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.
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.
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.