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Oklahoma City’s Skirvin Hilton Hotel Hosting the Summer Summit
of the American Hotel & Lodging Association

May 29, 2008 - Top executives from the nation’s $134 billion hotel and lodging industry will meet at Oklahoma City’s Skirvin Hilton Hotel June 8-12 for the third annual Summer Summit of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA).

Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers.
An Oklahoma highlight of the event will be the installation of Joe Martin, owner/operator, Stillwater Hospitality, LLC as the 2009 AH&LA Chairman. 

“We are thrilled to host this annual event at the historic Skirvin Hilton amidst Oklahoma City’s thriving business community. Our Summer Summit draws numerous key executives whose influence extends nationally through the programs and initiatives developed during what will be four busy days of meetings and brainstorms,” said AH&LA President/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA.  “As our industry continues to grow and diversify, this year’s event is merely a preview to Oklahoma City’s emerging presence on the national lodging industry’s playing field, which will undoubtedly prosper as Joe Martin moves up in the ranks as AH&LA’s incoming chairman in 2009.” 

“It’s a rare and tremendous honor to host our colleagues from around the nation, the first time the AH&LA has met in Oklahoma,” said John D. Williams, general manager of the Skirvin Hilton. “The organization’s desire to hold the Summer Summit here speaks very well for our city’s rapidly growing place in the nation’s third largest industry – hotel and lodging. AH&LA could have chosen any other site in the nation for this important meeting, but they selected the Skirvin and Oklahoma City. We are proud to serve as hosts.”

The Skirvin Hotel first opened its doors in 1911 with two, 10-story towers containing 224 rooms. In 1930, a third wing was added, raising the structure to 14 stories and increasing capacity to 525 rooms. After an extensive renovation project restoring the original exterior finish, installing historically accurate windows, reconfiguring guest rooms and adding new guest elevators, the hotel reopened on Feb 26, 2007. 

The new Skirvin Hilton hotel features an elegant lobby and new restaurant, the Park Avenue Grill.  The Red Piano lounge located just off the lobby beckons visitors to relax and enjoy the comfortable and stylish setting of the property.

The newly renovated hotel features 225 guestrooms, including 20 suites and one Presidential suite. The new Skirvin Hilton hotel is a short walk to the Cox Business Services Convention Center in Oklahoma City and includes 22,000 sq feet of meeting and pre-function space.  Meeting rooms incorporate state of the art technology including high speed internet throughout.  The historic fourteenth floor Venetian room has been restored to it's former glory and is available for events.

Highlights of this year’s Summer Summit comprehensive program include new and timely presentations on green initiatives, economic analysis and foresight from industry insiders at the Lodging Industry Summit, specialized certification and educational seminars, and AH&LA’s annual Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon.

Summer Summit’s green panel representatives from leading certification programs Green Seal, Green Key, the U.S. Green Building Council, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program will address challenges and opportunities for sustainable hotel development and operations, offering implementation strategies for new and existing properties. 

Lodging business analysts offer attendees their collective perspectives and forecasts for the U.S. hospitality community during the annual Lodging Industry Summit.  Presenters Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D., principal, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP; Patrick Ford, president, Lodging Econometrics; Jan Freitag, vice president, global development, Smith Travel Research; and Douglas Shifflet, president & CEO, D.K. Shifflet & Associates Ltd., will analyze current industry performance and provide insight on future developments, offering key sector information to help hoteliers plan their development strategies. 

The Stars of the Industry Awards honor outstanding hotel employees, managers, and general managers across the nation. Hotels themselves are also recognized for innovative and successful programs in community service; guest relations; special events; diversity; and eco-friendly practices.  In addition, AH&LA’s Educational Institute honors educators who excel in advancing student interest in the field.

Many of AH&LA’s more than 30 specialized committees, comprised of top-level hoteliers, management companies, and other representatives from the diverse lodging industry, host meetings critical in strategically planning industry-wide programs and initiatives.  Rounding out the Summit agenda, the conference kicks off at Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar & Grill,” a series of dinners benefiting the AH&LA Educational Foundation, and a lively Mix-n-Bowl bowling event to benefit the HotelPAC, the industry’s political action committee. 

A full events schedule is available online at  For more information on AH&LA, please contact Jessica Soklow, manager of media relations, at or (202) 289-3153.


 Dan Mahoney

Also See: Marcus Hotels Opens the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City Following $55 Million Restoration / February 2007
Legacy that Refused to End: Even at Age 84, Oklahmoa City Hotelier, W.B. Skirvin, Was Thinking about the Future / January 2007
Developer John Weeman, Faulker USA, and Marcus Hotels and Resorts Investing $27.9 million in Oklahoma City Skirvin Hotel Renovation; Seek City Loan up to $18.4 million for $46.4 million Project / May 2004
Oklahoma City Seeks Experienced Developer to Save Historic Skirvin Hotel / November 2002


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