249 | The BulletInn: ALIS 2020 news updates


At the beginning of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit on Jan. 27th, a panel of women in hospitality leadership advised the audience that, in some cases, it is smart to move down a career rung to be able to make a much bigger climb up in the future.

Forward, Women Advancing Hospitality, is a project of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, co-host of ALIS 2020, which took place in Los Angeles.

Lodging Leaders was on the scene.

It was an eventful conference.

More than 3,000 people attended ALIS held at JW MARRIOTT and Microsoft Theatre at L.A. Live complex, where the Grammys were held the night before, just hours after news broke about the horrific helicopter crash that killed former L.A. Lakers player Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other parents and kids.

For days, the courtyard of the L.A. Live complex was packed with mourners who expressed their grief and love by leaving flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, cards, t-shirts, and signatures on the pavement and temporary panels.

Next door, ALIS attendees also talked about the corona virus coming out of Wuhan, China, and how it might affect tourism in Asia and the U.S.

And it was the first ALIS for Jeff Higley, former head of Hotel News Now, who last year became president of BHN Group, producer of ALIS along with parent Northstar Travel Group and AHLA. I just want to say well-done to Jeff and the team.

During ALIS I interviewed several people about current and emerging trends influencing the industry. Last week, our podcast Episode 249 explored new food and beverage concepts unveiled during the summit.

Today’s episode is a reporter’s notebook of sorts that features various interviews co-host Judy Maxwell conducted during ALIS with several experts on various topics.

You’ll hear from Peggy Berg of Castell Project and the results of its latest study about women advancing in hospitality leadership, which charts some progress; Tracy Prigmore of TLTSolutions and She Has A Deal, a pitch competition for prospective investors and developers; and David Kong, CEO of Best Western Hotels and Resorts, which had an eventful year that included trying to transition the membership-based company into a for-profit model.

We start with exploring what people had to say about women advancing in the industry in light of a newly released Castell Project report.

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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