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
Bijal Patel, 31, is CEO of Coast Redwood Hospitality and the youngest chair of the California Hotel & Lodging Association. He’s made even more history at CHLA by agreeing to serve an unprecedented second term as the lodging industry emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Patel is a third-generation hotelier. Being so steeped in hospitality at such a young age is not new for members of the Indian American hotelier community, but Patel fears the pandemic has drained the industry of emerging talent. Lodging Leaders spotlights Patel, who represents a leadership demographic that is fighting for the life of the hospitality industry as they watch their peers veer toward other career paths.
Many hotels these days have made room for guests with disabilities. Hotel managers and staff should also know what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about accommodating guests with pets. During the pandemic lockdowns, a lot of people added a pet to their household and now they’re bringing Fido along on vacation. Hotel employees need to know how to cater to both consumers who are pet owners as well as guests who travel with a trained service animal. Episode 329 of Lodging Leaders podcast reports on how the ADA defines a service animal and how a hotel is legally obligated to serve a guest who comes with a dog or any other animal.