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Partnership to Display Strength of the Hospitality Industry to Capitol Hill

McConnell to Address Attendees 

(Washington, D.C.), April 7, 2015 - For the first time, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the National Restaurant Association (NRA) will join forces and bring together 1,000 stakeholders from the lodging and restaurant industries for a joint Washington hospitality Hill day. The partnership, announced today, will focus on raising awareness with lawmakers about the strength of the lodging and restaurant industries and showcase the meaningful impact hospitality has on job creation and our nation's economy. 

Collectively the lodging and restaurant industries account for 16 million job and career opportunities, which have been crucial to fostering the nation's economic recovery. Together, AH&LA and NRA members seek to raise awareness and educate lawmakers around key areas that are instrumental to that continued growth.  

During AH&LA's Legislative Action Summit and the NRA's Public Affairs Conference April 14-15, association members will provide members of Congress and their staff first-hand experiences articulating the need for reforms to the Affordable Care Act like restoring the standard 40-hour work week, protecting the franchise model and enacting other pro-business policies that will enable further job growth. The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) will also be partnering with AH&LA during the Legislative Action Summit.  

In addition, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will address a joint session of attendees.  

"The power of our industry lies in the opportunities hotels create for men and women seeking jobs that pay competitively, offer good benefits, and are the start of successful careers. The hotel industry has a track record of providing employees with the ability to achieve the American Dream. These opportunities are what make our industry a driving engine of the economy, creating over $160 billion in lodging sales revenue that goes right back into our communities. But this success cannot continue unless Congress is diligent about passing policies that enhance our ability to grow jobs, and open the pathway to create more opportunities," said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. 

"This year's Legislative Action Summit promises to be a dynamic opportunity that allows hoteliers and employees to speak directly to lawmakers, tell our story of success and urge them to support smart policies that foster economic development. From much-needed fixes in the Affordable Care Act to increasing the government's role in promoting travel and tourism to workforce issues, Congress has an important role to play in the oversight and implementation of laws that affect our industry. We are thrilled to work alongside the National Restaurant Association to magnify our voice on Capitol Hill as we raise our concerns about the most pressing issues for our industry."  

"As the second-largest private sector employer, restaurants are feeding our economy and serving opportunity to 14 million Americans, with jobs in every community," said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.  

"Our Washington hospitality day is a powerful way for restaurateurs across the country to sit down with their elected leaders, share their successes and challenges, and set the table for the year ahead. The foodservice industry still faces economic and regulatory uncertainty. Congress needs to promote pro-growth policies that will help restaurants continue to stimulate our economy and grow our nation's workforce. We are excited to join forces with the American Hotel and Lodging Association as we promote our industries of opportunity, and look forward to sharing our story with Capitol Hill and beyond."  

The NRA's Public Affairs Conference also will also include an address from U.S. Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet as well as a Gala Restaurant Industry Awards program that honors the recipients of the 2015 Faces of Diversity, Restaurant Neighbor and the Thad & Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award.

At AH&LA's Legislative Action Summit, AH&LA will host the Stars of the Industry awards program, which was created more than 40 years ago to recognize outstanding accomplishments in the lodging industry. Representative John Kline (MN-2), Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, will offer remarks during AH&LA's program, along with other lawmakers and industry leaders.  

Media who would like to attend the conference should pre-register by contacting media@restaurant.org.

About the American Hotel & Lodging Association

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers.

Contact: Chandler Smith

csmith@ahla.com / (202) 289.3148

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 16-19, 2015, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

Contact: Christin Fernandez

cfernandez@restaurant.org / (202) 331-5939

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