Year is passionate about engaging the next generation of chefs and restaurateurs, ensuring that they fully understand the process of getting food prepared for a table. Her main goal is to encourage students to explore a culinary path after leaving her classroom. To do so, she routinely asks them to engage in outside the classroom activities—maintaining a student garden at the high school, volunteering with local farmers at the farmers market. She also plans regular field trips for her students to local orchards, olive oil dispensaries, flour mills, and dairy farms. And of course, there is the occasional trip to enjoy fresh local restaurants. But getting her students outside the classroom is just half of what makes Manchester High School’s Pam Sloan, in her 15th year of teaching the ProStart curriculum, the 2016 Virginia ProStart Teacher of the Year. “Pam embodies everything that makes ProStart educators successful: She has the ability to inspire and lead the foodservice leaders of tomorrow,” said Jim Wilson, Director of Education & Workforce Development for VRLTA. It’s Sloan’s ability to take hard-to-understand concepts and turn them into hands-on learning opportunities. Helping students through these difficult lessons inspires them to continue working in the industry.

wins national honor in Chicago

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Manchester High School Teacher Selected Virginia ProStart Teacher Of the year;

“Recipe conversion is a struggle, so each December we have several of our special needs M.O.M.D students come in the kitchen over a week long period to make a few thousand cookies— converting from a recipe that would typically make a dozen—that we then package and send to troops overseas who are listed on AnySoldier.com.” It’s these hands-on experiences that help students understand how to apply their lessons to real life, and real careers in hospitality, and her love of outside the classroom learning that won Sloan this year’s award. “Her passion for the industry, education and her students, and her strong work ethic and commitment to the ProStart program, made her a clear choice for the 2016 Virginia ProStart Educator Excellence Award,” concluded Wilson. Sloan joined other top educators from across the U.S. in Chicago for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) ProStart Educator Excellence Awards from May 19-21, 2016. At the event, Sloan was awarded one of two National Restaurant Association Education Foundation James H. Maynard Excellence in Education Awards from among 32 state candidates.

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84% 18

Of visitors stated brochures influenced their travel decisions

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association

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83%

Of visitors plan to visit an attraction because of picking up a brochure

*learn more about this survey at IAPBD.org


DIGITAL AGE

Digital Age Doesn’t Diminish Need for Print Brochures in the Hospitality Industry

Digital Age Doesn’t Diminish Need for Print Brochures in Hospitality Industry

Infographic Sheet 2016.pdf

1

5/20/16

4:18 PM

Concierge & Front Desk staff value printed visitor information

Hospitality professionals providing guests with Yes

Tourism Information preferred by guests Yes

Print

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

94%

98% No

83% No

Other

CMY

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In this digital age, printed media remains the preferred support tool when providing guests with visitor information... and remains the preferred method of guests when learning of local attractions and tourism activities to enjoy.

Y

ou can’t miss them in hotels and airports - rows and rows of brightly colored brochures and maps touting tourist attractions. In an era when most people turn to their mobile devices for information, you might assume these printed materials would become relics. This is not the case according to a new survey conducted by Bentley’s Center for Marketing Technology (CMT) and commissioned by the International Association of Professional Brochure Distributors (IAPBD). The survey reveals an overwhelming majority of hotel front desk staff believe having brochure displays is the best way for them to help their guests and enhance the guest experience. “In the age of mobile phones and devices, guests still look to the front desk for printed, tangible brochures and visitor maps. Data suggests the importance of well-placed printed materials in displays catches the attention of guests and fosters interaction with front desk staff,” says CMT Director Ian Cross. Printed brochures and maps are the most popular choice for guests and concierge staff. Brochures are slightly favored (27%), followed by maps (26%) and then placebased guides (22%). When observing how often hotel guests use brochures, survey respondents cited (40%) always, (46%) often, (13%) sometimes (1%) never. The survey examined 1,560 responses from hospitality professionals in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Greece. To see the full Hospitality Visitor Information Survey, visit bentley.edu/centers/cmt. Bentley’s Center for Marketing Technology is on the cutting edge of marketing, research, technology and strategy. Students, educators and business partners have daily access to the latest trends, newest technologies and in-depth research that is shaping the future of marketing practices. Corporate clients in the United States and abroad benefit from collaborations and strategic consulting projects with the CMT, while enjoying access to world class marketing expertise, experienced CMT team members and the center’s cutting edge marketing technology. Courtesy of Bentley University’s Center for Marketing Technology.

JANUARY 2016

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A GLIMPSE OF HISTORY

more than‘fun and games’ Virginia’s tourism and hospitality industry, while competitive, wants to rise to the top. By Paula C. Squires, Virginia Business

T

ake an iconic travel slogan in a state blessed with natural beauty and history, increase funding for marketing and infrastructure, and what do you get? A second-to-none tourism industry. That’s the industry’s goal. But are we there yet? Not quite. While Virginia is competitive, it hasn’t ascended to the top of the Ferris wheel, say industry executives. Nor is it a tiny teacup player. What holds Virginia back, they say, are several challenges: outdated product, the need for improved infrastructure such as sports arenas and convention centers, and more marketing funds to make a push into affluent Northeastern markets such as Boston and New York. By many measures, Virginia’s tourism industry is thriving. In 2014, domestic travelers spent $22.4 billion on lodging, transportation, food and recreation, supporting 216,900 jobs and generating $1.5 billion in state and local taxes. In fact, Virginia ranks ninth among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in domestic traveler spending.

