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.
Dave Shah grew up in his family’s hotel and watched his parents and other hoteliers struggle to stay in business during the Great Recession. He thinks the economic situation for hoteliers during the COVID-19 crisis is growing worse than that time. Shah founded Pineapple Capital Group five years ago to help hotels and other small business owners buy, sell and borrow. In Episode 258, Lodging Leaders examines what financial solutions are available to hotel owners during the crisis, including the SBA emergency loan programs. We also talked to Paul Darrow of PHD Financial which specializes in helping small business owners in negotiating distressed debt with lenders. We also feature Jyoti Sarolia of Ellis Hospitality Group who reached out to her bank early in the crisis. And in a special addition, you’ll hear a story of miracle that is keeping one hotel afloat in the short term. Resources and Links * Kal Patel of Crestpoint Companies * Cierra Bickel of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Cincinnati Redbank North East * Jyoti Sarolia of Ellis Hospitality Group * Paul Darrow of PHD Financial * Dave Shah of Pineapple Capital Group
As hotels in the U.S. are forced to dramatically scale back operations or close altogether because of the new coronavirus pandemic, government officials are looking to use the empty rooms to fight the spread of the virus or help patients recover. Meantime, hotel operators are taking a fresh look at cleaning procedures to assure guests both now and in the future that their properties are focused on the health and safety of guests and employees. In this episode, Lodging Leaders talks to Darshan Patel, a lawyer who also runs his family’s business – the Hotel Investment Group in San Diego, where the county government has claimed two of their independent hotels to deal with overflow from area hospitals. We also feature Jyoti Sarolia, principal and managing partner of Ellis Hospitality Group in Temecula, California, who believes every hotelier needs to step up and help their community through this pandemic. Also included is Adrian Chavez, regional director of operations for Kriya Hotels in Texas, who is overhauling the company’s cleaning protocols in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Resources and Links * Darshan Patel of Hotel Investment Group * Jyoti Sarolia of Ellis Hospitality Group * Adrian Chavez of Kriya Hotels
Cecil Staton has had his hands full to say the least. He has been at the helm of AAHOA, the world’s largest hotel owners association, for just four months. The new coronavirus outbreak and its devastating effect on the travel industry has hotel owners turning to him for solutions. This is the third installment of a special report by Lodging Leaders podcast that examines the impact the coronavirus is having on the U.S. hotel industry. In today’s episode, Staton shares his views regarding the “heartbreaking” decisions owners are having to make in the face of steep business losses and what AAHOA is doing to navigate them through the troubled waters. Also featured is hotelier Kal Patel, president and CEO of Crestpoint Cos. who wants franchisers to do more in the way of financial relief for franchisees. Resources and Links * Cecil Staton of AAHOA * Kal Patel of Crestpoint Companies
Seemingly overnight, the new coronavirus pandemic has dramatically curbed travel in the U.S. Hotels are feeling the pain as occupancies dropped to historic lows, in some cases down by 80 percent. The American Hotel and Lodging Association on Monday reported major hotel managers said they’ve laid off or furloughed one million employees. Long Live Lodging and its Lodging Leaders podcast has put a temporary hold on its once-a-week programming to provide updates throughout the week on specific issues impacting the hotel business. In this episode of our special report on how COVID-19 is impacting the hotel industry, Lodging Leaders interviewed a hotel owner who is trying to keep his staff onboard. We also talked to consultants who offered advice on how to manage their workforces and make hard decisions during the crisis. More Information To keep up to date on the impact of COVID-19 on the hotel industry, visit the coronavirus section on our website. We want to hear from YOU! Let us know how the crisis is affecting your business and your life. Click here to share YOUR experience. Resources and Links * Chris Bennis of Snelling Hospitality * Debbie Brown of DB Consulting * Judy King of Quality Management Services * Del Ross of Hotel Effectiveness * Nimesh Zaver, owner of Insignia Hotel Management
The U.S. hotel industry is undergoing an unprecedented experience as the new coronavirus or COVID-19 grows more and more real every day. Long Live Lodging and its Lodging Leaders podcast has decided to put a temporary hold on its usual programing from one report a week and move to providing updates throughout the week with short reports focused on specific issues impacting the hotel business. In this episode we explore pricing in a sudden and steep downturn. We interview Lily Mockerman, founder and CEO of Total Customized Revenue Management of Phoenix, Arizona, and Susan Barry, founder and president of Hive Marketing of Atlanta, Georgia, on how hotels can effectively manage rate to mitigate the loss of revenue from cancelations as well as attract business from people who still need to travel or from those who choose to travel during the COVID-19 outbreak. Related Episodes * 217 | Rainy Days Ahead: Hotels advised to prepare for a downturn * 233 | How Does Your Hotel Rate? Smart pricing strategies key to winning in a downturn * 252 | The BulletInn #2: Coronavirus and group business; Sara Blakely of Spanx at Hunter conference; and short-term rental’s surprising shift Resources and Links * Lily Mockerman of Total Customized Revenue Management * Susan Barry of Hive Marketing
