Prakash Saraf was raised in Nepal, India, by parents who taught him the value of caring for the less fortunate. As a hotelier in Baltimore, Saraf sees firsthand how people struggle to survive. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even harder for the poor and disenfranchised to stay safe. Saraf’s non-profit called Friends of Sparsh is meeting the challenge head-on as it serves meals at a shelter and stocks its food bank to meet people’s basic needs during the crisis. Saraf’s account is part of What’s Your Story? and featured in our digital conference called LodgingStream: A Brave New World that took place live on April 30.
Lodging Econometrics has tracked the hotel industry since 1998. Its global database includes new-hotel pipelines as well as renovations and brand conversions. Hotel franchisers once eager to launch new brands are focused on converting existing hotels because it’s a faster way to recover revenue lost to the COVID-19 pandemic than through new construction. In Episode 346, Lodging Leaders explores the increasing number of conversions in the U.S. hotel industry and what owners and operators need to consider before repositioning an asset.
In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., financiers anticipated a swell of distressed hotel businesses. Some raised rescue funds to respond to what they thought was a pending crisis. Though there are financial rescues taking place, the level of such activity is far below what industry advisers and fund managers expected. Commercial real estate investors positioned to act in the early days of the pandemic held off and are now just beginning to unleash their cash hoards totaling billions of dollars. Episode 345 of Lodging Leaders podcast explores the state of capital investment in the hotel industry.