Lodging Leaders show

Lodging Leaders

Summary: Lodging Leaders is an award-winning weekly podcast that examines trends and issues impacting the hospitality industry. Each week, we bring listeners on a journey through engaging stories narrated by co-hosts by Jon Albano and Judy Maxwell, and amplified by interviews with hospitality experts and other thought leaders. Each enhanced episode leverages modern media to provide closed captions, chapter markers with images and links, and an expanded multimedia report with downloadable transcriptions, while adhering to strict editorial standards. The longest running, top-ranking hospitality podcast, Lodging Leaders received a Bronze Stevie® Award in 2020 for Podcast of the Year in the 17th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business. Its parent company, Long Live Lodging, also received a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Media Hero of the Year category for its expanded coverage of the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis on the hotel industry.

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  • Artist: Jon Albano and Judy Maxwell
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 273 | Digital Divides: Technology builds a hybrid of meetings and events in age of COVID-19 | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 31:32

The U.S. hospitality industry is slowly getting back to business. Leisure travelers are responsible for occupancy boosts in late May, especially Memorial Day weekend, STR reports. Leisure travelers will continue to drive demand as the coronavirus crisis begins to ease, experts say. Meanwhile, Oxford Tourism Economics reports that business transient and group bookings are not expected to return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2023. What meetings will look like in the near term is anyone’s guess in the age of social distancing. Will groups be smaller? Will they include overnight stays? Will they be a mix of remote and in-person attendees and presenters? In this episode of Lodging Leaders, we talk with Jeff Loether of Electro-Media Design about the audiovisual tools hotels will have to consider using if they want to attract meeting and event business. We also hear from Kristi White of Knowland, which helps hotels find meeting and group business. Resources and Links * Kristi White of Knowland * Jeff Loether of Electro-Media Design * Next Generation in Lodging webinar

 272 | A New Digital Reality: Hotels turn to technology to redefine guest engagement | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 29:20

As the U.S. lodging sector begins to get back to business amid the coronavirus crisis, technology will play a much bigger role in operations than before the outbreak paralyzed the industry. Technological solutions in operations and guest management were emerging in hotels before the COVID-19 pandemic. But experts say the next generation of tech is quickly dawning as owners, operators, employees and guests face a new digital reality in light of health and safety. This episode of Lodging Leaders focuses on what might be ahead as hoteliers begin to rethink how technology can help them run leaner and cleaner operations as well as interact with guests who expect value despite the health threat. Hotels that don’t embrace new technology today will be left behind when the industry gets back to business. Resources and Links * LodgingStream: A Brave New World conference * Parshant Jain of Simplify Reality * Raj Singh of Go Moment * Jordan Hollander of Hotel Tech Report * Adam Harris of Cloudbeds * Bryan Tubaugh of Focus Hospitality Management * Doug Tutt of Virgil Holdings, the parent company of Hcareers

 271 | Clean Breaks: Hotels face new expectations of health and safety in the age of COVID-19 | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 38:27

The U.S. hotel industry has begun its comeback as all states are reopening their economies. The numbers show that occupancy is slowly but steadily increasing as hotels get back to business. But, to be sure, it is not business as usual. Relatively few hotels completely closed during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 80 percent remained open and found themselves serving essential workers, housing vulnerable populations or being transitioned into health care facilities. During this time, hotel owners and operators have discovered and introduced new health and safety protocols into their standard operating procedures. This is probably reassuring to current guests, but it’s easy to be fooled into complacency. People planning leisure or business trips this summer might believe every hotel and motel in America has undergone deep cleaning and now practices heightened housekeeping protocols. But one hotel CEO Lodging Leaders interviewed says he recently discovered that’s not so, and fears lackadaisical owners are in danger of losing their businesses to the coronavirus. In this episode, Lodging Leaders looks at the new standard of clean and steps the industry is taking as a whole to reassure the public their properties are safe. We also talk to an industry supplier and other advisers who stress the importance of following product instructions and on documenting the steps your staff is taking to clean and sanitize your hotel. Resources and Links * LodgingStream: A Brave New World * Rajan Batra of HD Supply * Angelo Lombardi of LodgingControls * Jim Lopolito of Lopolito Hospitality Consultants * Linda Pouliot of Dishcraft Robotics * Imesh Vaidya of Premier Hospitality Management * Patrick Mullinix of Advantage Hotels

 270 | Critical Messages: Hotel marketing in the wake of COVID-19 | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 25:24