Fair franchising. It’s a phrase that’s been used countless times in negotiations with brands, at industry conferences and among associations formed to ensure a balance of power between franchisers and franchisees. As the hotel industry in the U.S. celebrates nearly a decade of growth, leaner times are ahead, say forecasters. Owner operators are cutting as many expenses as they can but seem to be swimming upstream as costs are claiming more and more of their bottom lines. Among the biggest expenses are franchisee fees, which are growing at a faster pace than room revenue. Episode 253 of Lodging Leaders is the first in a series that’s exploring the issues brewing in the franchise industry. To launch the series, Judy Maxwell, co-host of Lodging Leaders, attended Fair Franchising Initiative, a new organization formed to address hotel franchisees’ concerns with the current state of franchising. Maxwell also interviewed a hotelier leading a petition drive to get AAHOA back to the discussion table with Choice Hotels International. Featured are Prakash Shah and Anil Patel, president and chairman, respectively, of Fair Franchising Initiative; Keith Miller, principal of Franchisee Advocacy Consulting; and Sagar Shah, a next-generation hotelier who is leading the franchisee petition drive. Related Episode * 265 | Franchising In Deconstruction: COVID-19 crisis amplifies problems in brand licensing Resources and Links * Prakash Shah and Anil Patel of Fair Franchising Initiative * Keith Miller of Franchisee Advocacy Consulting * Sagar Shah * AAHOA
Welcome to the second edition of BulletInn, a news report of Long Live Lodging and its Lodging Leaders podcast. In this episode, we cover three topics: * The spread of the new coronavirus and its impact on travel and the legalities around cancelling group meetings in the U.S. * Surprises in a report by CBRE Americas Hotels Research about the growth of the online short-term rental market in the U.S. * An interview with Mit Shah, CEO of Noble Investment Group and co-founder of the Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series, who, during the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference this month, will interview a billion-dollar entrepreneur not normally seen in hotelier circles. Related Episodes * 209 | American Tales: Hotel industry execs tell all * 220 | Disruptive Innovator: Measuring Airbnb’s impact (Part 1) * 221 | Home Sharing’s Heavy Hitters: Airbnb’s genius is branding (Part 2) Resources and Links * Evan Saunders of UberMedia * Lisa Sommer Devlin of Devlin Law Firm * Barbara Dunn of Barnes & Thornburg Law Firm * Jamie Lane of CBRE Americas Hotels Research * Mit Shah of Noble Investment Group * Bharat Shah website * Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series at GSU * Hunter Hotel Investment Conference
Online travel agencies. Hoteliers love them. Hoteliers hate them. Brand.com, GDS, call centers, travel agents, groups and so on. There are many types of business in every market. In this episode, Lodging Leaders explores how hotel owners and operators can learn to use third-party platforms such as OTAs and when to tap other resources for those all-important direct channels. The knowledge is critical to a hotel’s profit contribution, say experts. Understanding the full array of business in a market and how to manage communication through the full guest journey can improve the relationship a hotel has with its customers and drive retention and repeat bookings. We feature Mark Lewis-Brown, CEO and president of Vertical Booking USA, which provides customer reservation system software to hotels; Matthew Arrants, executive vice president of Pinnacle Advisory Group; Tim Lee, a consultant with Pinnacle Advisory who used to work for Expedia Group; and Cindy Estis Green, co-founder and CEO of Kalibri Labs, which analyzes the hotel industry’s distribution channels. Resources and Links * Mark Lewis-Brown of Vertical Booking USA * Matthew Arrants and Tim Lee of Pinnacle Advisory Group * Cindy Estis Green of Kalibri Labs
Do you love to mingle and meet new people or would you rather sit home and watch paint dry than subject yourself to a crowd of strangers? Today’s hospitality environment practically demands you attend conferences and other people-focused events if you’re going to be successful in business. But how do you: * Make events work in your favor? * Avoid squandering the expense of attending a conference by leveraging relationships? * Know where to go beyond events to build your network? In Episode 250 of Lodging Leaders, we talk to several people adept at not only networking but also building a network of mentors and trusted peers you can turn to throughout your career, no matter where you are on the leadership rung. Though our guests are female, their advice is a must-hear for men, too. Featured are Joya Dass, a TV news anchor in New York City and founder of LadyDrinks, a networking enterprise for business women; Patrina King of Atlanta, a human resources professional, award-winning golfer and founder of Golf Women Mean Business; and Rebecca Maxwell of New York City, co-founder of Asentiv who coaches entrepreneurs on how to build a network of trusted friends and advisers. Resources and Links * Joya Dass of LadyDrinks * Patrina King of Golf Women Mean Business * Rebecca Maxwell of Asentiv
