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Hispanic Hotel Owners Association’s Second Hotel Investment Seminar
for High Net-worth Latinos Attracts Twice the Expected Attendance

Event’s Success Prompts Brands to Increase Funding for Future Events

MIAMI, Fla./WASHINGTON, D.C., July 17, 2007—The Hispanic Hotel Owners Association (HHOA), a recently-formed and rapidly growing non-profit organization, announced today that attendance of more than 60 participants at its first Hotel Investment Series doubled the initial projections.  The seminar’s success prompted sponsoring brands to increase their current level of investment to fund more events.  A second seminar is in the preliminary planning stages for the West Coast before the end of summer.

“The rapidly growing interest in our Hotel Investment Series and in HHOA’s mission is not a surprise,” said Angela Gonzalez-Rowe, president and founder of Hispanic Hotel Owners Association.  “It demonstrates the very clear need for a Latino entry point into an industry where they are grossly underrepresented among the management and ownership ranks.  Attendees were high-net worth Hispanics with the means to invest in the hotel industry, from the U.S., as well as from Argentina, Aruba and Colombia.  The international participation, the high-profile speakers and the increased commitment of funds by sponsors indicate that HHOA has struck a responsive chord in this industry.”

The session also served as a backdrop for the introduction of the hotel industry’s first handbook created specifically for minority owner/developer/operators.  Entitled Hotel Investment 101, the reference book was created by the American Hotel & Lodging Education Institute in conjunction with HHOA to correspond with its educational program the Hotel Investment Series. HHOA plans to fully integrate Hotel Investments 201 and 301 into the series by the end of the year.

“We were the first major hotel corporation to fund HHOA and have already seen the very positive impact the organization has had on the industry,” said Floyd Pitts, senior director, diversity programs for Hilton Hotels Corporation.  “HHOA has engaged the Hispanic community in a compelling fashion and generated significant interest in investing in the hotel industry.”

“The caliber and breadth of attendees at this event were impressive,” said Marco Roca, Senior Vice President, Franchise Sales and Development, for Wyndham Hotel Group.  “HHOA has built a bridge between the lodging industry and the Hispanic community that will help diversify the ownership of hotels both domestically and internationally.” 
 
The Miami seminar featured 15 speakers, including keynote speakers Carlos Rodriguez, partner and executive vice president of acquisitions/development for Driftwood Hospitality Management and Pedro Mandoki, President and CEO, Mandoki Hospitality Inc.  Joseph West, dean of the Florida International School of Hospitality Management, the largest Hispanic student-serving organization in the United States, acted as moderator for a number of the panels.  Senior representatives from Hilton Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels Group and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation served as speakers.  Other hotel sponsors included Global Hyatt Corporation, Carlson Hotels Worldwide and Choice Hotels International.  

Topics included an overview of the hotel industry; a discussion of brands; development versus acquisition; why invest in the hotel industry, investment strategies; capital sources and financing; and operations management.  Speakers came from all sectors of the industry, including finance companies, management firms, law firms, industry consultants and hotel brands.  

“Hotels are a complex investment,” said Guilimero Perales, principal, DFW Holdings.  “What make this program interesting and informative is that it provided real nuts-and-bolts financial and operations information, rather than a sales show.  I have had an interest in investing in hotels for some time but was unable to get a good, fact-based overview unless I was willing to make a major time commitment.  This program has certainly increased my interest in the hotel industry, and I am now actively investigating investment alternatives.”

About HHOA
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., HHOA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the number of Hispanic-owned, -developed and -operated hotels, further the participation of Hispanic-owned suppliers serving the hotel industry and increase executive level employment opportunities for Hispanics within the lodging industry.  The industry’s leading brands, including Hilton Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, Choice Hotels International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and Global Hyatt Corporation have joined the organization and have become major corporate sponsors.  

HHOA membership is open to hotel owners, developers, investors, financiers, real estate executives, investment bankers, professional advisors, analysts, franchisors, management company executives, industry product and service providers, hotel general managers, hotel sales and marketing managers, government agencies for tourism and development, hospitality schools, hospitality students or anyone seeking to do business within the Hispanic market.   

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Contact:

HHOA 
www.hhoa.org

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Also See: Hispanic Hotel Owners Association's Membership Surges in First Months of Existence / February 2007
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