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Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association

Yet the state falls to No. 21 based on its 2014 state budget of $18.6 million for tourism. That figure pales when compared with heavy-hitting tourism states such as Florida and California that spent nearly four times as much — $69.4 million and $64.4 million in 2014 — according to the U. S. Travel Association. The Old Dominion is home to many large hospitality companies. Hilton Worldwide Inc. in McLean is a global giant with holdings in 100 countries. It, along with other players such as Apple REIT Hospitality, Shamin Hotels and Cornerstone Hospitality, are investing in new properties in Virginia. Sparking the growth is the rise of millennial travelers and their families, an increasing recognition of Virginia’s award-winning culinary scene and a heightened focus on authentic experiences — from feasting on Virginia’s homegrown oysters to cycling from Richmond to Washington, D.C. With the potential for new growth, though, are operational pressures. The industry struggles to find enough skilled people to staff positions. It’s the target of cyber criminals intent on hacking the hotels’ large cache of personal credit-card data. Throw in increased competition from Airbnb and other players in the short-term online rental industry, and it becomes apparent that the industry behind those carefree vacation images is anything but carefree. “It’s not fun and games,” says Mark Carrier, president of B.F. Saul Hospitality Group in Northern Virginia and the 2015 vice chairman of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The AHLA is a national association representing the 1.8 millionemployee U.S. lodging industry. In Virginia that includes 1,495 properties and 45,092 lodging jobs. “It’s a real business with a real return on investment that benefits the community. Things like the governor’s focus on Dulles Airport is huge when you think of that as a massive piece of public infrastructure and the need to get more passenger traffic through.’’ Carrier was referring to the $50

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million in the state’s recently passed biennial budget that’s earmarked for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which manages Dulles. The idea behind the money is to cut fees charged to airlines to make Dulles more competitive, driving up domestic traveler traffic. That’s the kind of public support, say industry insiders, that will help Virginia take tourism to the next level. During a recent gathering of C-suite executives for a roundtable discussion on Virginia’s tourism and hospitality industry at the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg (see story and transcript), the overall mood was optimistic. Ian Carter, president of global development, architecture, design and construction for Hilton, has served on state tourism boards in Florida and California. “As a general statement, I would say, yes, we’re pretty competitive.’’ Virginia is a diverse state, he notes. “We’re close to D.C. on the edge of the northern part of the states. We’ve got beaches. We’ve got resorts.” Hilton gauges the health of the state by looking at the performance of its inventory in Virginia. “In our case, we’ve got close to 22,000 rooms in operation in the state,” says Carter. “We’ve got a pipeline of just under 4,000 rooms, meaning hotels that are going to open in the next two years. More than half of those are under construction. We see good representation of our brands and others.” Another good sign for Virginia? Hotel occupancy rates are on the rise. They averaged 61.6 percent in 2015, compared with 59.7 percent in 2014, according to STR Inc., a hotel market data company. Meanwhile, the average daily rate per room (ADR) increased from $99.93 to $103.96. Courtesy of Virginia Business. To continue reading visit: http://goo.gl/8005Kg To read more about Virginia’s Hospitality & Tourism Industry also check out Virginia Business’ State of the Industry Rountable from April 2016: http://goo.gl/4Y3Cqw


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Better hiring tools, right at your fingertips. Snagajob and VRLTA partner to give your hiring an edge. Whether you’re looking for servers, cooks, housekeeping, front desk, maintenance and more, you can find them fast with Snagajob. You’ll get more applications, better applicants and a streamlined hiring process—saving you time and money. Post jobs, track applications and manage your new hires, all in one place. VRLTA members save 10%. Visit snagajob.com/vrlta today.

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CALENDAR

Upcoming Events and Dates 2015

2016

2016

More information about these events can be found at www.VRLTA.org or the appropriate association’s website.

June 7 Fairfax/Dulles Board Meeting/Chapter Event

September 13 Norfolk Chapter Board Meeting + Luncheon

June 14 Norfolk Chapter Board Meeting

October 23–24 Virginia Restaurant & Lodging Expo Richmond

July 12 Norfolk Chapter Board Meeting July 14 (tentative) VA Housing Commission Airbnb Work Group Richmond August 9 Norfolk Chapter Board Meeting Fairfax/Dulles Board Meeting August 27-30 USTA’s Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) Boca Raton, FL

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October 11 Fairfax/Dulles Board Meeting & Cornhole for Colleges Tournament November 13–15 2016 VA-1 Tourism Summit Roanoke December 13 Fairfax/Dulles Board Meeting/Chapter Event


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Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association Summer 2016