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Chip Conley, Peter Yesawich, Suzanne Cook and Crist Inman to Keynote
8th Annual Resort Conference, April 16-18, 2008 in San Diego

Agenda Features General Sessions, Panel Discussions
on Operations, Marketing & Resort Trends
MCLEAN, VA (Jan. 16, 2008) – Resort industry professionals will take part in an annual forum to discuss and explore issues unique to resort marketing and operations when they gather for the 8th annual Resort Conference taking place at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego from April 16-18, 2008.  This important industry event – the only conference planned by resort executives for resort executives – is sponsored by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI – and the University of Denver’s School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management.

A full agenda has been planned for the resort industry at-large for two days of insightful education, debates and lively discussions where delegates will:

• Gain insight into the business philosophy of Chip Conley, Founder and CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality
• See where the industry has been with Peter Yesawich, PH.D., President and CEO, Y Partnership
• Find out where it is headed with Suzanne Cook of the Travel Industry Association (TIA)
• Learn the current trends in sustainability from Crist Inman of The La Paz Group  
All four industry leaders will offer keynote presentations during general sessions during the conference, including:
General Session 1: The Business of Creating Loyalty: Customers, Employees and Investors Alike
Chip Conley, Founder and CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, is one of the world’s best-known hoteliers and a respected business philosopher.  Joie de Vivre is California’s largest boutique hotel group, and it operates over 40 hotels, restaurants, bars, and spas throughout the state.  Conley will discuss his journey to becoming the second largest boutique hotelier in America, including challenges he faced in 2001 with the convergence of 9/11, the dot-com crash and the SARS scare, which devastated the travel industry and threatened to ruin his company.  He will present themes from his new book, PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow, that came out of this turbulent time and inspired a new psychology of business based on Abraham Maslow’s iconic Hierarchy of Needs.  He will be sharing insights in successful niche marketing and customer service that have made Joie de Vivre Hospitality successful and are applicable to resorts everywhere, large or small, brand or independent. Conley will also talk about the success of his eMarketing program, including the emergence of Joie de Vivre’s own avatar.  All attendees will receive a copy of PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow, as part of their registration.
General Session 2: Emerging Lifestyles...
This session will present highlights from the 2008 National Leisure Travel Monitor, a national survey of the travel habits, preferences and intentions of Americans that is now in its 16th year. 
General Session 3: Niche Innovations and the Mainstreaming of Sustainability: Redefining the Resort Through Mixed Use
This presentation will highlight both modest and “outside the box” innovations at resorts around the world that demonstrate how the concept of sustainability is coming closer to intersecting with mainstream resort development and operational practices.  There will be a focus on practical recommendations for resort developers, both niche and mainstream, in their efforts to develop and operate with greater ecological and social responsibility, and on how to leverage such responsibility into profitability.
General Session 4: Update for Resorts: Consumer and Travel Industry Trends 
Suzanne Cook will review data and trends from many sources to bring resort executives up to speed on what is happening in the travel industry that might impact both marketing and operations.  Some groundbreaking research completed with American Express on vacation travel, along with the ongoing TIA/Y Partnership Travel Horizons studies, provide fresh statistics about consumer travel behavior.  Highlights from TIA’s economic forecasts for travel, along with highlights of a new affluent traveler report, Smith Travel Research resort statistics, and the HSMAI Resort Best Practices studies, will round-out the picture to inform and illuminate the current state of the industry and its prospects for the upcoming year.
In addition to the four general sessions, there will be an extensive line-up of breakout sessions in three tracks, including: Operations, Marketing and Current Trends.  Nine different breakout sessions will allow attendees to delve deeper into the future of the resort industry from social media to changing to sustainable practices without compromising property standards and customer expectations.
“This conference is designed to deliver a one-stop-shopping learning experience covering a huge spectrum of timely and compelling topics within the resort industry,” stated Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president & CEO of HSMAI.  “From practical and cutting-edge content, to quality, top caliber speakers and panelists, this is sure to be one of the most interesting, educational and illuminating conferences – critical to anyone doing business in the resort industry,” Gilbert added.
Attendees represent a diverse group of resort-minded professionals, including general managers, directors of sales and other department heads such as those in revenue management, rooms division, human resources and online marketing, as well as corporate staff from resort companies.
Gold sponsors of the 8th Annual Resort Marketing Conference are: American Express, Elite Meetings International and  Silver sponsors include Air Marketing, Fareed/Zapala/Koepke, Five-Star AudioVisual, Getty Images, Incite Response, Sybaritic, TIG Global and
The cost to attend if registered by March 14, 2008 is $625 for HSMAI members and $750 for non-members.  After March 14, the cost is $725 for HSMAI members and $825 for non-members.  The non-members charge includes a one year membership in HSMAI.  
For more information on the 2008 Resort Conference, visit  For partnership and exhibiting information, contact Robert A. Gilbert, HSMAI’s president and CEO, at (703) 610-9024 or
Established in 1946, the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM), part of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, prepares both graduate and undergraduate students for senior management positions in the fast-changing and competitive hospitality industry.  As one of the most prominent hotel programs in the nation, the HRTM program enjoys a superb reputation for innovative educational programs.  The student-oriented faculty members are internationally recognized for their contributions to teaching, research and publications in various hospitality fields.  For more information on the HRTM program, visit or contact Barb Pemble at (303) 871-4473 or e-mail:
HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 39 chapters in the Americas Region.



Also See: Recap: 7th Annual Resort Management Conference; Terri Haack Named Resort Executive of the Year / April 2007
Recap: 6th Annual Resort Management Conference; Chris von Imhoff, CEO, Alyeska Resort, Named Resort Executive of the Year / April 2006


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