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Posts tagged ‘hospitality’

MEET “VICTORIA!”

val2

The main character in

Victoria’s Valentine,

our family’s V-Day tale this year.

 

“Victoria” is really “Delilah.” Age: 5+ years here.

Owner/Rescuer: Darlene Serpa, Serpentine Saint Bernards,

Saint Bernard Rescue Foundation, Clearlake, California.

Source: Darlene serpatierra@mchsi.com.

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Hotels and Resorts: It’s Halloween Time!

For their young Halloween guests, most hotels and resorts host some scary activities and events.

 
A lead painter friend is on the staff of a 350-room hotel that goes all out.

 

Four years ago, Marco and the rest of the engineering staff converted a 12 feet by 24 feet wood and steel storage shed into a 3-room children’s playhouse.

 

For Halloween each year, the “residence” is turned into a “Haunted House.” Complete with ghosts swinging from the chandelier, skeletons jumping out of closets, witches brewing huge round caldrons of brew – Apple Cider – for the young guests.

 

Originally, the storage building was purchased with money raised through fundraisers.

 

Marco and Ben, the night painter, had painted and decorated the playhouse.

 

For the “Haunted House” project, they put together a team of very enthusiastic helpers.

 

  1. Front desk host and two housekeepers sewed sheer, glittering nylon net gowns for the lady skeletons, and outfitted men skeletons in sea captains’ uniforms. Note: Also they made a giant octopus with an eye patch and crutch, and a shark with a mouth that opened.
  2. Two maintenance techs made a guillotine that slammed shut over a long-haired skeleton. Note: Also they created creaking, tipping floorboards and wobbly, levitating outdoor  and fence sections.
  3. Chief engineer and hotel concierge built an ingenious ladder that lowered from the ceiling with a massive growling bear-headed skeleton.
  4. G.M. and I.T. director installed a weird combination music and eerie sounds’ system.
  5. People in sales created scary 3-D posters and banners advertising the “Haunted House.”
  6. Purchasing director and assistant engineer made the ceiling fixtures sway and turned two candleabras into dancing, shrieking ghosts.
  7. Several housekeepers turned old sheets into ghosts that stood on the roofs, or swept down into the paths of unprepared children.
  8. A large group of staff turned out on a Sunday afternoon to help bake hundreds and hundreds of pumpkin sugar cookies, mini cinnamon bars and multi-colored mini sandwich cookies.
  9. The day before the Haunted House was to open, the engineering team fixed it so the playhouse couch and chairs would rock back and forth, even levitate from the floor.

 

This year, Marco and Ben have added a few knee-jerkers and blood-curtlers to the “Haunted House.” They painted the walk so it appears that it is dipping, moving and disappearing under the children’s feet as they try to walk to the House. Also they’ve created a tub of bubbling apple heads that rise out of the water and swoop around in the air.

 

An old ladder has been splotched and splattered in reflective Bright blood red paint. And half “heads” and finger-missing “hands” rise out of table tops and the countertop.

 

Marco calls this year’s “Haunted House” a staff masterpiece.

 

“We’re open evenings only, from 6 to 9. Our “Haunted House” welcomes all children to ages 14, or 5 feet height. And, every guest leaves with a “Trick or Treat Bag” that contains two large cookies, two snack-sized candy bars and a juice box. We have ‘Apple-Head’ or ‘Grape-Blood’…”

 

Do you need any helpers, Marco and Ben?

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Have a super fun and memorable Halloween, everyone!

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Lodging: Roadside Cabins.

roadsidecabins

Chapman Cabins, Fort Wayne, Indiana

My great aunt and Scottish uncle liked to stay overnight in roadside, or tourist, cabins when they traveled in the Midwest. These were small, one room cottages located along state and U. S. roads. And, they were clustered around a check-in office, sometimes inside the manager’s or owner’s home.

 

You couldn’t have asked for better amenities for the price.

