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Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 66:

Recognizing Three Hotel Industry Experts Whose Accomplishments Are Unique -
Bjorn Hanson, Peter Greenberg and Richard Warnick


By Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC, July 13, 2010

Congratulations to Bjorn Hanson, Peter Greenberg and Richard Warnick

In my customary stance as a hotel industry gadfly, I usually ask impertinent questions in search of pertinent answers.  Today, however, I want to give recognition to three hotel industry colleagues whose accomplishments are remarkable and unique:

1.  Bjorn Hanson
In a brilliant and savvy move, NYU Dean Robert Lapiner named Bjorn Hanson as divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University.  Hanson joined the full-time faculty at the Tisch Center in 2008 after chairing its Board of Advisors for seven years.  He holds a PhD from New York University, an MBA from Fordham University and a Bachelor’s degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. 

Prior to joining NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Hanson held the position of global industry leader, hospitality and leisure at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for almost twenty years.  He founded the firm’s hospitality and leisure practice and has held various positions at PwC including, national industry chairman for the hospitality industries, national service line director for hospitality consulting, national industry chairman for real estate, real estate service line director, and national director of appraisal services.  Prior to joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hanson was a managing director with two Wall Street firms where he led banking and research departments for lodging and gaming.

He also co-chaired a committee of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and was president of the Cornell Club of New York.  He has been the Cornell University “Hotelier of the Year”, a Conti-Distinguished Professor at Penn State University, and holds CRE and CFF professional designations.

Hanson is an author and frequent speaker who has been quoted in almost every major business periodical and industry journal, including Time, Newsweek, Forbes, Fortune, US News & World Report, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal (US, European and Asian editions), Barron’s and The New York Times.  He has appeared numerous times on CNN, CNBC, FOX, WCBS, PBS, the Today Show, and media outlets.  Hanson has published chapters in all four editions of HOTEL INVESTMENTS and has been named one of the 75 industry leaders in Lodging magazine’s “Profiles in Leadership,” and as “One of the 33 Most Influential People in the Travel Industry” by Travel Weekly.   In 2008, Hanson was awarded the Lodging Hospitality Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award.

2.  Peter Greenberg 
If you haven’t been a subscriber to the Peter Greenberg Worldwide newsletter, you are missing one of the greatest source of travel information on the Internet.  Peter is omniscient, outspoken and articulate.  For example, in his June 10th newsletter he and his guests reported on:

• Deepwater Horizon oil spill
• Off-season travel 
• Philly’s funky street-art scenes and vibrant Latino enclaves
• Portrait of American travelers in the face of the new economy
• Trip Advisor’s “Dirtiest Hotels” list
• Highlights and unique qualities about Washington, D.C. neighborhoods
• Great American Food and Music Fest
• Luxury travel rebound
• New 580,000 square foot U.S. Capital Visitors Center
• Best use of Fodor’s Online Guides 
• Recent award to the Indianapolis Zoo
• How to prepare a meal for the President and other high profile dignitaries
• Review of “Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World”
• The new $2 million U.S. Presidential Gallery in Madame Tussaud’s Washington, D.C. museum featuring wax figures of all 44 presidents, plus a perfect replica of The Oval Office.
• Deals of the Week
• Peter’s weekly radio show: live, podcasting and on-demand from all over the world
Peter Greenberg is the CBS News Travel Editor reporting regularly on “The Early Show”.  He may be best known as the Travel Editor for NBC’s Today, CNBC and MSNBC from 1995 until 2009.  Previous to NBC, Peter was Travel correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America from 1988- 1995.  Greenberg is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and television producer in his own right.

Also known as the “Travel Detective”- he has published several books with that moniker- Greenberg was brought to NBC’s Today by Jeff Zucker.  Previously, Greenberg was a correspondent for Newsweek, among other publications.  In addition to his Today duties, Greenberg produces travel segments for America Online, is a contributing editor for Men’s Health; produces a radio show, Peter Greenberg Worldwide; and an online travel site, PeterGreenberg.com.  He also produces television specials, such as the highly-rated “Inside American Airlines: A Week in the Life”.  Additionally, Greenberg serves as the Travel Ambassador for AARP, offering travel advice to members.

