LODGING LEADERS

Straight Talk About Hot Trends

An award-winning weekly podcast that examines trends and issues impacting the hospitality industry, shared through engaging stories told by co-hosts Jon Albano and Judy Maxwell, and amplified by interviews with experts and other thought leaders.

  • 327 | No Place Like Home: What hotels can learn from Airbnb’s pandemic-recovery plan
    HOME SHARING
    June 23, 2021

    327 | No Place Like Home: What hotels can learn from Airbnb’s pandemic-recovery plan

    Home-sharing or short-term-rental platforms saw business surge during the 2020 pandemic year. The momentum continues this year as many travelers hitting the road in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic prefer houses over hotels. In this report, Lodging Leaders explores what’s driving not only the home-sharing sector, but also buoying extended-stay hotels, including branded residential-style accommodations that are a hybrid of hotel and home. Alternative lodging’s business strategy holds important lessons for hoteliers seeking new ideas in rebuilding business momentum as the hotel industry recovers from the coronavirus crisis.

  • 326 | Make a New Plan: CHMWarnick and Pinnacle Advisory partnership signals what’s ahead for hotel industry
    LODGING LEADERS
    June 16, 2021

    326 | Make a New Plan: CHMWarnick and Pinnacle Advisory partnership signals what’s ahead for hotel industry

    CHMWarnick and Pinnacle Advisory Group in April announced their decision to strategically align their businesses and bring more services and solutions to a hotel industry still in the throes of the coronavirus crisis. While properties in many markets are experiencing a business revival led by leisure travel, many others continue to work their way out of a maze of financial challenges. Lodging Leaders explores the partnership and what it signals for the industry as it pushes toward a post-pandemic recovery.

  • 325 | Unique Experience: Independent boutique hotels rebuild the post-pandemic playing field
    CORONAVIRUS
    June 9, 2021

    325 | Unique Experience: Independent boutique hotels rebuild the post-pandemic playing field

    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.

  • 324 | Independent But Not Alone: Franchisers’ soft-brand engines drive business to struggling hotels
    CORONAVIRUS
    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.

  • 323 | Be Quick, Be Nimble: Independent hoteliers tell how they operated amid the pandemic
    CORONAVIRUS
    May 26, 2021

    323 | Be Quick, Be Nimble: Independent hoteliers tell how they operated amid the pandemic

    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.

  • 321 | Here to Help: Pandemic crisis fuels third-party management growth
    CORONAVIRUS
    May 12, 2021

    321 | Here to Help: Pandemic crisis fuels third-party management growth

    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.

  • 320 | Where’s My Stuff?: Breaks in the global supply chain disrupt hotel projects, increase costs
    LODGING LEADERS
    May 5, 2021

    320 | Where’s My Stuff?: Breaks in the global supply chain disrupt hotel projects, increase costs

    The Ever Given container ship running aground on March 23 in the Suez Canal got worldwide attention, but it is just one of many reasons for the breaks in the global supply chain that are impacting the U.S. hotel industry’s post-pandemic revival plans. Shipping companies in Asia and Europe are contending with a boatload of challenges, including a lack of containers, traffic jams at West Coast ports and increased costs. Long Live Lodging explores what the problems mean to hotel owners and developers eager to refresh their properties and welcome guests back.

  • 319 | TEAMWORK: Joint ventures strengthen hotel companies’ post-pandemic growth plans
    CORONAVIRUS
    April 28, 2021

    319 | TEAMWORK: Joint ventures strengthen hotel companies’ post-pandemic growth plans

    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.

  • 318 | Gold Standard: General manager of The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis leads property through more than one challenge
    LODGING LEADERS
    April 21, 2021

    318 | Gold Standard: General manager of The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis leads property through more than one challenge

    Amanda Joiner has worked for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. for 25 years. Starting in housekeeping, Joiner has been general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis for more than five years. Her career trajectory is not unique, she says, as anyone can adopt The Ritz-Carlton’s tenets of customer service to clear a path to leadership in the hospitality industry.

  • 317 | Together Again: U.S. hotel industry begins to see return of small meetings
    CORONAVIRUS
    April 14, 2021

    317 | Together Again: U.S. hotel industry begins to see return of small meetings

    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.

  • 316 | Pandemic Trailblazer: Hunter Hotel Investment Conference leads lodging industry’s 2021 event circuit
    CORONAVIRUS
    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.

  • 315 | COVID Comp Sets: The pandemic has dramatically altered hotels’ playing fields
    LODGING LEADERS
    March 31, 2021

    315 | COVID Comp Sets: The pandemic has dramatically altered hotels’ playing fields

    The coronavirus crisis has dramatically altered the traditional competitive set most hotels use to benchmark their business performance. During the pandemic, properties have reduced services; they’ve closed either permanently or temporarily; or they’ve transitioned to alternative uses by contracting out to essential travelers or social agencies in search of housing. Episode 315 explores the genesis of the hotel industry comp set and how the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the strategic business tool. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

  • 314 | No Discounts Available: Smart rate management keeps hotels afloat amid COVID-19 storm
    CORONAVIRUS
    March 24, 2021

    314 | No Discounts Available: Smart rate management keeps hotels afloat amid COVID-19 storm

    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.

  • 313 | Staging a Comeback: Hospitality leader Ron Vlasic helps industry build post-pandemic revival
    LODGING LEADERS
    March 17, 2021

    313 | Staging a Comeback: Hospitality leader Ron Vlasic helps industry build post-pandemic revival

    Ron Vlasic has held several leadership roles over the course of his 30 years in the hospitality industry. While serving as COO at Hostmark Hospitality Group, the Chicago native has answered the call to help the U.S. travel and tourism industry recover from the devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. For the next two years, he will serve on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In an interview with Long Live Lodging, Vlasic tells the story of his career journey and what it will take to revive the industry post-pandemic. This feature story introduces our Lodging Luminaries program.

  • 312 | Spring Breaks for Homebodies: Staycations are a growing trend amid the coronavirus pandemic
    CORONAVIRUS
    March 10, 2021

    312 | Spring Breaks for Homebodies: Staycations are a growing trend amid the coronavirus pandemic

    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.

  • 311 | Shelters From the Norm: Hotels used for hospitals and housing face unexpected problems
    CORONAVIRUS
    March 3, 2021

    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.

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