269 | Rays of Light: Hotels are guiding beacons as states reopen economies


The COVID-19 crisis is far from over. How long the crisis remains is still an unknown.

As many states are taking steps to reopen their marketplaces, government leaders and business owners may want to look to the hotel industry for some best practices. While nearly 20 percent of the nation’s 57,000 hotels have closed, according to reports, the rest have remained open throughout the pandemic.

Despite that, owners and operators know life will never go back to way it was before the crisis.

Never before has innovative thought mattered more than during the current coronavirus pandemic.

In this episode of Lodging Leaders podcast, we talk to Mitch Patel, CEO of Vision Hospitality Group, which kept its 40-some hotels open and is trying to figure out what the hospitality business will look like in the coming months and years.

We also talk to John Hardy, CEO of The Hardy Group, a hotel development consulting company with offices all over the world. The company sponsors an annual event called Radical Innovation that spotlights new designs and business methods.

And we hear from Adam Harris, co-founder and CEO of Cloudbeds, who stresses the importance that strong fundamental business practices play in a comeback.

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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