With more than half of the states in America reopening their economies, owners and operators of lodging accommodations might be tempted to return to business as usual. That includes sales and marketing strategies that management was deploying before the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed the hospitality industry. But hotel marketing experts we interviewed say business will be anything but usual as the hospitality sector begins to recover in a consumer environment influenced by fear and an abundance of caution. COVID-19 is still with us and it dictates new ways of doing business. In this episode of Lodging Leaders, we explore strategies hotel owners and operators need to consider when preparing to market to prospective guests as well as how to maintain relationships with customers who depend upon the industry for shelter in a time of uncertainty. Resources and Links * Lisa Checchio of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts * Mike Medsker of Focal Revenue * Andressa Chapman of Trigger Hotel Marketing * Stephanie Smith of Cogwheel Marketing * Kristi White of Knowland * Makarand Mody of the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University

 269 | Rays of Light: Hotels are guiding beacons as states reopen economies | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 28:17

The COVID-19 crisis is far from over. How long the crisis remains is still an unknown. As many states are taking steps to reopen their marketplaces, government leaders and business owners may want to look to the hotel industry for some best practices. While nearly 20 percent of the nation’s 57,000 hotels have closed, according to reports, the rest have remained open throughout the pandemic. Despite that, owners and operators know life will never go back to way it was before the crisis. Never before has innovative thought mattered more than during the current coronavirus pandemic. In this episode of Lodging Leaders podcast, we talk to Mitch Patel, CEO of Vision Hospitality Group, which kept its 40-some hotels open and is trying to figure out what the hospitality business will look like in the coming months and years. We also talk to John Hardy, CEO of The Hardy Group, a hotel development consulting company with offices all over the world. The company sponsors an annual event called Radical Innovation that spotlights new designs and business methods. And we hear from Adam Harris, co-founder and CEO of Cloudbeds, who stresses the importance that strong fundamental business practices play in a comeback. Resources and Links * Mitch Patel of Vision Hospitality Group * John Hardy of The Hardy Group * Adam Harris of Cloudbeds

 268 | Peaks and Valleys: COVID-19 crisis cuts hotel values and creates opportunity | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 16:01

Suzanne Mellen, senior managing director and practice leader at HVS, has been in the hotel valuation business for 40 years. She’s witnessed a lot of ups and downs. She’s also noticed how investors are eager to talk about their hotel’s market value during the good times but reluctant to face the truth in a downturn. Mellen and her colleagues recently released a report that shows a decrease in hotel market values across the U.S. No surprise there, given the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on industry performance. But this is also a time when opportunistic buyers will step up and actually aid in the industry’s post-crisis recovery. Lodging Leaders talks to Mellen and others regarding who the winners and losers may be in hotel investment as the crisis begins to ease. This episode is part of our ongoing special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry. Resources and Links * Suzanne Mellen of HVS * Mark Skinner of The Highland Group * Daniel Lesser of LW Hospitality Advisors

 267 | Comeback Opportunity: LodgingStream digital conference looks toward a post-COVID-19 future | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 8:48

This episode features sound bites from previous podcast reports covering the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the hospitality industry. The voices belong to Lily Mockerman, Dave Shah, Darshan Patel, Andressa Chapman, Jamie Lane and Ron Mitchell. They have all been featured in our special news project that’s focused on the crisis. So far, we’ve produced 13 podcast episodes exploring different facets of the industry as it navigates the pandemic’s economic challenges. Until President Trump declared COVID-19 a national emergency on March 13, Lodging Leaders was producing one news podcast a week. On March 16, we began to produce three reports a week during this unprecedented time. We’ve gone back to one report a week for the time being, but depending on how it goes that may change. We’ll let you know if it does. The big reason we’ve returned to our once-a-week programming is because it’s been all hands on deck here for another very big project. My partners and I at Long Live Lodging, producer of Lodging Leaders, have been crazy busy organizing the online conference called LodgingStream: A Brave New World. Because of your great response to our expanded programming, we wanted to put this event together and bring a lot of advice and thought leadership under one roof, so to speak. LodgingStream will take place live at 1 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, April 30th. The event platform allows attendees to go in and out of a panel discussion just like at a real conference. LodgingStream: A Brave New World will open with State of the Industry presentations by economist Jamie Lane of CBRE Hotels Americas Research, who will look at where the hospitality business is today and where it’s headed; and Daniel Lesser of LW Hospitality Advisors, an expert in hotel transactions and other investment activity who also will provide his futuristic view. We’ll then give the floor to hotel owners, operators and others in a session called What’s Your Story? While interviewing folks for our special coronavirus reports, we have heard some interesting and amazing stories from professionals on the front lines of the industry. By listening to their stories, I was reminded of how the true spirit of hospitality shines bright in our darkest moments. I think you’ll be inspired. For the rest of the LodgingStream conference, you’ll be able to attend three concurrent workshops and ask panelists questions. Of the 12 sessions, topics will include managing rate to attract business, marketing to regain travelers’ trust, rehiring challenges, what the new workplace will look like and what it’s going to take to bring the industry back. Everyone you heard in the beginning of this podcast will be among the panelists. As the conference wraps up you’ll be able to attend a virtual Happy Hour, sharing a little bit about you while making meaningful connections. I am so excited about this event. I’ve never been a part of anything like it. Just like many of you during this time in which we find ourselves, I’ve decided to tackle new things. It’s never too late to change your mindset. Please join us at 1 PM eastern daylight time Thursday at LodgingStream: A Brave New World. Registration is just $5, which covers our cost to bring you the conference. Click here to sign up or for more information. Resources and Links * LodgingStream Digital Conference * Lily Mockerman of 

