Lodging Leaders
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Hospitality in the age of COVID-19
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  • 08 | Emerging brands, innovative products signal new era of hospitality
    NEXTGEN IN LODGING
    September 27, 2021

    08 | Emerging brands, innovative products signal new era of hospitality

    As the hotel industry shifts into a new era influenced by the coronavirus pandemic as well as the unleashing of younger travelers eager to get out and experience the world, new hospitality brands are emerging either in full or by creating novel concepts within their traditional frameworks. In Episode 8 of NextGen in Lodging, host Chris Henry leads a discussion among three hospitality innovators who share what’s next for a recovering industry.

  • 338 | Cybercrime Spree: Hotel industry more vulnerable than ever to hackers
    LODGING LEADERS
    September 22, 2021

    338 | Cybercrime Spree: Hotel industry more vulnerable than ever to hackers

    From the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, the lodging industry turned to technology to solve immediate challenges. The very nature of hospitality can make a hotel vulnerable to cyberattacks. As the industry adopts new technology to help it recover from the coronavirus crisis and economic downturn, the threats are greater and the number of attacks are growing. The good news is for as many nefarious ways cybercriminals can strike, there are corresponding solutions. Episode 338 of Lodging Leaders podcast focuses on the pervasive cyber threats the hospitality industry faces as it deploys technology to modernize its business processes and improve guest experiences.

  • 04 | Don’t Wanna Be Pitch-Slapped
    TOP FLOOR
    September 21, 2021

    04 | Don’t Wanna Be Pitch-Slapped

    Tammy Gillis doesn’t want to be pitch-slapped, and she doesn’t think your customers want that either. A self-described lost soul in her youth, Tammy found herself and her calling in hotel sales. Susan learns how Tammy suggests hoteliers approach the recovery and how salespeople should pursue business conversations to make a positive impact.

  • 337 | Open-and-Shut Cases: How hoteliers managed decisions to close or stay in business
    CORONAVIRUS
    September 15, 2021

    337 | Open-and-Shut Cases: How hoteliers managed decisions to close or stay in business

    More than 1,700 hotels in the U.S. closed in spring 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of August, 1,200 were closed, reported Kalibri Labs. Meantime, 840 new hotels opened last year and 900 are on track to open this year, according to Lodging Econometrics. Episode 337 of Lodging Leaders explores the challenges owners faced in reopening closed hotels as well as what owners and operators did to ramp up business at hotels that were at such low levels of occupancy, they might as well have been closed. We also feature owners who opened new properties during the pandemic. One owner we interviewed opened two new hotels while doing what it took to keep his existing properties in business. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

  • 03 | Dude, Calm Down
    TOP FLOOR
    September 14, 2021

    03 | Dude, Calm Down

    Calvin Tilokee’s first meme was printed out and hung on his office door.  Since then, he’s created @revparblems, a hospitality comedy account on Instagram with 20,000 followers.  Susan learns how Calvin navigates the highs and lows of being the funniest account on Instagram and helps hotels with social media through his company, RevPar Media.

  • 02 | We’re NOT Idiots
    TOP FLOOR
    September 14, 2021

    02 | We’re NOT Idiots

    In the course of her hotel career, Kate Burda learned the business inside and out, from Minneapolis to Miami. Along the way, she figured out that the sound and fury of the hotel business could truly signify something by focusing on a traveler’s point of inspiration vs. a hotel’s product offering. Susan learns how Kate’s company helps hotels and other businesses ignite the connections between financial performance goals and sales and marketing strategies.

  • 01 | Gas Station Menu Drop
    TOP FLOOR
    September 14, 2021

    01 | Gas Station Menu Drop

    As a teenager, Cat Meek took any restaurant job that would have her, working her way to becoming a certified sommelier and manager of a “very fahhncy” restaurant. Over romantic dates spent writing the business plan for a future fine dining establishment, she met and married her husband, who was conveniently also a chef. Susan learns how Cat built a multi-unit restaurant empire by making the guests part of the story.

  • 10 | Carlos Flores: Sonesta has ‘very lofty ambitions’ as it pursues value in the lodging industry
    LODGING LUMINARIES
    September 9, 2021

    10 | Carlos Flores: Sonesta has ‘very lofty ambitions’ as it pursues value in the lodging industry

    Sonesta Hotels International’s CEO Carlos Flores has big dreams for the company he’s led since 2012. Over the past 18 months, he’s made some of them come true, shocking an industry in the throes of the coronavirus crisis. In Episode 10 of Lodging Luminaries podcast, host Jason Freed talks with Flores about how he decided to pull the trigger to propel the company as a major contender in the franchising space. He also shares his views on the franchiser-franchisee relationship as well as whether the adoption of new technology can enhance a hotel’s value.

