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#066: From Anthropology to High-Quality American Made Bedding and Linens with Janet Wischnia of American Blossom Linens

#066: From Anthropology to High-Quality American Made Bedding and Linens with Janet Wischnia of American Blossom Linens

Providing high-quality bedding and linens is a critical part of elevating the guest experience to ensure a dream-worthy stay.

With a storied history in U.S.-based manufacturing since 1889, American Blossom Linens, a brand of bedding made by Thomaston Mills, is a pioneer in providing American-made bedding and linens for independent lodging.

We are very thankful to Janet for sharing her insights with us. You can learn more about American Blossom Linens at americanblossomlinens.com.

#065: Designing Your Property to Maximize the Guest Experience with James Kuester of Küster Design

#065: Designing Your Property to Maximize the Guest Experience with James Kuester of Küster Design

Often overlooked, having a professionally designed interior can make your property truly stand out, reflect your brand and maximize the guest experience.

Starting out as a designer of home furnishings, James Kuester of Küster Design, transitioned his business to focus on interior design for the independent lodging sector. His firm’s focus is on interior branding in a way that enhances how guests interact with all aspects of a property. 

We are very thankful to James Kuester for sharing their insights with us. You can learn more about Küster Design at kusterdesign.com.

#064: Elevate the Coffee Experience for Your Guests with Small Batch Roasting with Ann Brownell and Jeff Raybourn, Owners of the Cozy Cup Coffee Company

#064: Elevate the Coffee Experience for Your Guests with Small Batch Roasting with Ann Brownell and Jeff Raybourn, Owners of the Cozy Cup Coffee Company

When it comes to elevating the guest experience, serving high-quality coffee can really make a difference.

When Ann Brownell and Jeff Raybourn purchased the Cozy Cup Coffee Company in 2023, they had a vision of expanding their small batch roasted coffee beyond the walls of their coffee shop and into the innkeeping arena. They now have a customized innkeepers package that allows any property owner to provide the highest quality coffee to guests.

We are very thankful to Ann and Jeff for sharing their insights with us. You can learn more about the Cozy Cup Coffee Company at cozycupcoffee.com.

#063: Money and Water-Saving Shower Heads from an Aerospace Engineer Turned Solopreneur with Craig Steele, President and CEO of Samson Shower Systems

#063: Money and Water-Saving Shower Heads from an Aerospace Engineer Turned Solopreneur with Craig Steele, President and CEO of Samson Shower Systems

A number of years ago, aerospace engineer Craig Steele’s frustration over a malfunctioning hotel shower head led him on a journey to design a better version of a device typically taken for granted.

This quest led Craig to bootstrap Samson Shower Systems, which offers high pressure, water-saving shower heads that are made from quality, aerospace-grade materials and expected to outlast most products on the market. His offering can provide great value to lodging properties and his story should resonate with independent lodging professionals who will likely relate to his high level of commitment and persistence.

We are very thankful to Craig for sharing his insights with us. You can learn more about Samson Shower Systems at samsonshower.com.

#062: 2024 ALP Conference & Marketplace Preview with Sarah Gazi, CEO; and Erik Spence, Conference & Events Planner

#062: 2024 ALP Conference & Marketplace Preview with Sarah Gazi, CEO; and Erik Spence, Conference & Events Planner

From hosting expanded educational events, enhancing partnerships, advancing regional efforts to increasing membership and launching a new website, it’s been a busy first year for Sarah Gazi in her role as the CEO of the Association of Lodging Professionals (ALP).

The must-attend 2024 ALP Conference & Marketplace is also around the corner on March 2nd to 6th in Orlando, Florida. In addition to the main conference, this year’s event will offer educational opportunities for new property owners, as well as culinary training in an on-site professional kitchen.

We are very thankful to Sarah and Erik for sharing their insights with us. You can learn more about ALP at alplodging.org.