 

  1. Each cabin was convenient, with a drive-up-to-the-door driveway and parking.
  2. Rates were affordable, as low as 75 cents or $1.00 a night.
  3. They were available for rent by the night, week, or month.
  4. Privacy was moderate, with 15 to 25 feet of grassy knolls between each cabin;
  5. Trees provided shade and added privacy.
  6. An attached front porch may have been added to larger, more costly cabins.
  7. Cabins came furnished: bed, dresser, nightstand, lamps, bedding and linens; small dinette table and chairs; hot plate, a few pots and pans, dishes, and table service.
  8. Sometimes, small army cots were available for children.
  9. More expensive cabins had a small bathroom, with a porcelain bath tub or built-in shower stall, wall-hung medicine cabinet, mirror, and storage cabinet.
  10. The owners or managers were always friendly and lived on the property, in a home set away from the row of cabins.
  11. Access to a telephone was available for important calls.
  12. The cabins provided a cozy, informal and intimate place to relax and recharge.

 

 

Often, the exteriors of the wood-framed cabins were painted a chalk white. Other popular colors were yellow, mint green, and light blue. Some were trimmed in bright colors.

 

Interior walls were painted a chalk white enamel with matching trim and baseboard. Home-sewn gingham, dotted Swiss, checked, or poplin curtains hung at the windows. Floors were hardwood, and covered in linoleum or area rugs. Colorful, durable rag rugs were a favorite.

 

Between the 1920s and 1950s, they were very popular. The favorite of traveling sales representatives and district sales directors that needed to cover big territories.

 

Often, the roadside, or tourist, cabins were the only form of affordable lodging in the area. It was common for over fifty to seventy-five miles to set between large towns, with perhaps a modest hotel there. In fact, oil companies such as Conoco and Texaco published free travel brochures that listed “approved” cabin lodging.

 

Movies popularized the roadside cabins, too. Film makers put top stars in hilarious scenes, set at and inside these cozy getaways. These cabins tended to be embellished for film with bright red, green, blue or even purple window shutters, lush flower beds and porches, with wicker seating and fancy railings. A more modern version was featured in a military romantic comedy starring John Wayne.

 

Deserted tourist cabins, Flatrock River, near Geneva, Indiana

Today, few examples remain of this relaxing, private form of roadside lodging.

 

As recently as 2014, an Indiana relative and wife had come across a few abandoned tourist cabins during their “back road” travels. Two in Central Indiana, another in western Ohio. Their retirement avocation – looking for out-of-the-way antique shops located in the Midwest – takes them past out-of-the-way and obsolete lodgings.

 

In 2012, a small group of “millennials” talked about reviving this nostalgic style of lodging. They looked for small land parcels. Five to fifteen acres along county roads and state highways.

 

But, the money – potential revenue – couldn’t be guaranteed today, in the 21st century. Too, in this super fast, super tech world, who would want to “stay in a modest cabin, situated on a slow moving, out-of-the-way road?

 

Some ancestral stops are worth remembering and researching, but not worth reviving.

 

Jeff Kamm has written that, between 1920 and 1954, these cabins were predecessors to the roadside motels and hotels such as Holiday Inn, Howard Johnson’s Motor Inn, Best Western, and Days Inn. Kamm has used his extensive hospitality management background to research roadside motels and hotels, including tourist cabins. He is operations manager of International Center, in Indianapolis, and former general manager for properties in the Marriott and Radisson families.

 

For more information: (1) Cabin Camp Project; (2) Indiana Lincoln Highway Association; (3) National Road to Route 40; and (4) http://www.Motelpostcardsblogspot.com.

 

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Would you stay several nights in a roadside cabin, situated by a remote state road?

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

Paola the Painter’s As Told-To Story from Madrid

 

For her fifteenth birthday, Teresa wanted “patriotic” walls. The colors of her country, Spain: Red and Gold. In two weeks, she was having a sleep-over. She wanted her bedroom to be perfect.

 

So, her father, Mario, called his brother, Stefan, at the hotel, where he worked as Concierge II.

 

“Leave this to me,” Stefan told his brother.

