Summer is Ending for Hotels and Motels…..Now What?

The Summer season is coming to a close.  If you blink more than once, Labor Day will be a distant memory, kids will be back to school, sunburns will be remembered in photos.  This is also the time of year when hotels and motels in South Jersey will start initializing their winterizing process.


Some owners want to shutter up and travel south for the winter.  Some want to keep open through Thanksgiving or later.  Some will stay open for weekends until the next season kicks off.  No matter the plan, there is always a reflection period to assess the summer season that just was.  Did this season meet or exceed expectations?  Were there happy guests vowing to return next year?  Was the staff a big hit with both the owners and the guests?


We can’t help with the staff, but we can help with part of what makes the guests happy.  We’ve put together a checklist of some of the keys to winterizing from a communications perspective.


  • How did your WiFi perform?
  • Were your guests happy with their web access capabilities?
  • Did you have any problems such as vandalism or accidents? Did your guests feel safe?
  • What do you do with your phone system during the winter?
  • Conversely, what do you do with your phone system when you come back in the Spring?
  • What happens if there’s a problem with it?


We’ll go in reverse order here.  If you shut your phone system down, how do you do it and what do you do in the Spring when it’s time to come back on?  If you just unplug it and then cross your fingers and hope everything works when you plug it back in, you may be doing it wrong.


If you have a maintenance agreement with Steelman & Co, you’ll be covered for the shutdown and restart of your system.  We’ll assess the system, phones, and lines to ensure that everything is working the way it should and is shutdown the way it should be.  It’s not curing cancer but there is a specific way to turn a system on or off.


The maintenance agreement can be paid monthly, quarterly, or even annually, and that’s all up to you.  This will give you some peace of mind and some cost certainty since any time we would need to come out for a service issue, there is no fee for it.  Ask us about setting up your phone system on a maintenance plan and take one more thing from your plate at the bookends of your season.


Now we’ll look at vandalism or accidents.  We don’t drive ambulances or carry a badge but we can help with both of these with our security camera systems.  I’ve got an example to share.


A woman wasn’t even a guest at the hotel but she went into the lobby in hysterics, claiming that she fell in the parking lot, demanding an ambulance.  The manager called an ambulance and tended to the woman while the owner went to the NVR to check the video from the security cameras in the parking lot.  The paramedics and police showed up and put the woman on a gurney.  The hotel owner handed a CD to the police officer and one to the woman, showing video footage of the woman lying down in the lot and placing a chair over top of her body, not slipping and falling as she claimed.  The woman hopped straight off the gurney and tried to avoid the police officer, which she couldn’t.


This saved the hotel from a lawsuit and a headache, and turned into a great story for us to share.  Security cameras can help prevent vandalism in the same way.  Vandals often look for video cameras so it acts as a deterrent and is likely to send them elsewhere.  Now you’ll just have to refer us to your neighbors so they’re not victims of vandalism.


You can set up a TV to view your cameras.  You can see them on your phone if you’re going to be away.  You can use the NVR device just like your DVR at home, so you can scroll to the exact right point.  We make it very easy to watch over your property at all times, allowing you and your guests to feel safe and comfortable.


Let’s get back to those happy guests now.


What makes for a happy hotel guest?  The weather is important at a beach resort but no hotel owner that I know can change that.  Even in the paradise of South Jersey, a little rain must fall sometimes, and when it does, what do vacationing families do?  Of course there are myriad options around town but some simply retreat to their rooms to stream videos or music, break out the work lap top, or just surf the net.


WiFi is crucial to hotel guests on a daily basis but it’s especially important on a rainy day.  If your resort doesn’t have WiFi service set up correctly, your guests won’t have a good experience on those days.  Then, when their friends ask about their vacation, they might not have the best things to say about where they stayed.


Let’s look at what goes into the WiFi setup and how your resort can maximize it.


Distance matters.  If your internet modem is in the hotel lobby, and you don’t have your WiFi properly setup or configured, you’re likely to get the strongest and maybe only internet signal there.  That means that your lobby will look like an internet cafe only lacking the baristas and trendy music.  If that’s what you want, stick with what you have.  If not though…..


Call Steelman & Co at 609.645.0200.  We will take a survey of your property, free of charge.  We look at where your internet comes in, the layout of your rooms, the common areas where service needs to be maximized.  We look at where to place the access points in order to saturate your property with strong internet for all guests.  This allows your guests to stay in their rooms or near the pool and still get a strong signal to do what they want on their devices.


We also limit the amount of bandwidth each user can have.  For example, on that rainy day, the folks that want to stream movies to their tablet will be able to, but only at a set pace.  This way they won’t be hogging all the bandwidth and leaving everyone else cursing at their phone or device.


We monitor the access points and can see if there’s a problem on your internet service, router, or access points.  Our guys will show up to fix a problem likely before you even know about it!


Almost half of our business comes from the hospitality industry and much of that is in the South Jersey area.  This includes Cape May, Wildwood, Ocean City, and everywhere in between.  We have great testimonials, especially in regard to our WiFi service.  Take a look at www.steelmancollc.com/testimonials for more.


We understand the area and our customers.  We understand the technology.  We understand that you have options and want to prove that we’re the best one.  When you’re shutting down your resort for the season and reflecting on what could have gone better, think of us.  We can help you with the technological aspect of this so you can focus on preventing those rain dances.