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Creative Couple Retrofits Hotel for “21st Century Fifty-Plus Year Old Guests.”

On a return flight from London, a relative sat next to the new owners of a South Florida independent hotel. They had settled for coach seats on the “next flight,” rather than wait for “first class” seating the following morning.


The couple spent much of their flight time looking at color chip books from paint and stain/varnish manufacturers. Their attaché also contained photos of wallcoverings and swatches of fabric.


By the time the plane landed at New York’s J.F.K. Airport, the couple had chosen their color scheme for the hotel property. Also, they’d set a “tour and lunch” date with my relative and her spouse.


What fascinated me were the couple’s plans for upgrading the hotel. Especially considering the fact that both husband and wife were in their early forties, versus over 50.


Here’s the list of plans that the couple shared with my relative:


  1. Target market: Guests 50 and older.
  2. High WI-FI connectivity property wide.
  3. All amenities included, and available to all guests.
  4. Acoustical ceilings throughout.
  5. Guest room amenities: Two armchairs, reclining/revolving; adjustable queen-sized beds (phase-in); carpeted bathroom floors, bathtub rails and seats; one-way privacy window shades.
  6. Dining: Dining room and buffet, all meals; “Surf and Ale Pub”®; indoor/outdoor café; F & B Deli and “S & S Snack and Pack.”®
  7. Property-wide public phones and phone service.
  8. Front-Social lobby: Seating clusters; firm-cushioned, 2-seat sofas, arm chairs; reading lamps.
  9. Corridors: Firm-cushioned “park seat” settees.
  10. Small library: For reading, writing, computer use, quiet games.
  11. Billiard and Game Room.
  12. Connectivity and computer room in each building.
  13. “Techy Show and Go Shop.”®
  14. Small movie theatre.
  15. Gift shop: All merchandise home-crafted or home-made.
  16. Exercise and Massage room in each building.
  17. “Children’s Day and Short-Stay”® guest areas: Indoor activity/game/movie room; outdoor playground.
  18. Outdoor bird and nature sanctuary, with pond.
  19. Outdoor amenities: Pool and spa, two tennis courts, three garden parks; small European-style wood/wrought iron game tables; “under-roof” Boule courts, shuffleboard courts, outdoor bowling; archery range; golf putting range.
  20. Small 3-chair Hair and Barber Salon.


By the way, all preparation and finishing products used on the property will be odor-free, fume-free, allergy-free, toxin-free; also quick-drying. All surfaces and areas will be smooth, with minimal reflectivity.


What the hotel would not be offering to guests and visitors:


  1. Full-service restaurants
  2. Special kidsuites and children’s sleeping areas.
  3. Room service
  4. Basketball, volleyball, and racketball courts. (A nearby park offers all three.)
  5. Clothing, shoe and jewelry shops


“We want to accommodate the 21st Century 50-plus year old guests.” The couple said that they want to offer this group of guests what they need at a tropical hotel.


“Then, we want to “nudge them out of the hotel’s doors.” And, into their neighbors’ restaurants, shops, galleries, stage theatre, etc.


“Why have a full-service restaurant in the hotel, when we have at least five in the neighborhood? Within easy walking distance. Even for the 50-60-70-80 plus year old guest.”


This couple’s philosophy coincides with a trend that more hotels, spas, inns, and other lodging businesses are following.


Their focus: Provide accommodations and amenities that guests need and expect.

One of their aims: Be a good business neighbor, by sharing customers.

Their bottom line: Streamline operations, contain costs, and expand capital reserves.


By the way, the couple has a waiting list of over 250 couples, ready to sign in as inaugural guests.


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Have a great day! Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

“Orange light” from Kilauea Crater: A Hawai’ian Painter’s View

FLORIDA—Written Thursday, October 30, 2014.


A painter friend on Hawai’i’s big island offered me an unlimited amount of “Orange light” to decorate for the Christmas season. (Yes, Christmas versus Halloween.)


He was joking. And, he was referring to the orange lava flowing from Kilauea Crater. I understood his efforts to keep light-hearted, and stay grounded. His hotel and resort was filled to capacity with vacationers and conventioners that had evacuated Pāhoa, and other south and southeast areas of Hawai’i.


“Joel (not real name), what are you doing with all of those extra guests? And staff?” I emailed back to him on Thursday, as the lava flow slowed down. “Getting ready for Christmas, Bob.”


“I hear you.”


“We have a huge property here. We’re used to being very busy. The extra team members – highly trained and proficient – have been a big help already. It takes a lot of hands to decorate for the holidays.”


Joel always reminds me of the Energizer Bunny. Some of it comes from his industrial painting background in the Chicago area (eg. steel mills, foundries) – and his family. (A lot of firefighters and police officers.) Anyway….


“We’ve recruited some of the guests. I’d say at least nine to help the staff set up for the holidays. String up lights. There are MANY MILES of those,” he e-mailed.


“We have our story scenes. Our – Hawai’i’s version – celebration and fun. Seven of those in all.” He ran off the list of seven. I was very impressed. All of the scenes’ structures, props, etc. have been hand-crafted from native woods.


“Groups of children are making decorations for our Christmas trees – three of those. Centerpieces for the tables, also extra pieces for our Luaus…” Joel said the hotel had added a special Luau, early dinner time. Just for children. “They’re eating it up.”


“Yesterday, I put three retiree guests to work repainting Santa’s sleigh scene. This morning, we unpacked the contemporary nativity scene, and set it up for repairs and touch-ups this PM.


“Some of the guests came over to us somewhat shook-up, feeling on edge. Looking for some reassurance they’ll be okay. Needing something to ground them, to hold onto.


“This is a good time of the year to be here, Bob. Gives these families a little time to re-ground, re-group. Plan their next move. Gives them some extra attention.


“They’ll be fine. More and more, I see them relaxing, walking holding hands, smiling. Heading for the beaches. Venturing off the property. That’s real good, Bob.”


“Yeah, that’s real good, Joel.”


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Thankfully, as of Friday, October 31, 2014, Kilauea had calmed down. Pāhoa area residents were still taking precautions. Staying away, in safe zones. We wish them the best.


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Communities in Kilauea’s path: The residents of Pāhoa, and also Kalapana, have been in jeopardy. Pāhoa is located directly east of the Kilauea Crater, and south-southeast of Hilo. Kalapana is located between Kilauea and Pāhoa, to the south.


Location of Kilauea Volcano: Kilauea Crater is located west of Pāhoa, northeast of Puna Forest Reserve, east of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, southwest of Hilo, and west of Hawai’i Paradise Park and Hawai’i Beaches (south of Hilo).


A piece of Kilauea history: Kilauea Volcano is a “hyperactive shield volcano.” It is the most active of the five that form Hawai’i. It has been erupting continuously since January 3, 1883. Between 1750 and 1982, it erupted sixty-three times.


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This is for painters wherever you work, and live. Try to stay safe, everyone. Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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