 

Two days later, Paola, house painter, arrived at the two-story flat on Av de Pablo, near Retiro District, in Madrid. He carried an arm load of empty boxes into the house.

 

Clearing out the space…

 

He removed the teenager’s posters and pictures, taped to the walls of her room. He placed her treasures into boxes. He removed the sheets, coverlet and pillows from her bed, and put them safely into the largest box.

 

Paola rolled up Teresa’s faded green rug. He pushed her furniture to the center of the room. He covered them with “three large old sheets.”

 

Next, he hurried down to his economie automobile. He returned, carrying supplies: three buckets of paint, brushes, a roller, and three covers; a large dropcloth; a new 6-foot stepladder; and, a long narrow cardboard box. A curious, retired neighbor man volunteered to help.

 

The painter stretched out the dropcloth, careful to cover the wood floor from corner to corner. He began to ready his supplies.

 

Teresa’s Surprise No. 1…

 

Teresa returned home late that evening. After her classes, and part-time job at the family la panaderia (bakery). Wide painter’s masking tape stretched across the doorway of her room. A large sign was posted onto the door.

 

“Teresa, Sleep with your sister tonight. Love, Mama and Poppo.”

 

Paola began the work…

 

First, he dusted, sanded and wiped off every surface to be finished.

 

Next, Paola painted…

 

  1. He painted the top half of three walls a “delicate” Yellow Gold. Equivalent to Lily SW 6693. In semi-gloss latex

 

  1. Then, he painted the bottom. half of three walls. Walls 1 and 2: “Deepened Red.” Equivalent to Real Red SW 6869; Wall 3: “Deepened Sun Gold. “ Equivalent to Glitzy Gold SW 6691.

 

  1. He installed wallpaper on Wall 4: Narrow bright Yellow-Gold stripes on bright White background. (Paper had subtle sheen.)

 

  1. Next, mid-way on all four walls, he nailed in place railing strips. Painted bright White. The railing was Paola’s personal gift to Teresa.

 

  1. Last, he painted the door frame, window trim, and baseboards that same “lightened” Yellow Gold, SW 6693. Paint: High-gloss latex.

 

Teresa’s Birthday Surprise…

 

By the time Teresa returned home from classes the next day, a big surprise waited. Her mother and sister smiled. Her father sat in the kitchen, waiting.

 

“Hi, Mama. Poppo, you’re early from work. Did something happen?” They only smiled back.

 

She walked down the hall to her bedroom. Her parents and sister followed. The sign and tape had been removed from her door. She opened the door. A loud scream filled the air.

 

“FANTASTIQUE”

 

The “patriotics” of her beloved Spain filled the room. From the ceiling to the floor.

 

The Finishing Touches to Teresa’s Room…

 

Over Teresa’s old bed laid a quilted coverlet and matching pillow shams. Fabric: Cotton Chintz. Colors and Pattern: dainty Red Carnation floral .Window curtains, made of the same fabric, hung at her tall window. The pieces were a special gift from Uncle Stefan. Paola’s wife, a seamstress, had made them.

 

Younger sister, Traci, handed her a package. “These are for you. I made them. Mama helped.”

 

Inside were three small, square pillows. One was covered in a solid Red nubby fabric, one in a solid shiny Gold, the third in a bright Lime Green.

 

Tears spilled from the teenager’s eyes. Lately, she’d been feeling overwhelmed. Unappreciated, too. (Her schedule.)

 

What a difference a little paint job made in a teenager’s life!

 

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Paint something for a young person in your life. Send a smile into her or his soul.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

The Best Exotic Majestic Hotel – and Your Hotel/Resort

Young co-hotelier Sonny Kapoor’s Best Exotic Majestic Hotel* in Jaipur, India, receives a new investor, and a new co-manager. And, every surface of the run-down, once budget-starved property receives a fresh new coat of paint. Every area graced by a decorator’s new and distinctive touches.

 

Illustrating the point that even one fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any hotel or lodging property. Performing miracles, in fact!

