June 9, 2021
Frances Kiradjian understands resiliency. The Los Angeles businesswoman founded Boutique & Lifestyle Leaders Association 12 years ago at the dawn of the Great Recession. Today, the association boasts hundreds of members from all over the world and is the hallmark for independent boutique lifestyle hotels. During the pandemic year 2020, Kiradjian watched boutique hoteliers dig deep for creativity, operational courage and a positive outlook as the hotel industry quickly spiraled into crisis mode. Episode 325 of Lodging Leaders podcast features Kiradjian in the third and final installment of its series on independent hotels doing business amid the coronavirus crisis.
June 2, 2021
324 | Independent But Not Alone: Franchisers’ soft-brand engines drive business to struggling hotels
Independent hotels struggled just as much as their franchised cousins when the coronavirus pandemic first struck the U.S. in spring 2020. Hundreds of independent properties temporarily closed amid the downturn in business and government shutdowns. Among those that reopened the soonest were independent hotels that are part of soft-branded collections. In Episode 324, Lodging Leaders explores how being attached to a brand engine enabled owners and operators of independent properties to regain their financial footing amid the pandemic recession.
May 26, 2021
The coronavirus crisis hit independent hotels just as hard as their branded counterparts but many of the unaffiliated assets were able to quickly shift to survival mode, cut costs and generate revenue by implementing creative business strategies. The transition to a new era of hospitality continues as owners and managers of independent assets develop solutions that will strengthen their businesses now and post-pandemic. What independent operators have learned may be useful for the entire hotel industry as it emerges from the coronavirus crisis and positions for recovery.
May 19, 2021
The labor shortage dominated the talk at the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference May 10-12 as panelists and attendees commiserated and shared ideas on how to recruit and retain workers. While some hoteliers blame extended unemployment-benefit programs others say the problem is more complex as the coronavirus pandemic is far from over and recovery is uneven across the lodging industry. In this report, Long Live Lodging explores the labor challenges facing hoteliers and what experts are advising, including totally rethinking traditional employment models now and post-pandemic.
May 12, 2021
Hotel owners and operators who believed they could go it alone before the coronavirus pandemic devastated the hotel industry are having another think and turning to third-party managers to work their way back to profitability in the post-pandemic recovery. Another trend contributing to the growth in third-party managers’ business is more commercial real estate investors armed with cash entering the hotel sector and in need of an experienced operations team. Episode 321 of Lodging Leaders podcast explores the growth of third-party management companies over the past 12 months. This report is part of Lodging Leaders’ coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
April 28, 2021
The phrase “stronger together” has been used throughout the coronavirus crisis to encourage Americans to join forces to curb the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. The concept also has taken on new meaning in the hotel industry as companies form joint ventures – either by creating new partnerships or redefining what collaboration looks like. Long Live Lodging interviewed leaders at hotel companies that have formed strategic partnerships to survive and thrive through the pandemic recession. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
April 14, 2021
Ginny Morrison of Evanston, Illinois, is a 33-year veteran of Spire Hospitality, a hotel management company with a portfolio that spans coast-to-coast. As vice president of sales and marketing, Morrison saw the coronavirus pandemic decimate the meetings business. More than a year later, she’s witnessing a comeback as small-meeting planners are actively booking events for the last half of 2021 and beyond. As public health agencies expand COVID-19 vaccination programs across the U.S. and states ease up on public-gathering restrictions designed to keep the virus at bay, the hotel industry is seeing small meetings begin a comeback. In Episode 317, Long Live Lodging covers the state of the small-meetings sector and how hotels can grab their share of the meetings business during and post-pandemic. This report is part of our ongoing coverage about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the hospitality industry.
April 7, 2021
316 | Pandemic Trailblazer: Hunter Hotel Investment Conference leads lodging industry’s 2021 event circuit
The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference will be the industry’s first large event to be held during the coronavirus pandemic. The Atlanta event will be a hybrid format of in-person and virtual access, also an industry first. Lee Hunter, chairman of the conference, knows the level of expectation is high among other conference planners as well as industry professionals eager to network after more than a yearlong hiatus. Episode 316 of Lodging Leaders podcast features Hunter as he tells what it takes to re-launch the industry’s conference circuit amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
March 24, 2021
More than 1,760 hotels or 5 percent of U.S. room inventory have permanently or temporarily closed since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic first gripped the country, reports Kalibri Labs. Though last year was the worst on record for hotel business performance, the reason behind the change in the metrics is different than in previous economic crises. The shuttering of hotels as well as government restrictions on travel are skewing national averages in key performance indicators, including average daily rate, experts say. For the most part, hoteliers have been smart about holding rate as much as possible in contrast to the “race to the bottom” seen in past economic crises. Episode 314 explores what is truly impacting hotel rate during the coronavirus pandemic. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
March 10, 2021
Spring breaks will be shortened or reduced as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact travel and tourism. Many schools and colleges are skipping the annual rite to party. But that doesn’t mean hotels have to give up trying to attract guests this season. Staycations are increasing as people tired of being cooped up seek a respite close to home. In this report, Long Live Lodging explores the origin and evolution of the staycation and how hotels can capitalize on people’s desire to get away from it all, even if it’s just for one or two nights. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
March 3, 2021
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.
February 24, 2021
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.
February 17, 2021
308 | From Guests’ Mouths to Managers’ Ears: J.D. Power study reveals what satisfies hotel customers in COVID-19 age
Crestline Hotels & Resorts, a third-party management company in Fairfax, Virginia, recently celebrated its first-place position in J.D. Power’s inaugural Third-Party Hotel Management Guest Satisfaction Benchmark. Long Live Lodging features Aaron Olson, senior vice president of operations at Crestline, and Andrea Stokes, who led the benchmark study at J.D. Power. They share best practices hotel managers are implementing to keep guest satisfaction at an all-time high, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
February 10, 2021
Ben Seidel is founder, president and chief executive of Real Hospitality Group, a third-party manager with a portfolio of more than 100 hotels. Like most owners and managers, Seidel and his team view the coronavirus pandemic as the biggest risk facing hotel performance but acknowledge that other threats also loom large. The number and severity of climate-related catastrophes in the U.S. broke a record in 2020. As a result, Seidel has seen property insurance costs dramatically increase for 2021. Long Live Lodging explores how changes in commercial insurance coverage is affecting the hotel industry. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
January 27, 2021
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing hoteliers to deploy new technology to run more cost-efficient businesses and to ensure customers that properties are safe by providing such services as contactless check in and mobile key. Long Live Lodging explores how the COVID-19 outbreak has invigorated hotels’ adoption of tech solutions and looks at what types of products owners and operators are investing in during the coronavirus crisis and for the post-pandemic era. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
January 20, 2021
Hotel appraisers and brokers expect distressed assets to come to market as the pandemic recession continues into 2021. Analysts say billions of dollars in private equity are waiting in the wings to acquire hotels underperforming as a result of the coronavirus crisis. But pricing will be different than in previous economic downturns. While a transaction may be distressed, it will not necessarily reflect distress pricing,” said Daniel Lesser of LW Hospitality Advisors. Long Live Lodging explores the state of hotel values as well as what may lie ahead with regard to transactions in 2021 as the spread of COVID-19 continues to stifle lodging performance. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.