Shoulder season has been enjoyable for lots of travelers and independent hoteliers, but while this great fall weather may last for a few more weeks, winter is definitely on the way. Cold, wet and icy weather presents various challenges for hotels, but preparing in advance can make operating during the winter much easier. Here are a few tips to help you get ready for winter now:
Contact utility and service providers
If your utility and service providers haven’t already called to schedule your end-of-year service check-ups, now’s the time to call them. Most service contracts include maintenance visits, so it likely won’t cost you anything. In addition to reviewing your service contracts, think about other preventative maintenance that may be needed, such as gutter cleaning, parking lot and sidewalk repairs, exterior light bulb replacement, etc. Taking care of these responsibilities before the snow and ice arrive is not only safer, it will help eliminate any mid-winter incidents that may disrupt the guest experience.
Cold weather generally keeps travelers indoors for longer periods of time, so keeping your guestrooms in top condition becomes even more important during the winter. Every guestroom should be checked for repairs and maintenance issues that can impact traveler comfort, such as faulty thermostats, dusty vents and filters, drafty window and door seals, leaky faucets, broken fixtures and soiled carpets. Just like the exterior of your hotel, conducting guestroom preventative maintenance before winter sets in will likely save you from future cold-weather headaches.
Bad winter weather can lead to unexpected issues, like power outages, road closures, ice-related accidents, etc., so it’s best to be over-prepared than stuck shorthanded. Over the coming weeks, start to stockpile your everyday supplies, such as guestroom toiletries, paper goods, linen and back office items, as well as winter essentials, including shovels, rock salt, flashlights, batteries, gloves, hats, etc. Even if your hotel is located in a warm weather climate, keeping a stash of inexpensive umbrellas will likely come in handy. Winter is on the way, so preparing now will help ensure that you and your guests experience a great cold-weather travel season.