 
A SPECIAL MESSAGE…
… to hoteliers, general managers, directors of engineering, and painters with older hotels. Properties that are basically sound, structurally.

 

Perhaps, your budget can’t afford to cover for a complete aesthetic facelift – at one time. Like the Best Exotic Majestic Hotel received eventually.

 

You can afford to repaint every public surface. One area… one corridor… one guest room… one activity room… one restroom… one conference room at a time. If need be, one wall at a time!

 

In fact, you cannot afford not to commit to this on-going project. You cannot afford not to budget the funds, time, and staff labor to do this.

 

 

In the short-run…

 

Bringing your property up to speed, little-by-little, places less of a strain on the operations and investment budgets.

 

1. It requires less no-booking time and down time for the accommodations and amenities.

 

2. It demands less use of a staff painter’s clock-time and skills at once.

 

3. And, it reduces guest and visitor complaints, “comps,” and refunds.

 

 

In the long-run…

 

Bringing your property up to speed, little-by-little, leaves only the major projects to budget with large capital commitments. Based on your priorities, plans, pre-set schedules, and availability.

 

 

Three keys to a hotel painter’s quality control…

 

1. Any hotel painter can do a very decent job at keeping his or her property in shape within a continuously-funded paint maintenance budget.

 

2. Most hotel painters can do a satisfactory job at getting his or her property back in good public shape, with a regular basic facelift project budget, at his or her disposal.

 

3. A handful of hotel painters can do a splendid job of pulling off a major facelift, little-by-little. With an inconsistent, unsupported and poorly funded budget.

 

Miracle performers like that do not come along very often. And, they don’t stay. Not even with historic places like the Best Exotic Majestic Hotel.

 

* The Pearl Palace Heritage Guesthouse, in Jaipur, served as a location for both “Exotic Majestic Hotel” movies. Since the production of the first film in 2012, it has enjoyed record-high occupancy. On a consistent basis.

 

Alas, its primary owner has been able to restore the property. He has added many traditional amenities, that make it a favorite stay for Jaipur tourists and visitors.

 

Go! Enjoy! Taste!

 

And, if you time it right, you will be there when a cast or crew member of either the 2012 film, or its 2015 sequel, is visiting, too.

 

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“The only real thing is the thing yet to try…” Evelyn, played  by Judy Dench.

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Many thanks for stepping out, and taking a chance. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

PAINTING THINGS FOR SMOKEY THE BEARS

SmokeyBears
Since childhood, I’ve been collecting “Smokey the Bear” stuffed animals. The collection includes two first editions. One made in the late 1960s, the other in the early 1970s.

 

All except two of the forest ranger bears were manufactured by Knickerbocher in New York, New York.

 

Over the years, the “Smokeys” received treatment deserving of such “naturalists.” They had their own custom-designed furniture, crafted from oak and pine woods.

 

. Park bench – 20-inches high by 36-inches long by 8-inches deep.

Description: Painted forest green, semi-gloss latex, Mfgr,: Sherwin-Williams; “Smokey” belt buckle etching on front cross-brace of back, 50 percent grey matte acrylic, Mfgr.: Liquitex.

 

. Side chair – 18-inches high by 10-inches wide by 8-inches deep.

Description: Clear primer/sealer, low-gloss clear polyurethane finish, Mfgr.: Minwax. Carved poinsettia back panel, painted crimson red and tinted forest green acrylic, Mfgr.: Liquitex.

 

. Bunk bed – 21-inches long by 12-inches wide by 18-inches high.

Description: Mattresses, posts painted Bright white semi-gloss latex; Mfgr.: Sherwin-Williams. Curved headboards, painted light bark brown background, with the “Smokey” logo name painted custom-tinted blue-grey acrylic; Mfgr.: Liquitex.

 

Young neighbor children liked to play “gently” with a few of the “Smokeys,” while their mothers stopped by to discuss a problem with someone.

 

Most of the Smokey the Bears sit safely, in a display wall cabinet.