At the beginning of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit on Jan. 27th, a panel of women in hospitality leadership advised the audience that, in some cases, it is smart to move down a career rung to be able to make a much bigger climb up in the future. Forward, Women Advancing Hospitality, is a project of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, co-host of ALIS 2020, which took place in Los Angeles. Lodging Leaders was on the scene. It was an eventful conference. More than 3,000 people attended ALIS held at JW MARRIOTT and Microsoft Theatre at L.A. Live complex, where the Grammys were held the night before, just hours after news broke about the horrific helicopter crash that killed former L.A. Lakers player Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other parents and kids. For days, the courtyard of the L.A. Live complex was packed with mourners who expressed their grief and love by leaving flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, cards, t-shirts, and signatures on the pavement and temporary panels. Next door, ALIS attendees also talked about the corona virus coming out of Wuhan, China, and how it might affect tourism in Asia and the U.S. And it was the first ALIS for Jeff Higley, former head of Hotel News Now, who last year became president of BHN Group, producer of ALIS along with parent Northstar Travel Group and AHLA. I just want to say well-done to Jeff and the team. During ALIS I interviewed several people about current and emerging trends influencing the industry. Last week, our podcast Episode 249 explored new food and beverage concepts unveiled during the summit. Today’s episode is a reporter’s notebook of sorts that features various interviews co-host Judy Maxwell conducted during ALIS with several experts on various topics. You’ll hear from Peggy Berg of Castell Project and the results of its latest study about women advancing in hospitality leadership, which charts some progress; Tracy Prigmore of TLTSolutions and She Has A Deal, a pitch competition for prospective investors and developers; and David Kong, CEO of Best Western Hotels and Resorts, which had an eventful year that included trying to transition the membership-based company into a for-profit model. We start with exploring what people had to say about women advancing in the industry in light of a newly released Castell Project report. Resources and Links * Peggy Berg of Castell Project * Tracy Prigmore of TLTSolutions and She Has A Deal * David Kong of Best Western Hotels and Resorts * Karen Johnson of Pinnacle Advisory Group, Inc.
About 25 years ago, as the number of limited service hotels in the U.S. began to grow, hotel franchisers began to add perceived value to their brands by offering guests a free breakfast. Today, the lines are blurring between limited and full service as hotels add a variety of paid and free food and beverage options no matter the chain-scale classification or price segment. During the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles last week, Lodging Leaders interviewed hoteliers, restaurateurs and brand designers who are remaking existing F&B programs or introducing new dining concepts in hotels. In today’s episode we feature Danica Boyd, global head of Wyndham Garden; Steve Palmer, restaurateur and managing partner of Indigo Road Hospitality Group, and Larry Spelts, president of its new hotel division; Tom Horwitz and Adrianne Korczynski of NELSON Worldwide, a hotel design and branding company; and Matthew J. Stone, associate professor of recreation, hospitality and parks management at California State University, Chico, and one of the researchers of the newly released report on culinary travel trends from the World Food Travel Association. Resources and Links * Danica Boyd of Wyndham Garden at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts * Steve Palmer of Indigo Road Hospitality Group * Larry Spelts of Indigo Road Hospitality Group * Tom Horwitz of NELSON Worldwide * Adrianne Korczynski of NELSON Worldwide * Matthew J. Stone of California State University, Chico * World Food Travel Association
Americans for the Arts’ public-opinion survey in 2018 found citizens value the arts and believe it benefits the community and its businesses. In the U.S. hospitality sector, art is becoming more mainstream as hotels integrate different artistic mediums into design and décor as well as guest programs. In this episode of Lodging Leaders, we explore how hotels use art to set themselves apart from the competition and attract guests who would not have otherwise stayed at the hotel. Along with the business perspective, hotel owners and managers also promote non-traditional art concepts and support artists whose works enrich the lives of guests and locals. We talk to Jean-Luc Laramie, general manager of the Hotel Chicago West Loop, which integrated art into its renovation plans in unique ways; Asend, the muralist who plans to create a work on the exterior of the hotel; and Terry Eaton of Eaton Fine Art in Austin, Texas, who creates and curates art programs for hotels of all sizes all over the world. Resources and Links * Jean-Luc Laramie of Hotel Chicago West Loop * Asend * Terry Eaton of Eaton Fine Art