 266 | Return Policies: Hotel industry works out rehiring plans | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 27:43

As the recognized COVID-19 infection rate began to gain strength in the U.S. in mid-March, lodging industry analysts said they expected at least half of the nation’s 4 million hotel employees would be laid off. It’s a startling number when you consider that six weeks ago, most hospitality jobs were firmly intact. In fact, in the beginning of 2020, the hospitality industry was grappling with a problem indicative of a healthy economy – a shallow labor pool. Competition from employers in and outside the industry forced hotel owners and operators to increase wages and figure out ways to retain staff, especially hourly workers. What a difference a health pandemic can make. April’s unemployment figures are expected to be unnerving. Twenty-two million people filed jobless claims from mid-March to mid-April. Meantime, the Trump administration and some states are hatching plans to re-open communities and businesses beginning next month. In those cases, hoteliers will face some unique challenges in bringing back furloughed workers who are either comfortable on unemployment, uncomfortable with public-facing jobs or have found work elsewhere. In this episode of Lodging Leaders, we talk to people involved in recruiting and training hospitality employees to find out what they’re seeing as the coronavirus pandemic has forced hotels to reduce their workforces. Resources and Links * Joel Carver of The Carver Companies * Desmond Lim of WorkStream * Rosanna Maietta of American Hotel & Lodging Foundation * Ron Mitchell of Hcareers

 265 | Franchising In Deconstruction: COVID-19 crisis amplifies problems in brand licensing | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 35:14

Earlier this year, a large group of hotel owners began to organize and create a comprehensive push back at the hotel franchising model. Fair Franchising Initiative held its launch conference on March 5, a little more than a week before President Trump declared a national emergency as the new coronavirus pandemic spread to the U.S. The crisis has all but paralyzed the lodging sector and the U.S. economy as a whole. It has also exposed the cracks in the franchiser-franchisee relationship as frightened and frustrated owners say hotel companies are not doing enough to protect their businesses from collapse. This episode of Lodging Leaders is the second part of a series examining the hotel franchiser-franchisee relationship that we began in early March. It is also part of Long Live Lodging’s special report on the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hotel industry. You’ll hear from owners and veteran industry leaders as well as a lawyer well versed in brand license disputes. Related Content * Multimedia report related to this podcast * 017 | Iconic Leadership, Innovation by Necessity, the Human Resource, and Mindset with Mike Leven * 253 | Franchising Report Part 1 – Power Struggle: New hotelier organization lobbies for franchisee protection Resources and Links * Robert Zarco of the law firm Zarco Einhorn Salkowski & Brito * Robert Rauch of RAR Hospitality * Sawan Patel of Unity Hotels Group * Prakash Shah of Fair Franchising Initiative * C-SPAN: Presidential Meeting with Tourism Executives

 264 | Seeking Signs of Relief: Hoteliers wade through financial aid programs and proposals | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 33:04

As the recognized COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. and the nation’s subsequent shutdown approaches its fifth week, hotels and other small businesses are seeing some relief ahead. Federal financial aid is coming in the form of loans and grants from the Small Business Administration. In the past week, hundreds of thousands hotel owners have filed applications with their SBA-approved lenders for the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program. But when hotel owners and operators will see the money is anyone’s guess as both banks and small-business owners report being overwhelmed with the filing process. Meanwhile another group of hotel owners feels left out in the cold. These are investors holding billions of dollars in CMBS debt. Many debtors are in default with more expected as May and June mortgage payments come due with no financial intervention on the horizon. In this episode, part 11 of Lodging Leader’s special report on the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hotel industry, we explore the state of the SBA rescue package as well as what is or is not being done to help CMBS debtors save their businesses from default. Resources and Links * Multimedia report related to this podcast * Mili Shah of Imperial Hotel Investments Group * Ryan Dumas of GRP Capital * Girish Patel and Kyle Walker of NewGen Worldwide * Rushi Shah of Mag Mile Capital * List of COVID-19 financial assistance programs

