Sunday, March 21, 2021


If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways.

Flying again!

This past week was my first time flying in years. Most of the time, I would not have to fly for business - as I had "The Big Apple" in my back pocket. "Yeah, we could come to see you - hey - why don't you come here to NYC, and then we can see a show while you are in town." Almost never did someone say no to a trip to the New York Megalopolis. 

Now as we build back better, the Meetings and Events, and the Hospitality Industry are trying to come back. COVID has devastated businesses in many verticals, but the LIVE Meetings and Events world was brought to its knees. Our friends at Northstar Travel ( did a great job helping the industry, and we give them a tip of the hat. 

Now, there are lessons to be learned, for sure. We are now building back better. But as my grandfather used to say, "Don't try to build the snowman with one roll." 

This past week, NYDLA (now NADLA) opened up the West Coast market. We are now servicing all of North America. Not just the 55M+ people living, learning, working, playing in the New York Megalopolis, but the 579M+ people who are also trying to build back better after COVID.

Flying: American Airlines was great. Clean, on-time, no stress. I felt safer at the airport (and while on the plane) then while buying ink for my printer at a local Walmart. 

OK, here's the bad. The one-roll snowman analogy. 

We did a "FAM" visit with three properties in CA. I'm not going to name the brands, suffice it to say two of the three have a big "H" in their names. All three properties were clean, beautiful, and ready to "build back better" from the nuclear winter of COVID.

BYOB to me, used to mean "Bring Your Own Booze" or bottle. Well, now it means "Bring Your Own Bagel" unless you wanna pay $32 for a bagel with lox, and a glass of OJ (not fresh squeezed). And $6 for a cup of coffee and $6 for a glass of orange juice. Want more coffee? Refills are not free. How about a side of bacon: $6. A side of potatoes, $8. A slice of tomato, $3. With tip, breakfast comes in at $79.62. I remind you that round-trip NYC < > California on American Airlines was less than $500, taxes and fees included.

OK, I get it. A bagel with Shmear and Lox in NYC can cost you anywhere from $7 to $24. But when you normally eat at Einstein Bros. Bagels you know what stuff costs. And it's not $32 plus tip. And it was carry out, back to the room. So, what's with the mandatory tip? OK, moving on...

Don't even get me started on the pitcher of "Cuke Refresher" mocktail for $55. I asked, "what is in this?" LaCroix Pure Sparkling Water, cucumber slices, mint leaves, lime (squeezed for juice). No booze? That pitcher of cuke water will be fiddy-five dollaaz please, gratuity not included. Also this, tell people what things cost, up-front. First. No one likes surprise charges on a bill, ever. 

OK, land the plane Tom...........

Hey Hospitality Industry: We are ALL trying to rebound from COVID. We are all trying to build back better - all of us, not just hospitality. We are all trying to reopen the economy. But people are not stupid. At least most people are not stupid. Don't try to recover the past year of financial loss on your "breakfast menu" or by selling poolside mocktails at huge markups. Don't charge $6 for a 6oz cup of coffee, and then charge $6 for refills of said cup. Don't try to make the snowman on one roll. 

And then.........

There was one venue that was amazing, no price gouging on the food, and an in-room fridge filled with FREE wine. And a cloth robe and beach shoes, to take home. Winner winner, chicken dinner......

I loaded the pics from our NADLA West Coast expansion tour here. It felt GREAT to fly again. It felt AMAZING to begin the process of building back better. But there are lessons to be learned on HOW to build back better. First, do no harm. 

Major take-home lesson: Don't charge someone from the "New York Megalopolis" way, way, WAY too much for a bagel and shmear. That's gonna trigger a blog every time....

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