Straight Talk About Hot Trends

An award-winning weekly podcast that examines trends and issues impacting the hospitality industry, shared through engaging stories told by co-hosts Jon Albano and Judy Maxwell, and amplified by interviews with experts and other thought leaders.

  • 346 | Repositioning For Recovery: Hotel conversions to outpace new builds
    LODGING LEADERS
    November 17, 2021

    346 | Repositioning For Recovery: Hotel conversions to outpace new builds

    Lodging Econometrics has tracked the hotel industry since 1998. Its global database includes new-hotel pipelines as well as renovations and brand conversions. Hotel franchisers once eager to launch new brands are focused on converting existing hotels because it’s a faster way to recover revenue lost to the COVID-19 pandemic than through new construction. In Episode 346, Lodging Leaders explores the increasing number of conversions in the U.S. hotel industry and what owners and operators need to consider before repositioning an asset.

  • 345 | ‘Rosy View of Future’: Hotel industry sees unleashing of pent-up investor demand
    LODGING LEADERS
    November 10, 2021

    345 | ‘Rosy View of Future’: Hotel industry sees unleashing of pent-up investor demand

    In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., financiers anticipated a swell of distressed hotel businesses. Some raised rescue funds to respond to what they thought was a pending crisis. Though there are financial rescues taking place, the level of such activity is far below what industry advisers and fund managers expected. Commercial real estate investors positioned to act in the early days of the pandemic held off and are now just beginning to unleash their cash hoards totaling billions of dollars. Episode 345 of Lodging Leaders podcast explores the state of capital investment in the hotel industry.

  • 344 | Clean the World: Recycling hotel soap prepares nonprofit to save lives in pandemic
    HAPPY TO BE OF SERVICE
    November 3, 2021

    344 | Clean the World: Recycling hotel soap prepares nonprofit to save lives in pandemic

    Shawn Seipler of Orlando, Florida, founded Clean the World 12 years ago to fight life-threatening illnesses in children who had no access to soap and water. He started by collecting discarded guest-room soaps from a single hotel in his neighborhood. Today Clean the World has recycled 63 million bars of amenity-sized soap from more than 8,000 hotels and resorts and distributed them in 130 countries. The COVID-19 pandemic dealt Clean the World a dramatic blow in its programming and growth strategy. Lodging Leader’s introductory episode in its special series, “Happy To Be Of Service: Stories of hospitality giving back,” features Seipler who talks about Clean the World’s beginnings and how a hospitality industry in recovery has helped the nonprofit pick up the pieces and move forward with its life-saving mission.

  • 343 | Take a Cue from Hospitality: Senior living is next big opportunity
    LODGING LEADERS
    October 27, 2021

    343 | Take a Cue from Hospitality: Senior living is next big opportunity

    Hoteliers and allied companies invested in both lodging and senior-living assets demonstrate how the spirit of hospitality and its best practices extend into other real-estate-asset groups. Episode 343 of Lodging Leaders podcast is the second in a two-part series that explores the hospitality industry’s growing interest in senior living.

  • 342 | Live Long and Prosper: Hospitality industry embraces senior living
    LODGING LEADERS
    October 20, 2021

    342 | Live Long and Prosper: Hospitality industry embraces senior living

    Since she was a teenager volunteering at senior-living facilities in Boston, Serena Lipton knew she wanted a career in senior housing. But she had a difficult time finding the college program she believed would educate and prepare her to serve in the senior-living industry. After graduating from Boston University School of Hospitality Administration and working as an analyst for JLL’s Senior Housing Valuation Advisory, Lipton finally found what she was looking for. This fall she enrolled in BU’s Master of Management in Hospitality with a new concentration in senior living. She and other students are on the cusp of what BUSHA believes is a massive shift in how Americans view aging and where opportunities lie for the hospitality industry.

