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WELCOME BACK, HOSPITALITY DOLLARS

WELCOME BACK, HOSPITALITY DOLLARS
This past weekend, the first round of assessment fee collections from the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area (STIA) in which 56 hotels take part were due at City Hall, Seattle Hotel Association president and Clise Properties ? Hotel Division chief Howard Cohen tells us. (If it wasn't in on time, Seattle sent a note home to their parents.)
WELCOME BACK, HOSPITALITY DOLLARS
Here's Clise?s Best Western PLUS Executive Inn. Not only that, STIA Ratepayers also passed the full 2012 budget$6.5M—based on the new $2 per guest per night assessment fee and an average of 70% occupancy. For November and December, the Ratepayer Advisory Board, which Howard chairs, created an interim budget connected to Downtown Seattle?s Holidays in the City initiative that seeks to bring area visitors downtown for cultural events. ?We actually took this message on the road to Vancouver, BC, and Spokane and Portland,? Howard says. If the Internet hits are any indication (and us Internet companies like to think they are), the marketing efforts are paying off.
WELCOME BACK, HOSPITALITY DOLLARS
Although Howard is known for his work as Clise VP and GM for three downtown hotels (in October, the Washington State Lodging Association named him GM of the Year for 2011), he's sometimes known by other names, like Santa Cohen. That's because for 25 years (despite that he's Jewish), he has played the jolly saint for patients at Harborview Medical Center. (Two years ago, he retired to elf.) Among other community activities, the Upstate New York native also spends the third Wednesday of each month at Operation Nightwatch, where up to 150 people are fed. His hotel food vendors donate the entre and meat; his chef prepares the entree along with a starch; and his other hotel bakes 300 cookies, he tells us. (Above, Howard is pictured at the food bank during the Seattle Hotel Association Food Drive last year.) ?Giving back is what it's really all about,? he says.