Basin Harbor Resort and Boat Club recently had the pleasure and honor of hosting the American Hotel and Lodging Association Resort Committee here at our resort hotel.  General Managers, Innkeepers, and Owners along with a fascinating assortment of service providers came together to meet, relax, and compare notes.  These folks came from all over the country and represented some of the most iconic and well known resorts and service businesses in the industry.

You might wonder how did Basin Harbor stack up in the eyes of folks who manage multi-million dollar properties with endless renovation budgets, year round operations, and prime real estate locations?  The simple answer?  The experience here, the setting, the beauty, and the ability to unwind captured these folks and drew them in.  It was clear to me that the experience was equally if not more important to these folks than multi-million dollar facilities.  This is valuable information for any innkeeper here in Vermont.  Remember that what you offer at your inn is unique and so are you.  Razzle dazzle is only worth so much.  A unique, memorable,  and authentic experience is where it is at and can be accomplished in many ways.

I thought you all might be interested in the programming that the most venerated hoteliers were interested in.  Here are one sentence takeaways from each of the seminars I attended:


Restaurant Concepting Panel featured three tops in their field designers:

Grab and Go and Food Emporiums are trending allowing people to eat healthy foods on the run.  Figuring out ways to make restaurant spaces generate revenue all day.  Capitalizing on the history or story of a location and creating a theme throughout the restaurant from décor, to menus, to coasters, to uniforms, to chef coats.

Culinary Trends with the Dean of the Culinary Institute of America

Students are being taught about sustainability, food security, fair trade,  and environmental impacts as they learn to be a chef.  “Plant Forward” is the new buzz phrase with vegetables at the center of the plate.  This feeds into the notion of sustainability along with paying attention to where foods like fish come from.  Fascinating stuff!

Amy Walter, National Editor, the Cook Political Report:

From the current polarized political environment, can a third, more centric party emerge?

Trip Advisor, Behind the curtain:

Data driven organization, content driven site, striving for Reviewers, Recency, and Relevancy.  Their mission?  Help travelers plan and book their perfect trip.  Mobile First!  50% of all users are doing all research and booking on their mobile phones.  Trip Advisor uses data to shape how the mobile screen appears from banner color to all other aspects of what users see.  93% of users say that PRICE is the strongest booking factor.  Know better, book better, go better.  Fastest growing segment is Viatour booking experiences and attractions

Spa Trends:

Shortage of therapists and massage schools to certify them, salt rooms as new treatment, competition by Spa apps that are Uber-esque and send therapists directly to your home when you want for much less money