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.

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