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Business Travel Travel Tips

Salt Lake City Restaurants: A Quick Guide for the Business Traveler

salt lake city restaurants for business travelersSo you’re on a business trip to Salt Lake City, Utah and need something to satisfy your hunger pangs. The question is: Which restaurant should you choose? Of course it depends on what time of day it is and what type of food you are looking for, but I can guarantee there is a restaurant nearby that will please your cravings.
Here are just a few options:
The new City Creek Center, located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, has a wide range of eateries, offering everything from a food court to The Cheesecake Factory. Other favorites at City Creek include The Blue Lemon and Texas de Brazil.
Another great downtown option is Bambara, a Salt Lake City restaurant celebrating the past and present, located at the Hotel Monaco. Bambara’s desserts are to die for and their famous Blue Cheese House Cut Potato Chips are an appetizer must.
Just a few blocks south is the Grand America Hotel, where you will find Ali Raafati, recent winner of Salt Lake Magazine’s “Golden Spoon for Hospitality.” Raafati is the hotel’s Ambassador of Special Events at the Garden Cafe and is known to provide the finest hospitality and service in Salt Lake City. You definitely won’t want to miss the Sunday Brunch; it is truly a “Grand” experience with unprecedented culinary delights from seafood, to ebleskivers, to intricate ice carvings, to a child-size buffet.
If you’re looking for a home-cooked meal, the Lion House Pantry should be your first stop. The Pantry offers authentic recipes that have been passed down through generations and are sure to please your palate. The menu changes daily, but the prime rib dinner is what they’re famous for, along with their homemade rolls.
Other fantastic favorites include Caffe Molise, Christopher’s Prime Steak House and Grill, and Cucina Toscana, and there are literally hundreds of other delicious options worth enjoying. More ideas can be found here and here.
Bon Appetit!

 

 

Categories
Travel Industry Travel News

Airplanes, Fuel Costs, and… Central Utah?? Maybe.

So, word on the street is that supply and demand is at it again. Fuel prices keep rising and those airplane tickets keep costing us more. Market forces are supposed to be pretty straight forward; we’ve learned in Econ 101 how this works for years now:

The marketplace forces of supply and demand determine the price of fuel. If demand grows or if a disruption in supply occurs, there will be upward pressure on prices. By the same token, if demand falls or there is an oversupply of product in the market, there will be downward pressure on prices.

Fair enough. But what’s with higher prices if all this supply is sitting out there ready to be drilled and sold at a hefty price?

The Green River Formation—an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming—contains the world’s largest deposits of oil shale. USGS estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions. The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the Green River Formation can be recovered. At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.

So if demand is down and supply is up, why aren’t prices ultimately falling? It looks like the answer is not in our Econ 101 class afterall, but Econ 201:

The biggest threat to oil prices isn’t excess supply, uneven demand or slowing global growth. It’s the rise of the U.S. dollar.

Transportation costs are already high enough. Public policy should always favor a strong U.S. dollar. It’s of the highest importance if we’re to ever increase economic activity through international and interstate commerce.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Travel Security Tips

The most common crime that affects travelers is theft, but investing in a few simple security accessories will give you the peace of mind to travel with confidence rather than fear. Here are a few ideas:
Padlocks (see here)
A padlock is a lock that is opened with a key. This is an inexpensive security option to keep others from gaining access to the contents of your bags – just don’t lose your keys!
Combination Locks (see here)
If you are worried about losing the key to a padlock, a combination lock is a perfect solution.
TSA Locks (see here)
If you are traveling out of the country you may want to invest in a TSA Lock. This lock allows customs to access your luggage easily, while still keeping your belongings safe.
Travel Money Belt (see here)
A money belt will keep your money close to your body and safe from prying eyes. You can also use it to conceal other important items such as your passport or credit cards.
Mesh Security Products (see here)
Many bags, wallets, money belts, etc., have a mesh fabric woven throughout, which helps prevent your bag from being cut or slashed.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

The United/Continental Merger: A Personal Epiphany

I was recently sitting in a client review meeting with our United Airlines sales representative. I, like most, have been extremely frustrated with the immediate results of the United/Continental merger and how it has wreaked havoc in our travel community. But I was pleasantly surprised with how our United representative took ownership of the situation and the difficulties that have surrounded this transition. She actually shared many points about this process and what has been occurring over the last two months.
One comment in particular stood out above all others. She said, “This was the single largest technology conversion in aviation history and we are working through the technical issues that inevitably accompany a project of this magnitude.” From that one statement, it all began to make sense to me.
Perhaps you could call it a personal epiphany, but I decided I wasn’t going to be frustrated anymore. I couldn’t. Anything of this magnitude can’t be easy!
It was then I took a deep breath and decided to just have patience.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Travel Agents Rock. It’s True.

