Sawan Patel is a second-generation hotelier and managing partner of Unity Hotels Group, a company his father, Hasu, founded in Houston, Texas. His fiancé works in the health care field and Patel heard at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. how difficult it was for hospitals to obtain personal protection equipment such as face masks. Patel and some other fellow hoteliers rallied together to donate and raise funds toward acquiring masks for front-line health care workers. Patel’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.