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Archive for May, 2010

Great Road Food For Your Business Travel

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

When your workforce travel takes you along the nation’s highways, great road food can make the difference between a routine, ho-hum journey and a business trip to remember.  Thanks to the Internet, you can mark your route with mom-and-pop stops and other restaurant landmarks that dish up plates full of fresh, tasty meals at a decent price. Here are a few Web sites to help you as you start your search:

Road Food – Dedicated to “the most memorable local eateries along the highways and back roads of America,” this site starts with the remarkable road food finds that Jane Stern and Michael Stern have been sharing for years. The Web site includes a directory of road food stops by state as well as user reviews, directions and recipes.

Diners, Drive-ins & Dives  – Some  TV viewers are addicted to the “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” that Guy Fieri visits on The Food Network. This Web site is the next best thing to watching the show, since it lists restaurants featured by episode. You’ll find addresses and Web sites, too, for spots across the country.

Kansas Sampler – Rural culture in Kansas is boosted by the Kansas Sampler Foundation, which annually selects “8 Wonders of Kansas.” Check out its “8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine,” highlighting unexpected treats like The Cozy Inn in Salina or Prairie Nut Hut in Altoona. Check out other states for similar listings or features of good food at out-of-the-way places.

Once you start looking, you likely will be spurred to discover new road food favorites. As you pursue your quest for road food bargains, make sure you’ve found the best business lodging savings, too.

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Wind Power Blowing Into Dallas

Monday, May 24th, 2010

If your company plays a role in the wind industry, chances are we’ll see you at Wind Power 2010. Currently in full swing in Dallas, the American Wind Energy Association event continues through May 26.

What’s a lodging management provider doing at an industry event for wind power project developers, service and equipment providers, utilities, parts manufacturers and wind power advocates? Hey, when those wind farms go up, those crews need business lodging, too, and we have negotiated low rates at more than 9,000 hotel locations across the U.S. and Canada. If that’s what your company is looking for, give a holler to Bill and Drew in Corporate Lodging Consultants’ Booth 15833 at Wind Power 2010.

Consider this: Nearly 10,000 megawatts of new generating capacity was installed last year, enough to serve over 2.4 million homes. The uptick in alternative energy projects means that related construction, survey and engineer crews will be travelling more often to support them.

Our discounted rates help companies bid on projects competitively, producing an impact on the bottom line. Nordex USA, a prominent wind turbine producer, is one of our thousands of satisfied clients. In the words of Dan Morrison, VP of Nordex Project Management and Services: Very quickly we saw that we could make some real savings in our hotel costs. And CLC also saves us time – now it’s easy for our employees to find acceptable hotels wherever they need to be.

CLC offers a suite of workforce travel solutions for any business that has employees who travel, including custom solutions for larger companies and its business savings card for smaller firms.

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Business Lodging After A Disaster

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

FEMA/David Fine

With all the flooding and tornadoes this month – not to mention the oil spill in the Gulf – the same company behind CheckINN Direct has contracted hotel rooms for more than 2,000 emergency responders supporting disaster areas across the U.S. so far in May.

Corporate Lodging Consultants’ emergency services clients include the American Red Cross, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), environmental restoration firms and regional utility companies.

CLC handled lodging arrangements for agency workers and crews sent for flooding relief in Tennessee and Kentucky, tornado assistance in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma; earthquake response in California and environmental clean-up in Alabama.

CLC provides the business lodging savings card offered through CheckINN Direct as well as workforce travel solutions that get large companies significant lodging discounts, direct billing and detailed reporting services for their workforce travel.  CLC has been around for more than 30 years, with its clients purchasing more than 9 million room nights annually across CLC’s proprietary network of thousands of hotels.

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Business Lodging for the Power Industry

Monday, May 17th, 2010

May 18-20, 2010 in Baltimore

If you’re representing the power industry at Electric Power 2010 in Baltimore this week, stop by Booth 1649 to say hi to Gary and Alex from May 18 through May 20. They can tell you how we’re helping lots of utility, power generation and electrical companies save money when their workforce travelers stay in hotel rooms, and can do the same for your firm.

Crews hauling the industry’s heavy equipment and handling plant maintenance and other power services frequently are on the move, so saving at thousands of hotels where we’ve negotiated low rates across the country makes sense for the bottom line. 

Ask about our savings card (typically useful for smaller companies) and our suite of workforce travel solutions that deliver savings and service to larger companies.

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Workforce Travel Safety: It’s Tornado Season

Monday, May 17th, 2010

FEMA/Anita Westervelt

With May and June considered peak tornado months, all business travelers need to know how to stay safe if a bad storm is brewing.  Know what to do whether you’re already in business lodging at your destination or still on the road.

The NOAA’s National Weather Service Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services posts online warning and watches for official updates on severe weather. Other tips for your own awareness or to pass on to your workforce travelers:

  • If conditions appear right for a tornado, do not drive. If you’re caught on the road, drive to shelter.
  • If there’s no available shelter or buildings, pull over and park.
  •  Stay in your car and keep your seat belt on. If the storm contains flying debris, keep your head below window level and covered with a jacket or blanket for protection..
  • Stay away from trees and cars since since they can become flying debris that can injure you.
  • Avoid highway overpasses since wind moving through them actually may increase in speed.
  • If it’s possible to get lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and take shelter in the low-lying area – but keep aware of the potential for flooding.
  • If you’re staying in a hotel or motel, move to pre-designated shelter area. If you’re not sure where that is, interior hallways and rooms on the lowest floor typically provide the best protection.
  • Indoors, stay away from windows and outside walls. Avoid areas under free-spanning roofs unsupported by interior columns or pillars.

Remember: while tornado alley typically is considered the central U.S. states, tornadoes can and do occur in almost any state and at any time of the year. So get in the habit of monitoring severe weather advisories or checking weather-specific smart phone apps that can keep you informed of severe weather risks.

Knowing what to do ahead of time always pays off, just like it does with CheckINN Direct for your business lodging stays.

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1,430 New Hotels = More Savings On Business Lodging

Monday, May 17th, 2010

CheckINN Direct has added 1,430 hotels to its hotel network over the past 90 days for more places to stay and save on  business lodging. Now CheckINN Direct members can save on business lodging at more than 9,000 hotels across the U.S. and Canada.

As more hotels join the network, CheckINN Direct’s workforce travelers regularly should check what new hotels and motels are available  in the area where you’re traveling. To see participating hotels where you can get member discounts with your savings card,  go to  www.CheckINNcard.com, sign in to your online account and click on Hotel Search. (Not a member? It’s  easy to join.)

Based on the town or ZIP Code that you enter on the online form, a Google map and a listing shows the available hotels. You get details like address, phone number and a list of amenties for each location.  So if you’re looking for a hotel that has truck parking,  offers Internet access or features breakfast, you can tell instantly which ones do.

The same Google map that displays the hotels lets you search for nearby gas stations, groceries, restaurants, laundromats or whatever services you need when you or your crews travel.  (isn’t technology great?). Click on the hotel icon on the map to get driving directions sent to your cell phone or e-mail.

If you want to take copies with you, you can download and/or a city or state directory from the site for wherever you’re traveling.  There’s also a print directory with locations that members can order.

If you don’t have computer access or don’t want to search,  the CheckINN Direct  Traveler Support Center can locate hotels along your route for you for a fee.

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