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2008 Hotel Investment Conference Sets Event Theme of
“The Money & The Marketplace: Hotel Investing in
Today’s Financial Climate”

Proceeds from the Event Benefit Georgia State University’s Hotel School


ATLANTA, Ga., January 10, 2008—The Hotel Investment Conference today unveiled a timely theme for its upcoming meeting, one that acknowledges the complexities of the current economic environment:  “The Money & The Marketplace: Hotel Investing in Today’s Financial Climate.”  In addition, officials announced the keynote speakers for the 2008 event to be held March 9 to11 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Ga.  The Hotel Investment Conference is one of the industry’s four major annual nationwide events and the only one designed specifically for hotel owners and investors. Proceeds from the event benefit Georgia State University’s hotel school.

The event will feature 106 speakers from 24 states, seven main event sessions, 16 breakout sessions and 15 roundtables.

John Murray, president and chief operating officer of Hospitality Properties Trust, who oversees one of the largest hospitality portfolios in the nation valued at more than $6 billion, will be the keynote speaker on Monday, March 10.  Tom Keltner, CEO Americas & Global Brands, Hilton Hotels Corporation, will keynote the Tuesday, March 11 luncheon.  

“With the subprime crisis and a difficult-to-read economy, financing has become one of the most important issues facing hotel owners in the coming year,” said Bob Hunter, CHB, ISHC, Hotel Investment Conference chairman, and President, Hunter Realty Associates, Inc.  

“We have a strong emphasis on hotel financing: 20 speakers who are hotel financing and equity experts; 6 finance roundtables and 3 finance panels dealing with various aspects of finance, ranging from financing fundamentals to advanced finance strategies.  Our focus as a conference is on the owner, and we believe the emphasis on financing, along with more than 30 other educational sessions on topics ranging from Green Hotel Trends to Using Emerging Trends to Build Revenues, will appeal to our attendees.”  

Preliminary registration numbers bear out Hunter’s observation.  “Advance registration is significantly ahead of last year, which was a record year for the conference,” he noted.  “We continue to grow at a measured rate.  We are at a size that helps us attract the top speakers but one that also provides excellent access to owners in a setting that allows everyone to network comfortably.”

The conference will begin with an overview of the economy and its impact on the hotel industry by Dr. Rajeev Dhawan, of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, George State University.  

The lead-off “main tent” panel on Leadership and Experience will feature Don Landry, CHA, owner, Top Ten; Stephen Joyce, EVP Global Development, Owner and Franchise Services, Marriott International; Nancy Johnson, CHA, executive vice president, Carlson Hotels Worldwide; Mark Woodworth, president , PKF Hospitality Research, and Sam Winterbottom, president and CEO, eSuites Hotels.  

The popular President’s Panel will be moderated by Isaac Collazo, vice president, Performance Strategy Planning, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and will feature Stephen Schwartz, chairman and CEO, First Hospitality Group, Inc.; Dennis Quaintance, president & CEO, Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants & Hotels; and Mitesh Shah, president and CEO, Noble Investment Group and Walter Isenberg, President of Sage Hospitality of Denver, Colorado.

A cross-section of other speakers includes:

  • Mark Lomanno, president, Smith Travel Research
  • Peter Goren, program director, Florida Green Lodging, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • John Metz, chairman and CEO, Metz Enterprises
  • Ashwin, “Ash” Patel, chairman, AAHOA; and president/CEO, Southeast Hospitality management, LLC
  • Pace Cooper, president and CEO, Cooper Companies, 
  • Paul Novak, managing director-Hospitality Division, The John Buck Company
  • Rebecca Wyatt, senior vice president, Homewood Suites Brand Management, Hilton Hotels.
Hotel owners will receive an “early bird,” special rate of $795 when they register by February 8, which increases to $895 following that date.  Non-owners receive a special rate of $995 if they register by February 8, and $1,095 thereafter.  Interested parties may register for the conference on line at; by phone at 404-355-0880; by fax at 404-355-0888; or by standard mail: Hotel Investment Conference, One Northside 75, Suite 102, Atlanta, Ga. 30318.

The Hotel Investment Conference, designed for hotel owners and operators, is one of four annual nationwide events that attract the hotel industry’s top leaders.  Proceeds from the event benefit Georgia State University’s hotel school.

The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality is ranked in the nation's "Top 25" four-year hospitality programs. The School is located in one of the nation's leading business colleges, the Robinson College of Business. Degree programs include a BBA with a hospitality major and an MBA with a hospitality concentration. A certificate program is available for non-majors and post-baccalaureates.

Ryan Bowie
    Vice President and Treasurer
    Strategic Hotels & Resorts
    (312) 658-5766


Also See: The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University Offering a Masters of Business Administration in Hotel Real Estate; First Such MBA Specialization in the Nation / July 2007


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