Hunter Hotel Advisors brokered the sales of more hotels in 2019 than in any year in its history. Sellers and buyers that generated $1.2 billion under Hunter’s guidance were a mixed bag and included institutional firms, private investment groups and hotel companies. Many hotel brokers expect to tally similar results, making 2019 one of the most active years in hotel transactions in the U.S. Industry analysts we interviewed expect 2020 to be an even busier period of hotel investment in part because private investors will continue to recycle their capital and shop for places to stash their cash. This episode of Lodging Leaders takes a look at the history of hotel transactions last year as well as the whole past decade, including the growth of REITs, the emergence of private equity and the expansion of ownership groups that aggressively grew their portfolios with branded select-service assets. We also explore what might lie ahead this year as hotels in many major markets experience a slowdown in business. We talk to Teague Hunter, CEO of Hunter Hotel Advisors in Atlanta; Lou Plasencia, CEO of The Plasencia Group in Tampa, Florida; Daniel Lesser, president and CEO of LW Hospitality Advisors in New York City; Kevin Mallory, senior managing director of CBRE Hotels in Chicago; and Brian Waldman, executive vice president of investment for Peachtree Hotel Group in Atlanta. Resources and Links * Teague Hunter of Hunter Hotel Advisors * Lou Plasencia of The Plasencia Group * Daniel Lesser of LW Hospitality Advisors * Kevin Mallory of CBRE Hotels * Brian Waldman of Peachtree Hotel Group
This is the second of a two-part update about people, campaigns and programs that are furthering the mission to promote more women into leadership roles in the hospitality industry. In this episode we touch base with Jagruti Panwala and Rachel Humphrey who are in top leadership roles at AAHOA, the world’s largest hotel owners association with more than 19,000 members. Panwala is chair of AAHOA and Humphrey is the COO and VP of franchise relations who just finished a year of serving as interim president and CEO of the association. For the first time in AAHOA’s 30-year history, the association was led by women. We talk to Panwala and Humphrey about how they view their experiences, what it was like to work together and how they applied their female perspectives to significantly move the needle on challenges facing the hotel industry, including the issue of human trafficking. Resources and Links * Jagruti Panwala * Rachel Humphrey * AAHOA Related Multimedia Presentations * Human Trafficking: Labor and sex slavery happens in hotels every day * Bias and Backward Thinking: What’s holding women back Related Podcast Episodes * 203 | Human Trafficking in Hotels Happens Every Day * 204 | Bias and Backward Thinking: What’s holding women back
A new study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org reveals that over the past five years Corporate America has made some progress in gender diversity, including increasing the number of women in leadership. Although that finding is promising, women remain underrepresented in business leadership across the board and continue to lack access to opportunities available to their male counterparts. Representation of women in high-ranking leadership has grown since 2015, according to the findings in the report titled Women in the Workplace 2019. Forty-four percent of the 330 companies participating in the study have slightly increased the number of women in executive roles. The 44 percent have three or more women in their C-suites. That’s up from 29 percent of companies in 2015. It’s progress, but it’s not a dramatic difference. This and other studies show women continue to face barriers to leadership and financial gain in Corporate America, including the hotel and travel sectors. As the year 2020 kicks off we wanted to check in with some women in the hospitality and travel industry who are either role models of leadership or are organizing programs that celebrate, educate and empower women to keep climbing and not stop until they reach the top. This episode is the first part of report about the progress women are making in leadership in the hospitality industry. It is a mix of interviews with guests, including Peggy Berg, founder of Castell Project; Kristin Intress, returning CEO of WorldHotels; Laura Mandala, founder of Mandala Research and creator of Women in Travel and Tourism International; and Clara Carter, founder of Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network and founder of Women in Tourism and Hospitality. Resources and Links * Peggy Berg of Castell Project * Kristin Intress of WorldHotels * Laura Mandala of Mandala Research * Clara Carter of Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network Related Episodes * Episode 204, Bias and Backward Thinking: What’s holding women back * Episode 218, Yes, Girls Allowed: More women venturing into hotel investment * Episode 209, Black-Owned Hotels: NABHOOD opens doors of opportunity * Episode 223, Grading Curves: NAACP diversity report card reveals weaknesses in hotel companies * Episode 224, Mixed Messages: Multicultural and heritage tourism is big business