Notes from the ALIS Conference: 

By David M. Brudney, ISHC, Februray 2006

Thanks to all of you that noticed: my articles have been missing since last summer and I do promise to fix that. 

I attended The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) last month in Los Angeles.  It was very upbeat.  Everyone seemed to agree that the lodging industry’s “good times” should continue through 2009, some predicting through 2010 and even longer.  Why?  Demand’s return is the driving force.

Some notes this writer made to share with you:

  • Randy Smith reported that demand and supply are “even” for the first time in 17 years
  • Hotel operators are finally getting “control” of the Internet
  • Aggressive pricing this summer; some bellwether markets (New York, D.C., Miami, San Francisco) expect double digit A.D.R. growth by summer
  • China and India’s economic growth are responsible for 40% of the increase in oil prices
  • CFO Vasant M. Prabhu said Starwood is very bullish on development in Africa
  • Starwood has become the new benchmark for spas - - they may put one in every hotel, no matter the location
  • Condo hotels are here to stay
  • Hotel brands report that fractional, private residence owners of units in cities like San Francisco refer to their homes as “urban country clubs”, they “like living in hotels” 
  • Hotels are seeing huge numbers of referrals from these owners for new individual and group hotel guests; also seeing a strong sense of pride from the owners association with the hotel brand, e.g., “I’m a St. Regis owner!” 
  • Domestic leisure travel market is stronger than ever; international is returning
  • Lots of talk about all the new life style products and the appeal to Generation X; IHG reports that although it’s still early in the game, the Indigo brand pilot products in Chicago and Atlanta have “far exceeded” A.D.R. expectations
  • Futurist Andrew Zolli entertained the 2,200 attendees with a humorous and thought-provoking keynote address.  Some highlights:
    • Great opportunities for any industry due to the “massive revolution” within technology and health care
    • Get ready for “mainstream green”
    • The “surplus society” has produced the dreaded “tyranny of choice”
    • World demographics are changing: 9-plus billion population next 10 years; largest growth to come from Africa and Asia
    • California and Texas will absorb 47% of the next wave of immigrants to the U.S.  (Latin America and Asia mostly)
    • And as to the “aging of America”: anyone born since 1979 will take care of their mothers longer than their mothers took care of them!
  • The ISHC Pioneer Award winner, Hasmukh H.P. Rama, Chairman and CEO of JHM Hotels, delivered a very passionate, “only in America” acceptance speech that touched everyone
  • Former Disney CEO Michael D. Eisner, the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was very gracious and humble in sharing some of what he learned from his hotel development experiences.  Two that come to mind: 1) never cut back on resort landscaping and 2) install nothing but 100 watt bulbs in guest rooms

The breakout sessions and networking opportunities were the best ever.  All in all, it was quite a conference.  Congratulations to Jim Burba and all the good folks at Burba Hotel Network for another job well done. 

© copyright 2006

David M. Brudney, ISHC, is a veteran sales and marketing professional concluding his fourth decade of service to the hospitality industry.  Brudney advises lodging owners, lenders and operators on sales and marketing “best practices” and conducts reviews of sales and marketing operations throughout the U.S. and overseas.  The principal of David Brudney & Associates of Carlsbad, CA, a sales and marketing consulting firm specializing in the hospitality industry since 1979, Brudney is a frequent lecturer, instructor and speaker.  He is a charter member of International Society of Hospitality Consultants.  Previously, Brudney held sales and marketing positions with Hyatt, Westin and Marriott.


David M. Brudney, ISHC, Principal 
David Brudney & Associates 
Carlsbad, CA 
760-476-0830 Fax 760-476-0860

Also See General Managers Workshop: Managing Today's Hotel Sales Teams / July 2005
Owners & Asset Managers: Need Expert Advice, Referral? Ask A Trusted Consultant / David M. Brudney, ISHC / May 2005
Larry May: The Passing Of Another Hotel Soldier / David Brudney ISHC / April 2005
Hotel Owners: Better, Worse or About the Same? / David Brudney ISHC / December 2004
Let’s Put Bush and Kerry Through the RFP Process / October 2004
Bev Kordsmeier, Hyatt Sales’ First Lady / April 2004
Message to Hotel Sales Associates: “It’s Not You!”/ January 2004
What Innkeepers Want Every Christmas? Fill Those Empty Rooms / December 2003
Uncertain Times Call for Return to Backyard Basics / April 2003
Time to “Group Up”?  Maybe, Maybe Not / May 2002
America’s Front Desk  Fights Back! / January 2002
Front Desk Fails To Catch America’s Hospitality Spirit / David Brudney ISHC / November 2001
A Very Good Time For That Sales Audit / David Brudney ISHC / Sept 2001 
More Theater, Less Zombies / David Brudney ISHC / Dec 2000 
It’s The Experience, Stupid! / David Brudney ISHC / Nov 2000 

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