 263 | Risk Adjustment: Hotel tech platforms face their own COVID-19 crisis | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 30:05

Last week, Zoom, a video-conferencing program, was prime bait for hackers who infiltrated conversations taking place among people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. As if Zoom bombers weren’t bad enough, a day or two later, the internet-based program crashed because it could not handle the surge of users from businesses, schools and friends and families eager for face time. Today, Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan is promising stronger security measures, but the fiasco is a stark reminder of how easy it is for bad actors to access public internet programs, especially those being operated by people unfamiliar with cyber security protocols. In this episode, a continuation of Lodging Leaders special report on how the coronavirus crisis is impacting the hotel industry, we explore how the outbreak is revealing weaknesses in business technology platforms and what hotel owners and operators can do to head problems off at the pass. We also look at how some technology providers are expanding their solutions to meet the fast-changing needs of hotel operations as well as those of essential guests traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Related Episodes * 139 | Engage Your Guests in Real Time Using Artificial Intelligence with Raj Singh * 229 | Panic Buttons: Hospitality Workers Sound the Alarm (Hotel Safety Part 2) * 236 | Breach of Trust: Cybercrime a pervasive threat to the hospitality industry Resources and Links * Scott Watson of M3 * Robb Monkman of React Mobile * Raj Singh of Go Moment * Jen Stone of Security Metrics * Paul West of GapSpot

 262 | Strongest Link: Hotel procurement specialists keep supply chain connected | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 21:15

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the global supply chain. With most whole goods and components coming from China, the U.S. hospitality industry began to scramble in January to keep the supplies coming. Manufacturing has resumed in China as the crisis has reportedly eased there, but the outbreak has yet to reach its peak in the U.S. As COVID-19 continues its rampage across the country, factories are closing or retooling to make medical supplies. It’s a fluid situation that changes day by day and hospitality procurement specialists have been working to stay ahead of the COVID-19 wave and find manufacturers and suppliers that can deliver goods to hotels throughout the country. In this episode, which is part of Lodging Leaders’ special report on the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the U.S. hospitality industry, we interviewed Alan Benjamin, a procurement specialist with Benjamin West, and Darlene Henke, a shipping and logistics expert with Audit Logistics. We also feature sound bites of Anu Saxena of Hilton Supply Management who participated this week in an AAHOA webcast. Resources and Links * Darlene Henke of Audit Logistics * Alan Benjamin of Benjamin West * AAHOA

 261 | Let’s Make a Deal: Coronavirus crisis alters hotel transaction landscape | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 18:18

The U.S. hotel industry has practically grinded to a halt in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. As Lodging Leaders shared in our previous report, Episode 260, hotel business performance has declined to unprecedented levels. Another area of the industry that the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting is hotel transactions. Properties remain on the market, but lenders have stopped underwriting new deals for the time being. So, if you’re eager to buy a hotel, bring your cash. In this episode of Lodging Leaders we examine the current state of the hotel sales market. We feature Carter Willcox, sales associate with Mumford Company, and Daniel Lesser, president and CEO of LW Hospitality Advisors. Resources and Links * Carter Willcox of Mumford Company * Daniel Lesser of LW Hospitality Advisors * Marcus & Millichap

 260 | Startling Statistics: Industry analysts stunned at depth of downturn | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 17:46

Last week, several hospitality-focused analytical companies released data that specifically show how the coronavirus pandemic is decimating the U.S. hotel industry. The picture they paint is grim. And – though experts say they believe the industry will eventually resurge – the months ahead will be hard. In this report we review reports from STR, CBRE Hotels Americas Research and Hotstats. We interview Jamie Lane, senior managing economist with CBRE Hotels research, and David Eisen, director of hotel intelligence at HotStats. And we feature sound bites of a March 26 webinar on U.S. hotel industry performance with Jan Freitag. Resources and Links * View the multimedia presentation of this episode * Jamie Lane of CBRE Hotels Americas Research * David Eisen of HotStats * STR * Jan Freitag

 259 | Trust Factor: Hotels can channel the right message during the coronavirus crisis | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 19:08

While many of the country’s 57,000 hotels have closed during the coronavirus pandemic, owners and operators are spending limited resources and a whole lot of time on retooling their property systems and deep cleaning rooms and public areas. They want to be ready when the nation starts traveling again. And that’s a message that needs to be shared with the world. Now is not the time to be silent. In this episode of Lodging Leaders, hospitality marketing and business communication experts advise on what message hotels should be sending to consumers during the COVID-19 crisis. Resources and Links * Jennifer Barbee of Destination Innovate * Robert Cole of RockCheetah * Andressa Chapman of Trigger Hotel Marketing


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