He also produces and hosts a television series called The Royal Tour which aired originally on the Travel Channel.  The series featured various heads of state giving Greenberg and viewers a personal tour of their country.  It has featured a number of world leaders including New Zealand’s Helen Clark, Abdullah II of Jordan, and Peru’s Alejandro Toledo. 

His books include the Travel Detective series:  Flight Crew Confidential, Hotel Secrets, and The Travel Detective Bible.  He has also published a travel health and fitness book, The Traveler’s Diet.  His newest book, a New York Times bestseller, is called Don’t Go There: The Travel Detective’s Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World.  Perhaps unusually for a travel journalist, this book highlights places readers should avoid.

3.  Richard Warnick

His “Immutable Laws of Lodging Investment” article which appeared on the Hotel-Online website on June 14, 2010 is an absolute revelation.  Here are his brilliant thirteen laws in no particular order:

  1.  With few exceptions, hotels are not an appropriate asset class for a long-term hold 
  2.  Never fall in love with real estate
  3.  Location is and always will be the most important criteria in differentiating real estate-  and hotels are no exception
  4.  Leave some chips on the table 
  5.  Do not equate luck with skill or intellect
  6.  Easy credit is a leading indicator that the top is approaching
  7.  If you can’t build a hotel so as to open in the initial stages of a growth cycle, you  probably shouldn’t build it at all
  8.  Cap rates should be viewed as a derivative of rather than an indicator of value
  9.  There will always be a replacement source of irrational capital 
  10.  Leverage over 65% loan-to-value is a high-risk strategy for hotels 
  11.  Understand the nature of various industry participants and diligently observe their  behavior
  12.  The degree to which pricing is rational is inversely proportional to the amount and  cost of capital in the system
  13.  The first sign that a down market is about to turn positive is when the vast majority of  industry participants have joined in its funeral dirge
Let me add no. 14 to Warnick’s prescient immutable laws:
 14. Hire Rich as your hospitality real estate consultant no matter the cost.   He will help you make the best decisions which will provide you with the best result in  the long run.
Richard Warnick, ISHC, CRE, is President of Warnick & Company, a Phoenix-based strategic advisory and investment banking firm specializing in hospitality and recreational real estate.  The Company serves as an advisor to many of the world’s leading hotel and real estate companies, as well as hotel owners, international financial institutions and government agencies.  Warnick & Company is also one of the top hotel brokerage firms in the United States.   Reach him at 602-955-9393 or rwarnick@warnickco.com
 

4.  Quote of the Month

“Luck never built a business. Prosperity and growth come only to the business that systematically finds and exploits its potential.”
       Peter Drucker


Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC has just published “Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry.” It contains 359 pages, 25 illustrations and 16 chapters devoted to each of the following pioneers: John McEntee Bowman, Carl Graham Fisher, Henry Morrison Flagler, John Q. Hammons, Frederick Henry Harvey, Ernest Henderson, Conrad Nicholson Hilton, Howard Dearing Johnson, J. Willard Marriott, Kanjibhai Patel, Henry Bradley Plant, George Mortimer Pullman, A.M. Sonnabend, Ellsworth Milton Statler, Juan Terry Trippe and Kemmons Wilson.  It also has a foreword by Stephen Rushmore, preface, introduction, bibliography and index. Visit www.greatamericanhoteliers.com to order the book.
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Contact: 

Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
917-628-8549
stanturkel@aol.com

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Also See: Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 65: A Well-Deserved Compliment for Steve Rushmore; Impertinent Questions in Search of Pertinent Answers / Stanley Turkel / June 2010
Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 64: Best Western Finally Makes a Move; Cuba, The Caribbean’s Hottest Destination / Stanley Turkel / May 2010
Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 63: Can Airlines Learn From Hotels?; Memo to Ian Schrager / Stanley Turkel / April 2010
Nobody Asked Me, But No. 62 / Do the Radisson Franchisees Agree with Carlson's billion-dollar Makeover Program? At Last: A Win-Win Victory for Tourism; Congratulations to the Harris Rosen Foundation / Stanley Turkel / March 2010
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