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Are you a social media obsessive?

PETER DUCKER is chief executive officer of the Institute of Hospitaity

Ace Hotels founder dies at 47

The founder of Ace Hotels, Alex Calderwood, died on 14 November at the company’s Shoreditch hotel, in London. Ace Hotel’s Teriha Yaegashi says his

passing was a shock and that the team are committed to carrying on the work which he started. “We’re lucky to have a close knit


was interested to hear recently from one of our members, Tomas Kilroy MIH, a BaxterStorey catering man- ager, about his relationship with social

media. Tomas wakes naturally most morn- ings at 5am and immediately checks in with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Due to dif- fering time-zones, he finds daily news from Kathmandu, where he has business inter- ests, and catches up with colleagues and friends based in the US and Australia who have been posting through the night. For him, this has replaced the morning papers, which he used to read voraciously. He now gleans the latest technology news, business case studies, political or financial commen- tary and the latest happenings in the world of hospitality right from his pillow. At this unearthly hour, he also goes through his ‘suggested contacts’ list on LinkedIn and tries to connect with at least five people every day.

Once in the office, he spends a few min-

utes every couple of hours checking in with Twitter to see what his colleagues are doing. He says that this fosters camaraderie among fellow chefs and managers while reinforc- ing BaxterStorey’s brand presence. He shares and re-tweets menu ideas. He also writes a blog (www.mykitch- every weekend and says that the greatest impact of social media for him has been the influence he can generate among colleagues and industry peers. “A few months ago, I posted a blog on menu engineering which led to a conversation on Twitter involving a chef manager, a devel- opment chef, the sales director and our co-CEO. Te fact that this was on a Sunday night demonstrates how business parame- ters are changing as social media permeates our lives,” says Tomas. Social media’s role in our everyday lives

divides opinion, however, there can be no doubt that in the business world, it is an increasingly important and cost-effective marketing tool. But it is not always easy for operators to stay on top of. Tat is why the Institute of Hospitality is running a series of no-cost webinars this winter to help you run your business better.


team and Ace family and together we will carry out his vision,” she said. Born in Denver in 1966,

Calderwood skipped college, became a party promoter and ran a vintage clothing business before teaming up with a friend to reinvent the barber shop experience. Aſter creating a chain of around a dozen

barber shops, the team took on a lease for a 28-bed ‘flophouse’ in Seattle and set to work redefining the hotel experience. With a mix of street art, reclaimed furni-

ture, shared bathrooms and low prices, the Ace Hotels brand was born.

Alex Calderwood founded the Ace Hotels chain There are currently five hotels: Seattle,

Portland, New York, Palm Springs and London, which opened in September. Two more are scheduled to open in Los Angeles and Panama. Many people have paid tribute to Calderwood.

Luxehotelier said: “Visionary gets tossed around too lightly in the hotel biz. Alex Calderwood truly was one, in an industry that isn’t.” Details:

Nottingham’s Guildhall could be turned into luxury hotel Sanguine, which develops luxury hotels

Nottingham’s historic Guildhall could be converted into a four-star hotel with 100 bedrooms, as the city’s council considers whether or not to hold talks with Sanguine Hospitality about a proposed development of the building.

for the likes of Hilton and Intercontinental have produced outline plans for the develop- ment of Guildhall and has also held talks with English Heritage about the proposed project. Details:

Scotland tops occupancy levels for hotels

Scotland’s hotels outperformed the rest of the UK during the month of August, with hotels north of the English border recording the highest occupancy level and revenue in the UK, according to new data. Te research, carried out by business

advisors BDO reveals that RevPar stood at £78.70 on average for the month in Scotland, which was considerably favour- able when compared with the £42.79 average for England as a whole. Percentage of rooms filled in Scotland

reached 89.5 per cent, compared with 78.8 percent in regional UK, 76.8 per cent in England and 82.9 per cent in Wales. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Edinburgh – with its

Fringe Festival taking place in August – had the highest RevPar, averaging £116.85. A regional breakdown of figures in Scotland showed that hotels in Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh all had occupancy levels of more than 90 per cent. “Tese figures reveal another positive month for

Read Leisure Opportunities online: Edinburgh had the highest RevPar during August at £116.85

Scotland’s hospitality sector,” said BDO’s Alastair Rae. “Tese strong figures must provide some reassurance to Scotland’s hoteliers who have had a difficult few years. Tis year would appear to be a return to form for the sector and will pro- vide a welcome revenue boost for many owners.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2013

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