07 | Robert Cole: Hotel industry ‘still has a long way to go’

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Robert Cole is a hospitality industry veteran and founder of several companies. His latest is Hospitality Ventures Management Group in Atlanta, Georgia, a third-party management company he launched 20 years ago. HVMG manages more than 40 full-service, select-service and resort hotels and has several more under development. It also has ownership interest in some of the properties. And it has an F&B department. Since establishing HVMG, Cole has led hotel teams through various crises, including 9/11, the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this episode of Lodging Luminaries, host Jason Freed talks with Cole about how HVMG managed to do more than merely eke out a profit from the hotels in its portfolio during the pandemic. Over the past 18 months, it exceeded the industry’s average house-profit levels. Cole talks about the tough decisions that were made amid the crisis to save the hotels under HVMG’s care and how HVMG has adjusted its business model to succeed in post-pandemic America.

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