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.
Ginny Morrison of Evanston, Illinois, is a 33-year veteran of Spire Hospitality, a hotel management company with a portfolio that spans coast-to-coast. As vice president of sales and marketing, Morrison saw the coronavirus pandemic decimate the meetings business. More than a year later, she’s witnessing a comeback as small-meeting planners are actively booking events for the last half of 2021 and beyond. As public health agencies expand COVID-19 vaccination programs across the U.S. and states ease up on public-gathering restrictions designed to keep the virus at bay, the hotel industry is seeing small meetings begin a comeback. In Episode 317, Long Live Lodging covers the state of the small-meetings sector and how hotels can grab their share of the meetings business during and post-pandemic. This report is part of our ongoing coverage about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the hospitality industry.
The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference will be the industry’s first large event to be held during the coronavirus pandemic. The Atlanta event will be a hybrid format of in-person and virtual access, also an industry first. Lee Hunter, chairman of the conference, knows the level of expectation is high among other conference planners as well as industry professionals eager to network after more than a yearlong hiatus. Episode 316 of Lodging Leaders podcast features Hunter as he tells what it takes to re-launch the industry’s conference circuit amid the COVID-19 outbreak.