Roger Bloss has more than 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry, starting in the business as a teenager. After serving in executive positions with several major hotel franchise companies, Bloss and his partners started the Vantage Hospitality Group in 1996 and acquired their first hotel. Bloss’ vision was to develop a national hotel chain based on an innovative membership model. His group was confident that this approach would reinvent the hospitality industry and change the way franchises were operated, and it did. The group continued to build the company’s infrastructure, resources, and programs, before launching Americas Best Value Inn as a national hotel chain in 1999, earning many industry accolades over the past decade. Today, Vantage Hospitality is the 8th largest hotel company with nearly 1300 properties worldwide.
Bloss took that vision and created Vantage’s innovative Freestyle® Brand Affiliation Model, offering hoteliers A Voice and A Vote℠ in the brand’s direction (including setting the fees members pay to the brand); low, flat fees; and flexible contracts. Unheard of in the industry, the successful model earned Bloss Lodging Magazine’s “Innovator of the Year” award in 2006 and 2010.
Vantage is the only hotel company to be ranked among the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies for eight consecutive years.
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.
Bijal Patel, 31, is CEO of Coast Redwood Hospitality and the youngest chair of the California Hotel & Lodging Association. He’s made even more history at CHLA by agreeing to serve an unprecedented second term as the lodging industry emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Patel is a third-generation hotelier. Being so steeped in hospitality at such a young age is not new for members of the Indian American hotelier community, but Patel fears the pandemic has drained the industry of emerging talent. Lodging Leaders spotlights Patel, who represents a leadership demographic that is fighting for the life of the hospitality industry as they watch their peers veer toward other career paths.