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Archive for October, 2011

Business Travel – and Hotel Rates – Going Up

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Business travel is roaring back, with quarterly profits up in the hotel industry and the bookings for 2012 going strong. That makes the Hotel Savings Card from CLC Lodging an even better deal for any budget-minded businesses whose employees are regularly on the road and stay in mid-scale and economy hotels.

While the recession over the past four years has eased some pricing pressure on workforce travelers, don’t count on bargain rates to continue. The numbers show steadily growing business travel and bookings into 2012.

Average Daily Rate Up 4%

Citing TravelClick’s October 2011 North American Hospitality Review report for the next 12 months, a story in HotelNewsNow.com said “committed occupancy on the books is up 4.8% year-over-year, average daily rate is up 4%, and revenue per available room is tracking ahead by 6.5%.”

Q3 growth and profits are up in quarterly results announced recently by Choice and Wyndham hotel groups. That’s good news for the lodging industry and a positive sign for the U.S. economy, but your company travel budget may not appreciate the trends.

How to Save 20-40% on Hotels

But businesses who sign up for the Hotel Savings Card can use it to get 20-40% savings off hotels’ Lowest Published Rates on the Internet. Those pre-negotiated, non-public rates result from CLC’s volume discounts. Only CLC clients are eligible for the deeply discounted rates.

Your company saves time and money with the online account that tracks your company’s lodging invoices, an online directory showing more than 10,000 hotels where the card is accepted, and a Lowest Rate Guarantee.

No need to wait – your company can sign up for the Hotel Savings Card today and start saving tonight at www.checkinncard.com.

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Posted in CLC Workforce Lodging, Money-Saving Tips, Workforce Travel | No Comments »

Cold-Weather Tips for Smart Company Travelers

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

It’s not even Halloween yet, but Portland, Maine, is expecting snow right about now. Much of New York state is bracing for a hard freeze warning and parts of the Midwest have frost advisories in the forecast.

What’s this mean to you, the employee who frequently is behind the wheel for business road trips?

It’s time to think about packing your winter storm supplies in your vehicle.

Maybe you still have them handy from when you pulled them out of your car or truck last spring. Or maybe you know it’s time to replace and refresh some items.

Bottom line: Do it now.

Some Must-Have Supplies

Here are just a few suggestions to get you started. You should travel with:

  • Windshield brush and scraper
  • De-icer
  • Extra gloves
  • Extra socks
  • Blanket
  • Cat litter or sand
  • Flashlight
  • Drinking water
  • Portable snacks such as energy bars

Other Useful Items

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Phone Battery Booster
  • Change of clothes (in case you get wet)
  • Extra coat or parka
  • Small broom

Get Prepared Now

True, winter doesn’t officially start for nearly two more months. But it was just 10 years ago that the “Halloween Blizzard” turned much of the Upper Midwest into a wintry not-so-wonderland of heavy snow and ice.

If you’re a regular road warrior, don’t delay. Start your winter weather preparations now.

The best result – that you won’t need them at all. But better safe than sorry. We want you to get to your CheckINN Direct hotel safely every time, no matter what the weather is like outside.

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Hotel Internet Access for CheckINN Direct Members

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Smartphones are becoming more commonplace for many CheckINN Direct members. Busy workforce travelers appreciate the convenience of having a handheld phone that provides immediate Internet access – including being able to search for hotels in the CheckINN Direct network via CLC Lodging’s mobile Web interface.

Now many travelers are going to the next level – the iPad, still ultra lightweight to transport but with a significantly larger display screen. It’s another resource for busy travelers keeping up with their work and home lives when they’re on the road.

There’s just one catch, according to a story in the Oct. 24 issue of The New York Times. Reporter Joe Sharkey finds that iPad usage is booming so much that it’s hogging a lot of the bandwidth available in any public wi-fi space.

Less bandwidth equals slower download speeds. And with iPad sales expected to top 100 million by the end of next year, the problem can only be expected to grow.

It’s also likely to affect the bandwidth hotels typically provide for their guests’ in-room Internet usage.

Sharkey reports that hotels undoubtedly are going to have to add bandwidth to keep up, and that’s another investment. That may mean free Internet some day will be a distant memory.

Another possible scenario, the Time story indicates, is that hotels may introduce tiered fees. For example, Internet use might be free if all you’re doing is checking your e-mail. More extensive use and downloads would incur higher fees.

So if your hotel provides free Internet access, enjoy it while you can. CheckINN Direct members can check for high-speed Internet availability by checking amenities listed when searching for a participating CheckINN Direct hotel online.

Your online search also will show you the low member rate that you’ll pay at the hotel, 20-40% off the Lowest Published Rate shown on the Internet.

Check it out at www.checkinncard.com.

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Hotel Savings & Solutions Made Easy for Business Travel

Friday, October 21st, 2011

 
 

Maybe your company is among the many that find themselves spending too much staff time handling hotel arrangements and tracking lodging receipts for your crews, reps, drivers and others on the road for their company. Maybe your company travel budget could go further if you could only access lower hotel room rates.

