226 | It’s a Long Story: Historic hotels gain new appreciation among travelers, brands


Hotel developers and investors seeking new ideas might do well to remember history.

More travelers today want an immersive experience not just in the places they visit but in the hotels in which they stay. And they’re willing to pay more for it.

Historic hotels often give guests what they crave – a sense of place, a connection to something meaningful, a story to tell, a time to remember.

Historic hotels also give owners and operators what they desire – a significant return on investment.

CBRE Hotels America’s Research reports that the more than 300 hotels that are members of Historic Hotels of America generate greater occupancy and command higher rate than their contemporary counterparts.

In today’s episode we talk with Lawrence Horwitz, executive director of Historic Hotels of America, about the growth in preservation of historic lodging accommodations as well as buildings that have been restored and transformed into hotels. Also featured are Kevin Hellmich, director of sales and marketing at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama; Susan Stein, Grand Hotel historian; and Guido Piccinni, managing director of the Georgian Terrace in midtown Atlanta.

Resources and 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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