19 May, 2006

Hilton in the Long-term

[Update below]

I've been wanting to write about this all week, but haven't had the time or brain cells available. Though corporate Hilton has made some efforts to smooth over the whole Fran O'Brien's brouhaha, they still seem to think this is no big deal. They're wrong, of course. Blackfive explains why, and shows us what we can do.

Hilton won't notice it right away, but as it spreads, they will start to feel the impact:

I don't expect that we'll have an impact right away on the Hilton.
But I fully intend to have an impact over the long haul. A. Big.
Impact. This is no boycott. This is a way to influence the decisions
of everyone doing business with the Hilton for the next few decades.

As Blackfive points out, this is unconventional warfare, and it's very doable. I'm already onboard, having told my mother about it weeks ago. She's tight with the travel agent for her company, a company which racks up hundreds of thousands of travel miles a year--with employees in need of a nice place to lay their heads every night...

This is bigger than Capital Hilton and its incompetent and unethical management. It goes to the top, now: corporate has decided to back them up (they're still employed), so corporate is now part of the story. It isn't "gotcha," it's a rational and reasonable response to an organization that apparently endorses underhanded negotation tactics, the use of baldface lies as a tool of public relations, and a dismissive attitude towards the needs of wounded troops.

Blackfive lays out the intent.

Update: Hilton Corporation is now claiming that Fran's had "numerous health and fire safety violations." This is a new charge, and one that doesn't appear to be backed up by the facts, as Non Partisan Pundit has discovered.

Commenter "Army Veteran/Fran's Volunteer" (a credible source) has left a comment on several milblogs. In part, he writes:
Fran O'Brien's wasn't cited with any health code violations. I spoke with the owner two hours ago about this. He has records. As a frequent customer and Army veteran volunteer at the Friday Night Dinners for the wounded troops, [I'd say that] the Hilton Corporation is believing the BS that lower, local management is telling them. Capital Hilton General Manager Brian Kelleher lied to my face when I question him on a few things.

[...] All the health code stuff is made up. Fran's has NEVER been a dump. Shame on the Hilton for trying to defame a business and its owners ... especially ones who take in severely wounded and their family members and give them an awesome steak dinner EVERY Friday night.

I hope Hilton Senior Vice President Marc Grossman has good legal representation. His letter to Leslie Spiller is so full of lies. He's a foolish man for listening to his local people. I wonder if Mr. Grossman knows about the piles trash the Hilton put behind Fran's service door, among other stunts. Or the water leak from the Hilton restaurant above Fran O'Brien's that made Fran's lose business.

[...] I will take my hotel business anywhere but Hilton-owned properties. That's my way to right a very, very bad wrong by the heartless Hilton. I hope many do the same.
Background here.