030 | Find a Mentor and Listen! with Greg Plank


Greg Plank’s diverse hospitality career spans more than 50 years, beginning as a receiving clerk at the Barclay Hotel in Philadelphia. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration. He worked in advertising for hotel clients in New York in account management and some creative work. Greg moved to Boston to work with: Sheraton Corporation as Manager of Food and Beverage Marketing and Director of Marketing for Sheraton’s Franchise Division.

His career has included: General Manager of a full service hotel, Vice President of Operations and Development for Sheraton Inns, Inc. and Hawthorn Suites, Vice President of Marketing for Ramada, and Executive Vice President-Franchise for Forte Hotels North America, and President of Forte Hotels-South America. Greg recently served as President of Country Hearth Inns and Suburban Lodges of America. He is presently President of Genesis Creative Solutions a marketing, service, and lodging consulting firm.

Greg is the author of two books:

In This Episode, Greg Talks About:

  • How he got his start in the industry, and his love for the game that helped him thrive for more than 50 years.
  • Listening, and finding the right mentors.
  • His appreciation for the history of the hotel industry, and talks about some of the early entrepreneurs and institutions he admires.
  • The evolution of the brands and shares some amazing stats over the growth in the last 25 years.
  • Some of the valleys hoteliers faced over the years, and some of the things the leaders did to overcome them.
  • His essentials for success in this business and why.
  • Human behavior traits, hiring the people and effective leadership.
  • The story behind the two books he authored, Saving The Hotel St. George and Black Dog Redemption: Faith over Fear.
  • 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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