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HSMAI and the University of Denver’s School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism
Management Set the Agenda for the Ninth Annual Resort Conference
May 3 – 5, 2009, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

In these challenging times, we know you can only afford to attend conferences and events that deliver the highest return on your investment and address your biggest concerns. That's why you can't afford to miss the 9th Annual Resort Conference, the only conference planned by resort executives for resort executives

MCLEAN, VA (March 11, 2009) – Resort industry executives will come together May 3 – 5, 2009 for the Ninth Annual Resort Conference at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. to discuss ways to maximize ROI in resort operations and marketing by connecting to the consumer. 
“Concerns among corporations about the “optics” of their meetings venues have hit the resort industry hard in the past six months,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “The Resort Conference serves as a forum for professionals to share ideas and tools to improve business from a marketing, development or operations point of view, and to reinforce the value of meetings to organizations and to the economy.”

Resort industry professionals will have the opportunity to attend dynamic general sessions with industry experts focusing on ways to innovate programs and connect with consumers. General Sessions include:

Emerging Lifestyles and Travel Trends: Implications for Resort Marketing
Peter Yesawich, President & CEO, YPartnership
Attendees will hear highlights from the 2009 National Leisure Travel Monitor, a national survey of the travel habits, preferences and intentions of Americans that is now in its 17th year.

The Case for Innovating Now 
Scott Anderson, President, Hospitality & Real Estate, Kohler Company
Anderson will provide information, insight, and inspiration for companies to “Innovate Now” and emerge faster, stronger and better than their competitor.

Managing the Customer Experience in a Down Market: Maintaining Margins without Sacrificing Service
Derra Lee Edwards, Director of Learning, Montage Resort
Kathleen Horrigan, General Manager, Four Seasons Palm Beach
Panelists Edwards and Horrigan will present strategies attendees can use to weather the financial storm and maintain high quality of service.

The Voice of the Customers. Do you know what your customers are really thinking?
Brenda Anderson, CEO, Site
Bill Connors, CTC, Executive Director & COO, National Business Travel Association (NBTA)
Attendees will take part in this spirited discussion with current and potential clients representing group, incentive, and leisure markets. 

Attendees can also choose from in-depth breakout sessions on marketing, operations and trends, including: 
  • Marketing Track: 
    • Overcoming the AIG Effect
    • Driving More Business from Past Customers
    • Driving Results Online – “What Not to Wear” for your Web Presence
    • Internet Prospecting:  Mining for Virtual Gold
  • Operations Track: 
    • Driving Revenue and ROI through your Revenue Management Program
    • How to Make Your Recreation Facilities Pay for Themselves
    • Driving Revenue and ROI through Spa Operations
    • Are you capturing your share of the wedding market?  How can you optimize the ROI in the market share you have?  
  • Trends Track:  
    • Managing Your Asset Manager/Owners Representative
    • Reaching and Servicing Diverse Customers
    • Who will customers be in 2019?  What will they be looking for in a leisure experience?
    • The Legislative Agenda:  What you need to know about what’s going on in Washington
The conference, sponsored by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the University of Denver’s School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management, is the only event planned by resort executives for resort executives. The agenda also includes presentation of the Resort Executive of the Year Award, sponsored by YPartnership and the University of Denver, and the HSMAI Resort Marketer of the Year, sponsored by Fareed Zapala Koepke.
The Resort Conference draws high-level executives including general managers, directors of sales and other department heads, such as those in revenue management, human resources and online marketing, and includes valuable networking opportunities for attendees. The 2008 conference, held at The Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, saw record attendance and featured a conference program focused on resort marketing, operations and sustainability.
The 2009 Resort Conference will be held at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., a 339-room resort which offers 90 holes of championship golf, including the famed Champion Course, new home to the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic and past host of the 1983 Ryder Cup, the 1987 PGA Championship, and many others. 
2009 Resort Conference partners include: American Express, Fareed Zapala Koepke, Cendyn, ICEPortal, Incite Response, Resorts & Great Hotels, and TIG Global. For more information about the 2009 Conference, or a recap of previous events, visit Those interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Lesa Faris at (703) 506-3271 or
HSMAI is the hospitality industry source for knowledge, community, and recognition for leaders committed to professional development, sales growth, revenue optimization, marketing, and branding. 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 40 chapters in the Americas Region. For more information on HSMAI, contact the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, Va. 22102; (703) 506-3280; fax (703) 506-3266, or visit the website at
About HTRM
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:

2009 Resort Conference partners

Also See: Recap: 6th Annual Resort Management Conference; Chris von Imhoff, CEO, Alyeska Resort, Named Resort Executive of the Year / April 2006
Recap: 5th Annual Resort Management Conference / May 2005
Report: Inaugural Resort Management Conference / May 2001



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