  • 341 | One Big Happy: Travel survey reveals how hotels can attract families
    LODGING LEADERS
    October 13, 2021

    341 | One Big Happy: Travel survey reveals how hotels can attract families

    Rainer Jenss of Nyack, New York, founded the Family Travel Association seven years ago to help parents and caregivers introduce children to the world through travel, whether that’s a yearlong trip around the world that Jenss and his family took or a weekend getaway to a nearby destination. To help the travel industry gauge what parents want when they take their kids on vacation, FTA conducts an annual study. The U.S. Family Travel Survey 2021 reveals the shift in mindset the COVID-19 pandemic has created in families planning a trip over the next 12 months. Hoteliers use can use the information to generate business and boost their strategies to recover and sustain business now and other the coming months.

  • 340 | New Glass Ceiling: Industry leaders work to shatter barriers for women hotel owners and investors
    LODGING LEADERS
    October 6, 2021

    340 | New Glass Ceiling: Industry leaders work to shatter barriers for women hotel owners and investors

    Whether they’re new to the concept or they’ve worked in lodging for years, women are an emerging force in hotel development, investment and ownership. Several industry leaders are making significant strides in building programs that encourage and support women interested in becoming hotel owners and investors. This report examines new projects and updates the status of existing efforts by industry leaders to recruit women as owners and help them hurdle barriers such as critical access to capital.

  • 339 | Positive Attributes: Hoteliers debate separately pricing amenities and services
    LODGING LEADERS
    September 29, 2021

    339 | Positive Attributes: Hoteliers debate separately pricing amenities and services

    A hot topic discussed at hotel industry conferences this year is separating amenities and services from the standard room rate and charging guests fees for such things as daily room cleaning, use of the pool or fitness room and a hot breakfast. While some hoteliers have begun to ‘unbundle’ services others are still mulling it over. They mostly agree, however, that something has to give as the lodging industry figures out how to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with a stronger and more flexible revenue model than before the coronavirus crisis.

  • 338 | Cybercrime Spree: Hotel industry more vulnerable than ever to hackers
    LODGING LEADERS
    September 22, 2021

    338 | Cybercrime Spree: Hotel industry more vulnerable than ever to hackers

    From the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, the lodging industry turned to technology to solve immediate challenges. The very nature of hospitality can make a hotel vulnerable to cyberattacks. As the industry adopts new technology to help it recover from the coronavirus crisis and economic downturn, the threats are greater and the number of attacks are growing. The good news is for as many nefarious ways cybercriminals can strike, there are corresponding solutions. Episode 338 of Lodging Leaders podcast focuses on the pervasive cyber threats the hospitality industry faces as it deploys technology to modernize its business processes and improve guest experiences.

  • 337 | Open-and-Shut Cases: How hoteliers managed decisions to close or stay in business
    CORONAVIRUS
    September 15, 2021

    337 | Open-and-Shut Cases: How hoteliers managed decisions to close or stay in business

    More than 1,700 hotels in the U.S. closed in spring 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of August, 1,200 were closed, reported Kalibri Labs. Meantime, 840 new hotels opened last year and 900 are on track to open this year, according to Lodging Econometrics. Episode 337 of Lodging Leaders explores the challenges owners faced in reopening closed hotels as well as what owners and operators did to ramp up business at hotels that were at such low levels of occupancy, they might as well have been closed. We also feature owners who opened new properties during the pandemic. One owner we interviewed opened two new hotels while doing what it took to keep his existing properties in business. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

  • 336 | Never Forget: 20 years after 9/11, hotel industry veterans remember the impact of the terrorist attacks
    LODGING LEADERS
    September 8, 2021

    336 | Never Forget: 20 years after 9/11, hotel industry veterans remember the impact of the terrorist attacks

    As America approaches the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on its homeland, Lodging Leaders explores the impact 9/11 had on the U.S. travel sector. We feature hotel industry leaders who were on duty that fateful day and can recall the shock of the attacks, how they cared for frightened guests and how the event changed hotel operations. They also draw parallels to the coronavirus crisis and remind listeners of the resiliency of the nation’s hospitality industry.

