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April 19, 2006

The Latest on Fran O'Brien's

Thanks to Andi's World, the general manager of the Hilton in which Fran O'Brien's currently resides agreed to answer questions submitted by milbloggers. The results are in.

Despite Capital Hilton's statement that this was "just business," it's obvious it was bad business. Those with some training and skills in managing or analyzing businesses have been weighing in. Read about it here, here, and here.

There is still hope, though. Hilton has the right to make their business decisions and we have a right to respond as consumers. Here are some ideas for supporting the continuation of the Friday-night dinners and helping other companies who may see this understand what their customers expect from them:

  1. Follow through on the threats that were made to the Hilton brand. The decision to toss Fran's was made at the local level. It was a bad business decision [3 separate links], and the corporate offices are likely to recognize that. If they hear from you (#5 below) and see that they have lost you as a Hilton customer, there is still a chance they will intercede at the Capital Hilton.
  2. Sign the petition. I don't think this will change the local hotel's actions, but it is part of getting corporate Hilton's attention.
  3. Donate to the charity that has been set up to fund the dinners at an alternate location.
  4. Contact your congressional representatives, as Lex has long suggested [Clarification: I am not suggesting congress should be regulating Hilton's behavior on this, but that a congress member might be interested in drawing attention to this situation during an election year, etc.].
  5. Write to Hilton's corporate offices. If you haven't yet written, or you contacted Doyle or Kelleher, you were dealing only with the local Hilton (Capital Hilton). Now is the time to take it to the corporate level (see Flash Traffic). We overwhelmed the Capital Hilton with email and phone calls; we can do it again at the corporate level.
Barring a breakthrough development, this will probably be my last Fran's post at the Castle--I'll include Fran's news in the H&I Fires. You can check Fuzzilicious Thinking for any other updates. - Fuzzybear Lioness

[Corporate Contacts for Hilton are in Flash Traffic below.]

Background:
Save Fran O'Brien's
Fran O'Brien's Update
Hilton Replies
Hilton's Behaviour, In a Nutshell
The Inner Circle Speaks
Kelleher Answers Blogger's Questions

Kathy Shepard
Vice President - Corporate Communications
Hilton Hotels Corporation
kathy_shepard@hilton.com

Atish Shah - Vice President - Investor Relations
atish_shah@hilton.com

Linda Bain - Vice President of Group Communications
Linda.Bain@hilton.com

Madeleine Kleiner - Executive Vice President, Corporate Secretary and General Counsel
madi_kleiner@hilton.com

Hilton Corporation Board of Directions:

Donna Tuttle: Partner Elmore/Tuttle Sports Group West Valley City Utah (minor league sports franchises) : President Korn Tuttle Capital Group Los Angeles California
John L. Notter: Chairman and President ; Westlake Properties Inc. Westlake Village California (hotel and real estate development company)
John H. Myers: President and CEO ; GE Asset Management Incorporated ; Stamford Connecticut
Benjamin V. Lambert: Chairman and CEO ; Eastdil Realty Company LLC New York (Real Estate investment bankers)
Christine Garvey: Real Estate Consultant Santa Barbara California
A. Steven Crown: General Partner ; Henry Crown and Company Chicago Illinois (real estate ventures)
Sam D. Young: Chairman Trans West Enterprises ; Reno Nevada
Peter M. George: Senior Vice President International Development ; Harrahs Entertainment, Inc. Las Vegas Nevada (hotel and gaming company)