Here’s how CLC Lodging makes it easy for your company to change that:

A Proven Program — for 30+ Years

CLC has been saving companies money on lodging for more than 30 years. Your travelers will stay in quality, well-priced accommodations that meet company price guidelines. You receive data and reporting that shows lodging costs and helps you gauge the performance of your workforce lodging program. With its time-tested, proven solution, CLC’s expertise assures your company of a smooth implementation.

Solutions for Company Needs — Any Size Company

CLC has solutions for any size company, no matter how complex or simple your travel logistics. CLC provides smaller companies with a hotel savings card to access 20-40% discounted rates at more than 10,000 hotels across North America. Larger companies also gain benefits like cost coding, detailed reporting, consolidated billing and streamlined payment.

Help for Your Travelers — Anytime

CLC’s 24-hour Traveler Support Center gives your workforce travelers a resource whenever they have questions about approved hotels or need any support on the road. It’s available 24/7/365, making it easy for your travelers to use and eliminating last-minute (or late night) calls to your travel administrator.

Larger companies can request more information at www.clclodging.com. Or, if you’re a smaller company ready to sign up now, you can do so at www.checkinn.card.

 

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How to Beat Next Year’s Higher Hotel Prices

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

What’s ahead for hotel pricing for business travel next year? Expert opinions reported by David Jonas in a recent edition of Business Travel News indicate that rates are expected to continue rising. While the economy hasn’t gained strength the way it was predicted earlier in the year, hotel demand continues to come back.

Jonas cites an industry report by Carlson Wagonlit Travel that foresees 2012 as a year when hoteliers retain and exert pricing power. Noting the cyclical nature of the hotel industry, Carlson said suppliers (i.e., hotels), not buyers, have the upper hand right now.

The trend indicates that smart companies with workforce travelers will look for new strategies to deal with rising hotel costs.

For smaller companies, that could mean signing up for CheckINN Direct, which gives immediate access to hotel discounts that are 20-40% off hotels’ Lowest Published Rates advertised on the Internet. An online hotel directory provides the 10,000-plus locations where discounts are available, and an online account displays every lodging invoice for easy tracking of lodging spend.

Larger companies can select CLC Lodging’s program that manages complex logistics with sleep detail, cost coding, consolidated billing and other lodging administration services that big businesses need.

Find out more at www.clclodging.com

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2 Ways CLC Lodging Can Help Your 2012 Budget

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

 

CLC Lodging saves companies money on hotels and helps them track their lodging spendingWith 2012 budget preparations under way, now is a great time to consider putting CLC Lodging in charge of how you manage your workforce travel, no matter whether your company has 5 or 5000 room night stays a month.

CLC can save your company money on travel while you simplify your lodging process, particularly for your crews, field service and sales reps, maintenance teams, installers and others on the road.

Reduce Your Company Overhead

CLC gives you volume discount rates that save money on lodging costs and solutions that reduce staff time and increase productivity. You get value for the price, resulting in a positive effect on your company’s bottom line. Your savings is typically 20-40% off hotels’ lowest published rates advertised on the Internet, lower than most companies can negotiate on their own.

Simplify Your Lodging Process

CLC handles the hotel research, negotiates the rate and contract and then delivers a hotel list in locations convenient to where employees travel. CLC also provides a streamlined billing process, backed by detailed and accurate reporting and tracking of your company’s lodging spend.

If you’re looking to cut your travel costs starting now – and into next year – check out CLC’s savings and solutions at www.clclodging.com.

 

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Visit CLC Lodging at NECA Show Oct. 22-25 (Booth 1918)

Monday, October 17th, 2011

If your company has electrical contractor crews that travel for their work, and if you’re attending the annual National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) convention and trade show in San Diego starting Oct. 22, check us out in Booth 1918.

CLC Lodging is bringing its workforce travel savings and solutions to the show through Oct. 25, and we’d love to talk with you. Your company can find out how CLC can help reduce your lodging costs on the road while simplifying travel administration.

Solutions for Any Size Company

Small company? Check out CLC’s Hotel Savings Card, which employees present at check-in to get rates that are 20-40% off hotels’ lowest published rates. It comes with an online account where you can track lodging stays, check member hotel rates and search for hotels from more than 10,000 participating locations across North America.

Larger company? In addition to its Hotel Savings Card, CLC offers additional time-saving services that include streamlined hotel payment, contracted rate compliance, cost coding, detailed reporting and options for custom hotel contracting – no matter how complex your logistics.

24/7/365 Traveler Support

Oh, and did we mention CLC’s Traveler Support Center, which provides assistance 24/7/365? It’s always available to any travelers with CLC’s Hotel Savings Card.

Since 1977, thousands of companies with workforce travelers who stay in economy and mid-scale hotels have relied on CLC. Its volume discount hotel rates are negotiated from the consolidated purchasing power of 10 million room nights a year by CLC clients. 

