Home Publisher's Point of View Best Practice Lessons in Element’s New Bicycle Lending Program

Best Practice Lessons in Element’s New Bicycle Lending Program

Glenn Hasek

Beginning this month, all 25 Element Hotels in the United States are refreshing their Bikes to Borrow program with new bicycles from Priority Bicycles. Custom Element Priority Bicycles are available for guest use, free of charge, along with safety helmets. Element Hotels’ custom-branded fleet is designed to offer a hassle-free experience for riders and hotel staff. The signature Element green-colored Priority Classic Plus NeverFlat features custom decals, an ultralight rustproof aluminum frame, grease-free belt drive in place of a standard chain, and a whole new feature—completely airless tires. The comfort-oriented, low maintenance design ensures the bicycles are always ready to ride for Element guests.

I was unable to chat with a Marriott representative in time for this article, but I did chat with Connor Swegle, Chief Marketing Officer Co-founder for Priority Bicycles and he provided some good advice for any property running or considering running a bicycle lending program.

Like anything in your hotel, guests are going to treat a bicycle differently because it is not theirs. That is why finding a durable bicycle fleet that requires as little maintenance as possible is important. “A high-maintenance bike fleet can be a lot of stress,” Swegle says. Think about fixing flat tires, touching grease, getting grease on clothes, etc. “In the past, airless tires were very rigid,” he says. “Ours are light but still durable and ridable.”

I ride a bicycle quite frequently, but I did not know you can buy bicycles with greaseless belt drives instead of chains and airless tires that eliminate the possibility of your guests being stranded somewhere.

The Need for Three Speeds

Swegle says it was his company’s durable, simplistic, lightweight aluminum bicycle that attracted Element to the Priority Classic Plus Neverflat. The three speeds—you don’t want to be riding a single speed in a hilly area—was also of interest in addition to the upright design and comfortable seat.

“There is no such thing as a no-maintenance bike,” Swegle says. That is why his company connects customers with velofix Mobile Bike Shop in case any repairs are needed. That company has shops in most major cities around the United States.

For those hotels with bicycle lending programs, Swegle suggests that just one person be assigned to lending duties. It is up to that person to explain how to use the bicycle, safety procedures, etc. Of course, locks should be given with the bicycles along with the helmets and waivers must be signed. Remind guests not to leave bicycles unlocked—even if sitting in front of your hotel. “We have heard of more instances of bikes being taken when bikes are left in front of a property,” Swegle says. Set specific deadlines for returning the bicycles. Do you really want guests riding your bicycles in the dark?

Swegle emphasizes selecting a company that is customer service oriented. “We have seven-day-a-week customer service,” he says. “We are highly responsive.”

Be sure to add your own touch to your bicycle fleet—whether it be a color, branded bag or even a license plate.

A little more than six years ago, Green Lodging News ran two articles on best practices when it comes to bicycle lending. Be sure to check out the first and second article.

Green Lodging News Adds Nightingale Smart Solutions as Founding Sponsor

Green Lodging News welcomes Nightingale Smart Solutions, Inc. as a Founding Sponsor. The Nightingale smart sleep system helps hotel guests fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. A good night’s sleep is critical to the guest experience, and Nightingale enables hospitality brands to reduce noise complaints, earn better online reviews, and reduce room reimbursement charges. Clinically proven in a sleep study by Harvard Medical School, and designed by acoustic experts, Nightingale uses patented sound masking technology to mask common outdoor and indoor noises. Nightingale is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, and can be controlled via an API from the front desk or in-room system.

Nightingale was created by the acoustic experts and audio engineers at Cambridge Sound Management, the industry leader in commercial sound masking. The system is designed to mask common disruptive indoor and outdoor noises, resulting in a better night’s sleep. Nightingale uses proprietary sound curves to blanket a hotel room in soothing ambient sound, called sound blankets, optimized for the room’s acoustics.

Call (844) 747-9014 or e-mail nightingalesales@meetnightingale.com for information.

Virginia Green Travel Conference Set for March 1 to 2

I will be one of the keynote speakers at the 5th Annual Virginia Green Travel Conference & Travel Star Awards. The event will take place March 1 to 2 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center and is being put together by the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. The event will feature two days packed with keynote speaker presentations, educational sessions, Green Tourism Business Expo, Travel Star Awards and much more. My presentation is entitled, “Trends in Hotel Sustainability: The Convergence of Awareness, Inspiration & Innovation.” I hope to see you there.

Suppliers interested in exhibiting during the Green Tourism Business Expo should contact Tom Griffin, Executive Director of the Virginia Green Travel Alliance at (804) 986-9119, or by e-mail at tom@greenerresults.com. Hoteliers can register for the conference here. Be sure to mention the “20GreenLodging” code and gets 20 percent off of conference registration.

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