Monday, June 29, 2009
As of today, there are 19 units for sale at the Maui Eldorado, with prices ranging from $289,000 to $1,499,000.
Click on the link to see the entire list.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The number of Maui visitors was down almost 14% this year as compared to last, according to the latest Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) numbers.
Per person spending declined $20 to $165 per day, compared to May, 2008.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
There have been a number of articles in the news lately about TripAdvisor, the site where hotel and restaurant reviews are allegedly written by the guests who have actually experienced the hotel or restaurant.
I say "allegedly" as these articles (see links below) would have you believe that those TripAdvisor reviews may be the result of either puffery by the venue itself or by attacks from competitors.
For the record, we here at the Outrigger Maui Eldorado do not write positive reviews about our property; our reviews are written by the guests themselves with no help, coaxing or cajoling from us. Similarly, we do not stoop to writing negative reviews of our competitors.
Should you trust TripAdvisor? Perhaps if you throw out the most glowing and the most egregious reviews, you may find a happy medium. From my perspective as a hotel general manager, TripAdvisor's lack of understanding of the vacation rental condominium business model makes it difficult to remove non-rental reviews which appear under the Outrigger name from time to time. While I personally do not take TripAdvisor seriously, enough potential guests apparently do. I review all new entries under our name to make sure that they are accurate and when they're not, I work to get them removed, with varying degrees of success. I do find that persistence pays off, though, and if at first I don't succeed, I try, try again.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The Maui County Planning Commission yesterday elected to recommend not to amend the section of the Maui County zoning law to eliminate the stacked zoning in hotel zoned districts.
The Planning Commission will recommend to the Maui County Council to leave the ordinance as is.
The vast majority of testimony was against this change. Opposition came from Maui Hotel and Lodging Association as well as other hotel groups, most notably the Kaanapali hotels.
While the Maui County Planning Commission is against this provision, this issue is still to come before the county council and it could still be approved.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Georgia Supreme Court recently ruled that Expedia is liable for the hotel tax on the room rate that it charges the consumer, not on the rate that it pays the hotel for the room.
Expedia, like all wholesalers, negotiates lower room rates directly with the individual hotels, marks up that rate when it sells rooms to the public,
The Georgia law, while not defining Expedia as a hotel, motel or innkeeper, is an "entity" that collects taxes and is therefore required to remit taxes to the city (of Columbus, GA, where this suit was based).
Expedia admitted that it had paid the increased taxes on the marked-up rooms in the last few months, in cooperation with a previously issued injunction.
Tourism authorities have decried the court's actions, saying that municipalities that insisted on collecting the additional taxes were shooting themselves in the foot since agencies such as Expedia might no longer choose to represent that area's lodging interests. Indeed, Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz no longer list Columbus, GA hotels on their websites.
As I mentioned previously, the state of Hawaii has tried a similar tactic in the past. While they didn't get away with it then, fiscal pressures now may make Hawaii's legislators tempted to try it again. We know Hawaii is not the most business-friendly state in the Union; time will tell if our legislature attempts another assassination attempt on the golden goose of tourism.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
It seems the Sheraton Maui is now offering a $25 food and beverage credit to guests who forgo daily maid service.
We at the Outrigger Maui Eldorado have had calls from potential guests who, in the past, have suggested to us that we lower their rate and decrease their housekeeping service. You know that housekeeping is not only about cleaning the guest's room but also about keeping an eye on your asset while it is occupied. These requests are always met with a polite but firm "no".
While offering an additional discount with less service may work for our neighbor in this case, your investment is too valuable to be discounted by us in this way.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
When I was a kid, and we took our annual cross-country motor trip to visit the family, my brother and sisters and I always looked forward to playing with that Magic Fingers attached to the bed in our Holiday Inn motel room.
The inventor of the Magic Fingers, John Joseph Houghtaling, passed away Wednesday at the age of 92.
Too bad you can't get these for hotel rooms anymore - I'm sure the Outrigger Maui Eldorado would be raking in the quarters!
Friday, June 19, 2009
Hawaii hotel rates are down 16.5% compared to this time last year. Maui rates are down almost 19%, from about $270 in 2008 to $218 this year.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
We now offer a 20% discount at the new Black Rock Spa for Outrigger Maui Eldorado owners and guests.
The spa, located at the Sheraton, opened June 1.
Guests need only to bring their announcement card with them to receive the discount.
For more information about available services or to see images of the spa, please see their website at http://www.blackrockspa.com/.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Yesterday at about 9 am, a contractor working at Haleakala Ranch in Kihei damaged fiber-optic cable, affecting west side telecommunications.
Service to the Outrigger Maui Eldorado was restored around 7 pm. Since there is no redundancy here, either in utilities, roadways or other vital services, a disruption means that you're just out of luck until such time as the service is restored.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Though I had previously seen posts from author Jason Barger, today was the first time that I had read about the positive impact of his book, "Step Back From the Baggage Claim". Check out the link to Alethea's blog about the positive impact this book had on her.
Traveling with serenity and grace. That's something to which we all could hope to aspire.http://www.tripso.com/today/kindness-is-a-viral-spirit-pass-it-on/
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Yesterday, the first bon dance of the season was held at the Lahaina Shingon Mission. The bon dance season runs now through the end of August, with a dance scheduled every Friday or Saturday (or, in the case of the larger Missions like the one behind my home, both Friday and Saturday).
The bon dance originated in Japan and was brought here along with Japanese plantation workers in the late 1800s. The dances honor and remember the Buddhist's departed ancestors.
Like any church festival, there's always plenty of homemade food. Unlike church festivals I remember, there's plenty of music and ritual dancing - many of the women dance in highly decorated kimonos. There's also the chance to make new friends while you mingle with the locals. I highly recommend you check out a dance if you're here during the summer. These events aren't on any tourist's map, making them just that much more authentic.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Try not to laugh too hard at some of these amazing tourist questions. Believe me, we've heard all of these at the front desk. My personal favorite, though, was the woman who stormed out of the Outrigger Maui Eldorado lobby, angry because no one would show her on her map how to drive to Pearl Harbor!
Friday, June 5, 2009
"A hotel should exceed your experience at home," says Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader for W Hotels, in discussing hotel amenities. See her entire, short interview here:
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The following is a page from our wholesale partner ATI's brochure that was both printed and emailed to their travel agent customer base at this year's pow-wow in Miami. Don't flip out at the rate - it's per person based on double occupancy.
Summer Nights Web WEST
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
When is it permissible to take those little items from a hotel? Here at the Outrigger Maui Eldorado, we don't refill shampoo and lotion and I fully expect to replace our branded pens and notepads. And we do provide those plastic bags with our logo for laundry or wet items - I certainly don't want those back! Check out this somewhat humorous article about what people take from hotels. At least some of them have a conscience!
Monday, June 1, 2009
One of these days, I'll have good news regarding Hawaii hotel occupancy. Today, however, is not the day.
April's 64.1% state-wide occupancy was the lowest recorded for April since they started keeping track in 1987. Maui's 59% was the lowest ever recorded for the Valley Isle, even after 9/11.
The one bright spot, said Hospitality Advisors President and CEO Joseph Toy, is the state's occupancy rates are still better than many other visitor destinations. "Nationally, this is happening, it's not just Hawai'i."