#061: Increasing Room Revenue Through Artificial Intelligence with Patty Sung and Chris McPherson of TakeUp

#061: Increasing Room Revenue Through Artificial Intelligence with Patty Sung and Chris McPherson of TakeUp

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has officially made its way into the hospitality industry with TakeUp, a recent start-up that offers a dynamic pricing platform which leverages the power of AI and machine learning to optimize room rates and increase revenue.

Patty Sung, Founder and CEO at TakeUp; and Chris McPherson, Founder & CTO at TakeUp, tell us about their offering, explain how they leverage AI to help lodging professionals, and make an excellent case for why their approach is the way of the future.

We are very thankful to Patty and Chris for sharing their insights with us. You can learn more about TakeUp at takeup.ai.

#060: Maximizing Bookings Through Google Business Profile with Annie Buck, Education and Local Marketing Manager at Acorn Marketing

#060: Maximizing Bookings Through Google Business Profile with Annie Buck, Education and Local Marketing Manager at Acorn Marketing

Google Business Profile helps lodging professionals manage their business information across Google products like Search and Maps. 

In addition to ensuring that potential guests can find information about their property and eventually book, lodging owners can use their account to review traffic metrics, gather customer insights, as well as view and respond to Google Reviews.

Annie Buck, Education and Local Marketing Manager at Acorn Marketing, breaks down everything lodging businesses need to know about leveraging Google Business Profile to maximize their bookings.

We are very thankful to Annie for sharing her insights with us. You can learn more about Acorn Marketing at acorn-is.com.

#059: Increasing Revenue Through Wedding Offerings with Lela Pohlmann, Wedding Coordinator for Hermann Hill Weddings

#059: Increasing Revenue Through Wedding Offerings with Lela Pohlmann, Wedding Coordinator for Hermann Hill Weddings

Independent lodging properties are ideal destinations for weddings and those that offer wedding services, regardless of size and complexity, can attest that they are an excellent source of revenue.  There is a range of options for a property to consider when deciding to offer on-site wedding services.

Lela Pohlmann is a Wedding Coordinator for Hermann Hill Weddings, which offers a full range of wedding services at Hermann Hill, a luxury boutique hotel in Hermann, Missouri.  Hermann Hill hosted more than 130 weddings in 2022, and Lela’s experience provides great insights on how lodging professionals might start or expand wedding offerings at their property.

We are thankful to Lela for sharing her insights with us. You can learn more about Hermann Hill Weddings at hermannmoweddings.com.

#058: State/Regional Association Spotlight: Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association (MBBA) with Donna and Byron Cain, Co-Executive Directors

#058: State/Regional Association Spotlight: Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association (MBBA) with Donna and Byron Cain, Co-Executive Directors

State and regional independent lodging associations play a vital role in promoting properties in their areas, as well as ensuring quality lodging standards and providing educational opportunities for members. 

As former innkeepers who had successes in owning two properties, Donna and Byron Cain became Co-Executive Directors at the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association (MBBA) about two years ago. They discuss the role of the MBBA, the importance of communicating with members, and the MBBA Annual Conference 2023 being held in Grand Rapids at the end of this month, from October 30-31.

We are very thankful to Donna and Byron for sharing their insights with us. You can learn more about the MBBA at laketolake.com.

#057: Creating Unique On-Property Experiences with Doug Bagnasco and Jim DeBlasi, Co-Owners of the Devonfield Inn

#057: Creating Unique On-Property Experiences with Doug Bagnasco and Jim DeBlasi, Co-Owners of the Devonfield Inn

During the COVID-19 pandemic, lodging professionals often needed to find creative ways to incent guests to stay at their properties. Some owners and managers did so by developing new on-property experiences for their guests which they had never offered in the past. 

Doug Bagnasco and Jim DeBlasi, the co-owners of the Devonfield Inn, were among that group of astute lodging professionals who focused their energies on developing a wide-range of on-site guest experiences, by leveraging the strengths of what their property has to offer and partnering with local businesses to bring unique services and activities to their Inn. Most of these offerings became so popular that they live on today as essential ways of providing unique guest experiences.

We are very thankful to Doug and Jim for sharing their insights with us. You can learn more about the Devonfield Inn at devonfield.com.