029 | Student of the Industry: A Foot Soldier’s Journey with Chip Elbers


Chip is a hospitality veteran and he’s been serving the industry for more than 30 years. He’s done it all. From Dish Washer, to Front Desk Agent, Assistant General Manager, General Manager, Sales Manager, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Development Officer, and Vice President.

For the last half of the career, Chip faithfully served as Vice President and COO for America’s Best Franchising as the brand grew from just a few properties to a portfolio of nearly 300. In this role, Chip was responsible for the Company’s portfolio of brands, including Jameson Inns, America’s Best Inns, Country Hearth Inns, Budgetel Inns and 3 Palms Hotels and Resorts. He oversaw the development and implementation of operational programs and requirements and directed the Quality Assurance and Field Support programs, which included brand standards, brand compliance, property inspections, franchise administration and owner / franchisee relations.

In This Episode, Chip Talks About:

  • His career journey and how his “can do” attitude lead to great success in the hospitality industry. You don’t have to own a hotel or be the CEO to make an real impact.
  • How he moved from the back of the house to the front of the house; how he landed his first management position, and how he turned an underperforming asset around.
  • Building great teams and loyalty, not merely hiring staff, and empowering them to realize their full potential.
  • The acquisition process, and he shares his personal experience as an executive acquiring brands, and what it was like when ABF was acquired by Vantage last year.

Resources & Links

  • 311 | Shelters From the Norm: Hotels used for hospitals and housing face unexpected problems

    A year ago, Darshan Patel, CEO of Hotel Investment Group in San Diego, California, was one of the first hoteliers in the U.S. to step up and offer properties to overwhelmed hospitals seeking places to care for COVID and non-COVID patients as well as vulnerable populations. As the crisis eases and Hotel Investment Group works to return the hotels to business, Patel is negotiating with local governments to pay for the wear and tear on the properties. Patel is not alone as many hoteliers are unexpectedly dealing with problems that state and local governments’ urgent decisions have created, including property damage, increased costs and eviction bans. This report is the second in a two-part series examining the pros and cons of opening hotels to alternative uses during the pandemic. It is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

  • 310 | Hotels Convert to Housing: Federal COVID-19-relief funds fuel transactions

    Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local governments work with non-profit agencies to create affordable housing solutions for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Episode 310 Long Live Lodging reports on the financial and legal aspects of what it takes to convert a hotel into long-term housing. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

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