Ramesh Gokal is a 39-year veteran of the hospitality industry, with a recognized reputation in the areas of entrepreneurship, franchise leadership and mediation expertise. His diverse industry experience includes being an entrepreneur, owning developing and managing a diverse hotel portfolio, working as a brand president for the world’s largest hotel franchise company, Cendant, and selling commercial real estate as a licensed real estate broker in the southeast.
Mr. Gokal is certified as a mediator and listed on the franchising Panel of Neutrals of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution. Most recently he currently served as the Senior Vice President, Lodging & Franchising, for Kapoor and Kapoor Hospitality Consultants, Inc. and provided expertise in corporate and association transformation through strategic planning and supportive governance. Mr. Gokal also owns Plan B Solutions, a company offering mediation services to the lodging and franchising industry. He currently serves as President of PeachState Hospitality, LLC, a rapidly growing hotel management company.
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.
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.