Another quick thought on what La Quinta has done extremely well with a mix of irony.
The ukulele ensemble record attempt was corny, but it was also fun and earned La Quinta some great free exposure. Of course I'm writing about it, as well as most of the hotel trade press I'm sure, but I also saw a news story on a local TV station and a story in the Honolulu Advertiser. The idea came from Teresa Ferguson, the company's director of communications and public relations. It just goes to show how a good idea can be a great way to grab some free exposure, something most companies are certainly looking for as they cut marketing and advertising dollars. Part of the genius was tying the effort into the local culture and finding a local celebrity to take part.
On a different note, it's both funny or sad that we, as an industry, continue to talk about how important it is for companies to travel and plan meetings and events and hotel companies are now slashing travel and annual conventions (LQ isn't the first and likely not the last). I understand and am not advocating wasteful spending, but it's ironic that the very thing that's hurting the industry is something those in the industry are forced to do as well. I wonder if La Quinta regrets this lavish location and its pricetag?