Not going to be at the NECA show? You can always find out more at www.clclodging.com.

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Stay Travel-Ready With CheckINN Direct

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

 

Your online CheckINN Direct account keeps you ready to save on all your business travelIf you’ve already signed up for CheckINN Direct, don’t let an expired credit card on your CheckINN Direct account keep you from taking advantage of your member benefits.

Now you can update your credit card online so that you always get your 20-40% savings at participating hotel locations. It’s just one of many handy features available with the online account that’s part of your CheckINN Direct membership.

Reactivate Your Hotel Savings Card

Simply log in to your account at www.checkinncard.com, and go to the My Account Page. Click on “Manage Credit Cards.” Then click on “Edit” and bring your credit card info up-to-date.

If your credit card has expired, the online update automatically reactivates the CheckINN Cards on your account. You also can go online and update your credit card before it expires so you’re never caught without a valid CheckINN Card (CheckINN Direct requires an active credit card).

Convenience For Business Travel

Handing this detail online lets you update your credit card on your schedule, 24/7.

It’s just one of many features on your account account, where you can always do a Web search for hotels in our network, check your member rates, review your company’s lodging stays and track your hotel spend.

If you don’t have computer access, contact Member Support at 1.866.857.9747, Option 2, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

 

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CheckINN Direct Members: Looking for Bargains?

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

 
 

We know CheckINN Direct members always are hot on the trail for cost-effective ways to do business. That’s why members sign up for our hotel savings card for small and independent businesses – it offers convenience and savings of 20-40% off hotels’ Lowest Published Rates with every business lodging stay.

These days, CheckINN Direct members also are probably pretty happy about gas prices going down across the country, which helps stretch your company’s workforce travel budget.

Still, maybe you’re looking for even more ways to save. So consider this new development: the Nissan Leaf now is being sold in more states. Plus, General Motors just announced it will roll out the all-electric Chevrolet Spark in 2013.

You remember the Leaf: Nissan’s 100% electric car. Seats five, goes up to 90 mph. And how many miles does it get per gallon? Oh right, it is all electric – it doesn’t use any gas.

Order  the Leaf now and you’ll be in the driver’s seat no later than December. Already being sold in 22 states and the nation’s Capital, the Leaf just went on sale in Delaware, Rhode Island, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Louisiana and Nevada.

As the first mass-marketed all-electric car, the Leaf has earned plenty of buzz. In fact, it won the title of “2011 World Car of the Year” last spring, beating out the other two finalists from Audi (Audi A8) and BMW (BMW 5 Series).

The vehicle isn’t cheap, but it’s not as exorbitant as you might think, considering the price of any new car on the road these days. It starts at around $35,000, not counting delivery costs.

And that’s before the up to $7,000 federal tax savings offered to buyers of a variety of electric cars, including the Leaf. You can see details on the tax credits at http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml.CheckINN Direct is the perfect lodging solution for companies that love bargains

GM hasn’t yet announced the cost of the Spark, but affirmed it wants to lead the auto industry in “green” technology.

 

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CheckINN Direct Cuts Your Company Lodging Costs

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

 
 
 

CheckINN Direct helps company travelers save money on lodging at 10,000 hotels across the U.S. and CanadaCheckINN Direct members and other workforce travelers were back out on the road this summer for company business. But only CheckINN Direct members saved 20-40% with every lodging stay. 

Those savings were guaranteed despite the fact that the hotel industry set records for the number of room-nights sold in June, July and August, according to Smith Travel Research (STR).

That’s great news for hotels, hard-hit since the economy tanked four years ago. But maybe not so much for workforce travelers who would love to see front-desk bargains and last-minute deals continue.

The steady recovery in room demand exceeded STR predictions for summer months. Writing for www.HotelNewsNow.com, STR’s COO Brad Garner said occupancy went from 65.6 percent in 2010 to 67.9 percent in June through July this year. STR’s estimate had been for 66.7%.

Stretch Your Travel Budget

How can your company protect its bottom line in the midst of this lodging industry recovery? Make sure your travelers carry CLC Lodging’s CheckINN Card.

When they show the card at the front desk, you’ll know your company is getting the best rates at more than 10,000 hotels across the U.S. and Canada.

After check-out, the hotel confirms the member’s stay with CLC Lodging. The member’s credit card is billed the discount member rate as shown on the member’s online account.

Simplify Lodging Administration

After the stay, you’ll receive an e-mail invoice statement with the discounted member rate for the stay, applicable taxes and CheckINN Direct’s nightly transaction fee. The invoice also is posted to your online CheckINN Direct account, which makes it easy to track lodging and reconcile credit card bills

You use that same online account to check your member rates at participating hotels and access the full hotel directory available to you and your travelers.

Your company can sign up today and start saving tonight. Find out how it works at https://www.checkinncard.com/about.cfm.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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