Following the recent trend of explaining why using a travel advisor is such an excellent idea, the New York Times published an article Friday, April 20, 2012 titled “Are Travel Agents Back?” The answer seems to be a resounding yes!
Excerpt from the article is below:
The complimentary wine and fruit platter was sent up to Jessica Griffin and her family moments after they strolled into their roomy suite. They were accompanied by a bellhop who placed their bags near a tidy crib made up with luxurious, high thread-count sheets for Ms. Griffin’s 1-year-old daughter.
The V.I.P. treatment at the Cheeca Lodge and Spa in the Florida Keys last month hadn’t come with an extra cost. In fact, Ms. Griffin said, she paid about $100 a night less than the standard rate for her room. And the deal wasn’t the result of hours of tedious online research either. She had finagled her savings the old-fashioned way: through a travel agent.

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Travel News

Q1 Was a Mixed Bag for the Airlines

The major U.S. domestic airlines had widely varied results for the first quarter of 2012.
Delta Air Lines posted a first-quarter net profit of $124 million versus a $318 million loss for Q1 a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, the company’s pre-tax loss was $36 million, representing a $355 million improvement from the first quarter of 2011, despite $250 million in higher fuel expense. The airline posted a 10 percent increase in revenue, year-over-year, to $7.2 billion.
US Airways Group posted a first-quarter net profit of $48 million versus a $114 million loss for Q1 a year earlier. The net profit included a special $70 million credit associated with a slot transaction executed with Delta, at New York LaGuardia and Washington National airports. Passenger revenue increased 11.5 percent, year-over-year, to $2.9 billion.
United Continental Holdings posted a first-quarter net loss of $448 million versus a $213 million net loss for Q1 last year. The loss included $162 million in special costs, primarily related to United’s integration of Continental Airlines, according to the carrier. Corporate revenues increased 10 percent year-over-year.
American Airlines parent AMR posted a first-quarter net loss of $1.7 billion, versus a $436 million net loss for Q1 last year. Bankrupt AMR attributed the loss to $1.4 billion in reorganization items and an increase in fuel costs. Consolidated unit revenues increased 10.3 percent year-over-year.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Cost + Service = An Invaluable Managed Travel Program

Many companies, both large and small, approach business travel with eyes only on the bottom line. Their focus tends to be on cost savings, with service as a secondary, and sometimes tertiary, commodity. However, unsatisfactory service is one of the reasons a company will go looking for a new bid.
For example, as a travel management company, you could save an organization $20,000 a month on their travel, but if you were to screw up on the president’s travel even once … you could be out!
“Cost is the priority that everyone listens to, but value builds compliance over the long term,” says Cynthia Gillen, a buyer for midmarket BDO USA. “We’re putting in more effort to sell the value of the travel management program internally based on the value to the company. Over time there will be more emphasis on value as opposed to cost.”
At Christopherson Business Travel, not only do companies get the value of bottom line savings, but also exceptional customer service. Our formula for success can be compared to a three-legged stool, with the three legs being 1) Our Proprietary Technology, 2) Expert Agents, and 3) Dedicated Account Management. All three legs are essential, and when one fails the other two cannot stand on their own. The combination of those three, equally important elements represents a value to our customers that cannot be dismissed.
Christopherson Business Travel creates a road map for our clients that, when followed, is the key to travel management success. And customers can decide how much “service” and “savings” they want by how managed their travel program is.
The three levels of managed travel programs are 1) Low Control, 2) Medium Control, and 3) High Control.  An example of this, in regards to airline class of service, is as follows. Low control would provide domestic trips in coach, and international trips in business or first class for director level positions and above. Medium control would provide domestic trips in first class for those authorized or in specific circumstances (e.g. traveling with a client), and international trips in business class. High control would allow domestic trips in coach, international trips lasting less than five hours in coach, and international trips lasting more than five hours in business class, with authorization from a company vice president required for first class travel.
By creating a managed travel program that fits your company, you will be able to take advantage of all that Christopherson has to offer. Your ROI bottom line will thank you and your travelers will appreciate the guidance and processes set up for them.

Categories
Travel News

Denver International Airport Detour Routes

Denver International Airport will be undergoing a period of construction beginning mid-May. Below are a few key dates and information to consider if your travels take you to, or through, Denver:

  • Beginning mid-May 2012, RTD buses and the Mt. Elbert/Pikes Peak shuttle will drop-off and pick-up passengers on Level 6 East.
  • Beginning mid-May 2012, taxi and shuttle drop-off and pick-up will be in their designated median locations on Level 5. During construction, commercial vehicles will not drop passengers curbside on Level 5.
  • Beginning in June 2012, passenger pick-up for Terminal West will be detoured through the parking garage to pick-up curbside on Level 4. Vehicles will not be required to pull a parking ticket.
  • Beginning in June 2012, passenger drop-off for Terminal West will be detoured off Peña Boulevard to enter Level 6 from the north. Signs will be posted directing travelers to the appropriate location.
  • DIA’s South Terminal Redevelopment Program will build a Public Transit Center, 500-room Westin hotel and conference center and a public plaza connecting the new development to the existing Jeppesen Terminal. The Program is expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs, including 600 – 700 construction and design jobs and 250 permanent hotel jobs, and will generate approximately $2 million in annual tax revenues for the City and County of Denver’s General Fund. Excavation and enabling work for the $500 million project began in the fall of 2011.

For more information, the public can call the information line at 303-342-6400, e-mail southterminalupdate@flydenver.com or visit FlyDenver.com.