  • 00 | My Not-So-Secret Mission
    TOP FLOOR
    September 8, 2021

    00 | My Not-So-Secret Mission

    Susan Barry started her hospitality career sleeping in her car between parties as an off-premise caterer. Since then, she’s worked with hundreds of hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality companies to improve commercial strategy performance, gathering a bevy of wild experiences and crazy stories along the way. Top Floor explores how hospitality businesses can tell their stories, with expert tips and entertaining tales from engaging guests.

  • 336 | Never Forget: 20 years after 9/11, hotel industry veterans remember the impact of the terrorist attacks
    LODGING LEADERS
    September 8, 2021

    336 | Never Forget: 20 years after 9/11, hotel industry veterans remember the impact of the terrorist attacks

    As America approaches the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on its homeland, Lodging Leaders explores the impact 9/11 had on the U.S. travel sector. We feature hotel industry leaders who were on duty that fateful day and can recall the shock of the attacks, how they cared for frightened guests and how the event changed hotel operations. They also draw parallels to the coronavirus crisis and remind listeners of the resiliency of the nation’s hospitality industry.

  • 335 | ‘Waking Up A Giant’: Armed with fresh data that reveal members’ economic might, AAHOA leaders see new day ahead
    AAHOA
    September 1, 2021

    335 | ‘Waking Up A Giant’: Armed with fresh data that reveal members’ economic might, AAHOA leaders see new day ahead

    With 20,000 members, AAHOA is the largest hotel owners group in the world. But it has not regularly exercised the power that comes with size. That is about to change. A new study by Oxford Economics reveals the membership’s stunning combined economic strength, including the fact that members own 60 percent of America’s hotels. AAHOA Chairman Vinay Patel and other AAHOA leaders say the association plans to wield its might in forging a post-pandemic recovery that ensures everyone in the lodging industry a more profitable future.

  • 09 | Elie Khoury: ‘In every downturn, we learn and we take action’
    LODGING LUMINARIES
    August 26, 2021

    09 | Elie Khoury: ‘In every downturn, we learn and we take action’

    Episode 9 of Lodging Luminaries with Jason Freed features Elie Khoury, EVP of operations at Aimbridge Hospitality, who says, in every economic downturn, hospitality owners and operators learn new ways of doing business. The coronavirus crisis has exacerbated the challenge of staffing a hotel operation and Aimbridge Hospitality is taking an unconventional route by embracing the “gig economy” and preparing for the inevitable cultural shift it will create in the hospitality workplace.

  • 334 | ‘Unsustainable’ Business Model: Hoteliers turn to courts and legislation to reform franchising
    FRANCHISING
    August 25, 2021

    334 | ‘Unsustainable’ Business Model: Hoteliers turn to courts and legislation to reform franchising

    Although hotel franchisees voiced discontent with franchisers long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis has emboldened owners’ resolve to seek dramatic and lasting reform in brand licensing. Along with challenging current practices in U.S. courts, franchisees have rallied support from state and U.S. lawmakers. A proposal in New Jersey might serve as a model of reform while congressional measures would change the way the Federal Trade Commission and the Small Business Administration regulate franchising. Episode 334 explores the legal and legislative challenges confronting traditional franchising practices.

  • 07 | Give minority workers a voice, say Asian American hospitality professionals dedicated to diversity
    NEXTGEN IN LODGING
    August 24, 2021

    07 | Give minority workers a voice, say Asian American hospitality professionals dedicated to diversity

    This month’s episode of NextGen in Lodging podcast features Asian American hospitality professionals who urge company leaders to identify blatant and unconscious racial bias in the workplace and to promote among employees knowledge of ethnic backgrounds and cultural traditions – all to foster acceptance and understanding that can lift careers and businesses to new heights.

  • 333 | ‘We’re Different’: Small franchisers strive to set themselves apart in a post-pandemic playing field
    FRANCHISING
    August 18, 2021

    333 | ‘We’re Different’: Small franchisers strive to set themselves apart in a post-pandemic playing field

    Chris Guimbellot grew up in the family hotel business in Louisiana. Today, as president and CEO of Hospitality International Inc. in metro-Atlanta, he is focused on turning around the fortunes of the hotel franchiser and the owners of its nearly 230 branded assets. This report is the second part of a series exploring how new and small franchisers are managing franchiser-franchisee relationships as the industry works toward a post-pandemic recovery.

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