 

On Halloween, “Smokey No. 7”, a custom designed, handcrafted 36-inch high model, sits in a white captain’s chair at the front door. Holding a large aluminum bowl of trick-or-treat candy in his lap. Even the teenagers grin, when they see “Smokey,” and they help themselves to two or three snack-sized candy bars.

 

In December of 2014, six of my “Smokey the Bears” were donated to Goodwill Industries for a fundraiser. They were clear-wrap sealed in pairs, to generate higher prices.

 

A running search on e-Bay and Google+ for another original edition of “Smokey the Bear” is checked at least monthly. Like with any collectible, the “Smokeys” turn up some interesting people. And stories.

 

My most recently purchased “Smokey,” circa 1975, came from the Los Angeles area. A lady who was once in the film industry. I’m waiting for a “Smokey” to arrive from California. Given as a birthday gift to a gold record musician, the 1972 bear is being given as a birthday gift to me.

 

Per agreement with the seller, this “Smokey the Bear” will remain with the rest of the group here. And, the entire group will be donated to a Central Indiana community’s local historical museum. “When the time comes…”

 

Bears, it may be time to build a bigger park bench.

 

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“Only you can prevent forest fires.”     “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

                                                                                                                  …. “Smokey the Bear”

Note: Smoke the Bear is the trademark property of the National Park Service.

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Have a safe September, everyone. And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting Budget Cuts: Something to Work Around, and With!

$ START HERE $! 

Tools and supplies: “Buy in bulk.” They cost less that way, normally. And, you will use those brushes and roller covers every day!

Careful! That includes sandpaper, caulking, spackling, masking tape and paper, clean rags, and breathing masks. Oh well, the price has just gone up.

 

The message here: You can only do so much in order to save and show increased profits. It has always been standard policy to expense out certain unavoidable things that come off the top. If you try and change that equation, here is where “debt” shows its ugly face. But let’s not go there unless we have to do so.

 

What do you do then?

 

Every month, you will have fixed costs that have to be paid. Sometimes, there will be “additional” costs that you won’t see coming. Don’t anticipate. Plan!

 

Make sure you have a “basic” ledger for your accounts. Include “Accounts Receivable” and “Accounts Payable.” Don’t forget accounts for “Petty cash,” “insurances,” and “Taxes.”

 

Every cost, expenditure, and outlay of cash must be accounted for.

 

Here are some general guidelines to help you work through those budget cuts.

 

1. Never assume, or absorb, the cost of the needed project products and materials yourself.

Make certain that those items are paid for up front, by the customer, before the work begins. No cost to you.  Examples: Primer, paint, stain, varnish, wallcovering.

 

2. Figure in the cost of all related items. Include them in your project estimate or projection presented to, and agreed upon by, the consumer.

Try not to overlook the “small stuff.” It can add up fast, without you knowing it.  Examples: Vehicle gas, oil, and repairs; faxing, long-distance calls.

TIP: Get that agreement in writing, before you start any phase of the project.

 

3. On a weekly basis, update your ledger. Prepare payments to creditors at the same time. Generate a reliable system that works for you. One with a low margin for error.

 

4. Properly schedule and “budget” the money for equipment repair and maintenance.

Ensure that the equipment, and more expensive tools, which you count on most to do the work, will operate correctly and efficiently. When you need them! Do not let them become neglected, and inoperable.  Examples: Spray guns and hoses, compressors, power washers, scaffolding, etc.

 

5. Account for your time. That is the largest part of a budget. Generally, you can charge (1) by the “hour,” (2) as part of your “salary,” or (3) by the project. Whichever method you choose, charge according to the gross and net incomes that you require to provide for your business and personal needs.

6. Figure in  total operating cost, plus 20-30 percent profit; divide by 30. This is the amount of gross revenue that you need to pull in every day to succeed.

7. Pay your creditors promptly, and regularly.

8. Remember: Greed and irresponsibility do not make a good budget.

 

 

A painting budget is like most other budgets. Simplify it as best you can.

 

 

Build your net profit slowly over time.

 

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Stay afloat! Budget safely!  Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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