In Charleston, South Carolina, cases of DUI-related incidents are increasing with the city’s eminent dining scenery and nightlife.
From left to right: Jillian Wilkie (Hospitality and Tourism Management major), Crystal Lindner (Business Administration major)
Over the summer, with the support and funding from the School of Business Office of Tourism Analysis, Steve Litvin, professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management and student researchers, Jillian Wilkie and Crystal Lindner, a study for the Charleston Police Department was conducted to find out if restaurants and bars were contributing to the city’s DUI problem. The discoveries they made were shocking.
The research is based on the pre-pandemic level of Charleston’s traffic activities, with a compiled record of 370 DUI arrests and adjudications over a 14-month period. Here is what the research team learned:
A third of the DUI arrest suspects worked in the hospitality industry.
62% of intoxicated drivers come from commercial establishments.
Among the arrest records, only about half specified the bar or restaurant the suspect patronized.
Like many College of Charleston School of Business classes, Professor Litvin’s students spend each semester brainstorming solutions to current industry challenges. This past Fall, the ongoing issue of alcohol-impaired driving continued into the classroom, where student teams formed to make recommendations to tackle the issue.
Faculty at the College of Charleston School of Business have selected senior Hailey Keith as one of South Carolina’s 2021 Governor’s Tourism Student Award winners.
Students studying tourism at South Carolina colleges and universities who have shown exceptional academic performance and involvement in the industry are eligible by a nomination process. Award recipients also receive a $1,000 scholarship.
“This award means so much to me,” said Keith, who hopes to work in large-scale event management. “I’m incredibly passionate about hospitality and tourism and couldn’t imagine myself working in any other industry, so I can think of no higher honor than to receive this award.”
Keith will be formally recognized in the coming weeks at the Lace House in Columbia, South Carolina, during an awards ceremony.
She added, “I’m so appreciative of the department faculty, specifically Dr. Steve Litvin and Dr. Robert Frash, who I’ve had the pleasure of working with on research and in the First Year Experience program. The hospitality and tourism management program has truly made my college experience enjoyable, and I’ve learned so much in my four years here.”
Keith joins the company of former high-achieving hospitality students at the College including, Lauren Furey (2018), Alexis Davis (2019) and Cassidy Hyatt (2020).
The hospitality and tourism program at the College of Charleston School of Business provides a unique placed-based education in one of the country’s top destinations cities. For more information, please visit go.cofc.edu/hospitality.
Left to Right: Alan Shao, School of Business Dean; Patrick Kish, Steve Kish, Jonathan Kish, Brumby McLeod, Hospitality Department Chair
To celebrate the retirement of local restauranteur Steve Kish, Queen Street Hospitality Group has announced the establishment of an endowed fund to provide scholarships to students involved in hospitality and tourism management at the College of Charleston School of Business. The first recipient of the Queen Street Hospitality Group scholarship will be named in the fall of 2022.
Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need as determined by the College of Charleston Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs Office, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and those working in the restaurant industry while attending college.
Lauren Furey ’19 has always loved feeding people, and recently she’s been doing so virtually.
Since social distancing orders have been put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Furey – owner of Lauren Furey LLC which offers personally curated culinary experiences – joined forces with Lowcountry Local First to produce a cooking webinar that utilized products from local farmers. With more than 30 viewers, Furey feels it was a good way to collaborate with those in the community.
“I think the webinar was a perfect way to combine the farmers, Lowcountry Local First, and what I’m doing on the culinary side of things to make it entertaining for people,” says Furey.
As a culinary entrepreneur, she aims to do just that. With goals to create unique and thoughtful experiences for her guests, she says this time social distancing has given her more space to think outside of the box on ways to do this.
“Instead of focusing on booking bachelorette parties, I’ve had no other option but to pivot and notice what other people in the community are doing,” she says. “It’s been challenging, but it’s also giving me a lot of time to think about where I want to go with everything. It’s been interesting seeing restaurants offering curbside service and everyone supporting each other. It’s made me more motivated to keep on trucking.”
Furey graduated from the College with a double major in business administration and hospitality and tourism management. While still a student, she launched her company that provides private chef services and cooking classes. She knows without her time at the b-school she would not be able to think about her business the way she does now.
“The business school helped me figure out where that inner spark in me was and how to apply it to cooking,” says Furey.
Furey is currently working on new webinars and cooking lessons. In the meantime, she says she can be found on Instagram (@laurensfurey), where she is always cookin’ up new recipes.
With its renowned location in one of the top tourist destinations in the world, the College of Charleston School of Business reinforces its unique position as a leader in the exploration and examination of the tourism industry.
“While Airbnb opens up some neighborhoods to more tourists, it has sometimes proved unpopular with existing residents,” says Guttentag.
In his review of several studies specific to Airbnb, Guttentag found that the short-term lettings have both positive and negative effects on communities. These effects include increased profitability for property owners; the expansion of tourism into different parts of a city; and higher rents for adjacent properties.
Guttentag has been at the School of Business since 2017. His research interests include peer-to-peer lodging, volunteer tourism, market segmentation and casino gambling behavior. Under his direction, the Office of Tourism Analysis advises Charleston’s travel industry by providing key tourism data to decision-makers and stakeholders in the city.
Unlike a typical first day of class, hospitality students were treated to a tour of a new hotel.
Traditionally, the first day of classes is a bit lackluster. Commonly referred to as “syllabus day,” a significant portion of the class meeting is dedicated to giving introductions, discussing expectations and — you guessed it — reviewing the course syllabus.
Luckily for students in professor Steve Litvin’s HTM 350 hospitality and tourism marketing class, that was not the case.
Shortly after roll call, Litvin announced that instead of poring over the syllabus, they would be special guests at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Charleston’s newest inn, Hotel Bella Grace.
Located in the Mother Emanuel Way Memorial District, the boutique hotel sits across the street from the very church that inspired its name. Bella Grace is a nod to the forgiveness the churchgoers offered to the perpetrator of the 2015 church shooting.
Hotel owner Don Semmler and Kelsey Stoffel, director of sales and marketing, gave Litvin’s students an exclusive tour of the space just days before Hotel Bella Grace welcomed its first guests.
The tour of the lodging showcased an impressive mash-up of contemporary decor and nearly two centuries worth of history and architecture.
Following the walkthrough, students joined community members and leaders including The Rev. Eric Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel A.M.E., and Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg for the grand opening reception.
Students gained valuable insight into the strategies behind a guest-focused hotel in one of the top tourist destinations while reinforcing the School’s’ mission to provide a quality education through experiential learning.
Now that’s what we like to call the first day of classes — the School of Business way!