  • 335 | ‘Waking Up A Giant’: Armed with fresh data that reveal members’ economic might, AAHOA leaders see new day ahead
    AAHOA
    September 1, 2021

    335 | ‘Waking Up A Giant’: Armed with fresh data that reveal members’ economic might, AAHOA leaders see new day ahead

    With 20,000 members, AAHOA is the largest hotel owners group in the world. But it has not regularly exercised the power that comes with size. That is about to change. A new study by Oxford Economics reveals the membership’s stunning combined economic strength, including the fact that members own 60 percent of America’s hotels. AAHOA Chairman Vinay Patel and other AAHOA leaders say the association plans to wield its might in forging a post-pandemic recovery that ensures everyone in the lodging industry a more profitable future.

  • 334 | ‘Unsustainable’ Business Model: Hoteliers turn to courts and legislation to reform franchising
    FRANCHISING
    August 25, 2021

    334 | ‘Unsustainable’ Business Model: Hoteliers turn to courts and legislation to reform franchising

    Although hotel franchisees voiced discontent with franchisers long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis has emboldened owners’ resolve to seek dramatic and lasting reform in brand licensing. Along with challenging current practices in U.S. courts, franchisees have rallied support from state and U.S. lawmakers. A proposal in New Jersey might serve as a model of reform while congressional measures would change the way the Federal Trade Commission and the Small Business Administration regulate franchising. Episode 334 explores the legal and legislative challenges confronting traditional franchising practices.

  • 333 | ‘We’re Different’: Small franchisers strive to set themselves apart in a post-pandemic playing field
    FRANCHISING
    August 18, 2021

    333 | ‘We’re Different’: Small franchisers strive to set themselves apart in a post-pandemic playing field

    Chris Guimbellot grew up in the family hotel business in Louisiana. Today, as president and CEO of Hospitality International Inc. in metro-Atlanta, he is focused on turning around the fortunes of the hotel franchiser and the owners of its nearly 230 branded assets. This report is the second part of a series exploring how new and small franchisers are managing franchiser-franchisee relationships as the industry works toward a post-pandemic recovery.

  • 332 | ‘Enough is Enough’: New and small franchisers rewrite the book on fair licensing agreements
    FRANCHISING
    August 11, 2021

    332 | ‘Enough is Enough’: New and small franchisers rewrite the book on fair licensing agreements

    Patrick Mullinix founded Advantage Hotels Inc. in June 2019, just nine months before the coronavirus pandemic decimated the travel and lodging industry and pulled back the curtain on long-simmering owners’ discontent in franchiser-franchisee relationships. Mullinix believes a new day is ahead. Franchisers of legacy brands are rethinking the traditional licensing model. Mullinix says the answer may lie in new and small hotel franchisers determined to build positive business relationships in which owners and brands can equally benefit. In Episode 332 of Lodging Leaders features Mullinix as well as leaders at Sonesta International Hotels Corp., in a report about how some brands are working to make franchising a win-win for both sides even in the worst of times.

  • 331 | Breaking Away: How to recruit and retain young hospitality professionals in a post-pandemic industry
    CORONAVIRUS
    August 4, 2021

    331 | Breaking Away: How to recruit and retain young hospitality professionals in a post-pandemic industry

    Nicolas Graf, associate dean, clinical professor and chair of New York University’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, will soon unveil the school’s new Hospitality Innovation Hub. Departure from the norms of doing business is key to the post-pandemic survival and success of the hospitality industry, says Graf. Companies that offer flexibility in thought and practice among employees will go a long way in leading the industry’s post-pandemic recovery. Episode 331 of Lodging Leaders explores what it will take for owners, operators and others invested in the industry to attract and retain bright young talent who can help build modern and sustainable hotel business models.

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