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The 2009 Dallas Hotel Conference Presented by Aimbridge Hospitality,
Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services and Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
Provided Attendees with a State of the Industry and How to Plan for Recovery

More than 250 hotel and real estate professionals from Greater Dallas attended the 200
Dallas (December 2, 2009) — The 2009 Dallas Hotel Conference, held last month at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, has proven to be anything but the typical investment symposium. Unlike other events struggling to attract attendees amidst this troubling economy, the half-day regional meeting-of-the-minds reached reservations capacity weeks prior to its show date. According to conference presenters Aimbridge Hospitality, Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services and Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, the reason for the event’s success comes from the presenters’ abilities to provide much-needed national information to local owners, operators and investors about the state of the industry and how to plan for recovery.

More than 250 hotel and real estate professionals from Greater Dallas attended the 2009 event.

“With the impact of the down economy on the hotel industry, meetings like the Dallas Hotel Conference are even more important than ever to keeping the industry informed, networked and focused on the future,” said Brooke Dieterlen, executive director for the North Texas Hotel Assn. “This event provided attendees with a global overview of real estate, lending and development, as well as where the industry can expect to be in 12 months and beyond through a unique mix of regional and national industry outlook presentations with panels featuring CEOs, lenders and buyers.”

According to Dave Johnson, President of Aimbridge Hospitality, a Dallas-based hotel ownership, management and investment group, hosting a well-attended event is a great feeling, but creating optimism in the face of this depressed economy is euphoric.

(From Left) Moderator Dave Johnson, President of Aimbridge Hospitality, discusses the state of the industry with panelists Mike Deitemeyer, President, Omni Hotels; John Scott, President and CEO, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts; Tom Corcoran, Chairman, Felcor Lodging Trust; and Monty Bennett, CEO, Remington Hotel Corp.

“Those who had been unfairly categorizing meetings as unnecessary have underestimated the desire from the greater Dallas lodging/real estate markets to come together to network and discuss development, operations, finance and legal challenges currently facing the industry,” Johnson said. “The response to this event is sending a strong message – not only are regional meetings providing tremendous value today, but we as an industry will continue to rally together to find a resolution for recovery.”

Presenters for the 2009 event included: Monty Bennett, CEO, Ashford Hospitality Trust; Marty Collins, President and CEO, Gatehouse Capital; Tom Corcoran, Chairman, Felcor Lodging Trust; Mike Deitemeyer, President, Omni Hotels; Jonathan Falik, CEO and Managing Director, JF Capital Advisors, LLC; Dan Lesser, Senior Managing Director, Valuation & Advisory, CB Richard Ellis; Randy McCaslin, Vice President, PKF Consulting; Mike Mueller, President, NYLO Hotels LLC; and John Scott, President and CEO, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

“We are elated with the turn-out at this year’s event,” said Cliff Risman, partner and leader of the hospitality industry team at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP. “This conference brought together a group of leaders with unique perspectives of what the actual impact has been for properties across the U.S. The discussions were timely and very informative, and provided intellectual insight as to where we as an industry will go from here, despite recent setbacks.”
Kudos abound
“The Dallas Hotel Conference was professionally and efficiently run, very well organized and very well attended,” said JF Capital’s Falik. “I enjoyed the PKF presentation most as it went into detailed local market information. The conference was a good format to share thoughts, ideas and best practices with other senior industry professionals.”
Gregory Mowatt, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Woodbine Development Corp., said he too was very pleased with the turn out. “It is great to see that everyone is preparing for the upturn in the cycle,” Mowatt said. “[The Dallas Hotel Conference] was a good event to validate some of the presumptions we had when walking in the door. The panels always are the most interesting.”
Michael Shindler, president of Four Corners Advisors, said he most enjoyed the “View from the Top” session and found Lesser’s keynote to be the most informative. “This was my first Dallas Hotel Conference, and I was impressed,” Schindler said. “It helped me realize that although I typically look at the industry from a national perspective, there remain regional variations.”

When asked about their predictions for the near future, participants had this to say:
  • “For the immediate future, I believe the industry will still face significant headwinds in 2010 and will continue to struggle with limited visibility.” – Jonathan Falik
  • “Our expectation is a continued struggle through at least the first half of 2010, with some improvement in the latter half of the year, probably skewed toward the tail end.  The pace of 2011 bookings is showing marked improvement at our properties.  While there is light at the end of the tunnel, it is still pretty dim.  But . . . we know we will come out of this downturn, too.” – Gregory Mowatt
  • “Unfortunately, I see more of the same in 2010 as in 2009, with only slight improvements.“ – Michael Shindler
“On behalf of Alvarez & Marsal and our valued partners, we would like to thank everyone who helped bring such value to the event,” said Chuck Bedsole, managing director of Alvarez & Marsal. “The Dallas hotel, real estate and investment market is still buzzing with insight and ideas expressed at this show, and we look forward to ongoing feedback as to how we can make our 2010 regional conference even more informative.”
For more information about the 2009 Dallas Hotel Conference, visit

About Aimbridge Hospitality
Aimbridge Hospitality is a hotel real estate and management company created to identify investment opportunities throughout the United States. Aimbridge provides management, asset management, capital renovation, supervision, accounting and consulting services for its strategic partners. Aimbridge currently operates hotel properties in the Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Sheraton, Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott and Wyndham brands. Aimbridge also manages a number of independent hotels, including the Phoenix Inn & Suites brand of hotels and has several projects under development in the Starwood, Marriott and Hilton enterprises.
About Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services
Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services, LLC advises owners, investors, lenders, and users of real estate throughout the real estate lifecycle - enabling clients to combat current economic related challenges as well as position them for future success. Services range from pre-acquisition due diligence to exit strategies, including real estate asset management, which it is currently providing to Lehman Brothers, among many other entities.
About Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, an AmLaw 200 firm marking 100 years in 2009 and one of the Southwest's largest full-service law firms, has offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Mexico City. Gardere provides legal services to private and public companies and individuals in areas of hospitality, energy, real estate, litigation, corporate, tax, government affairs, environmental, labor and employment, intellectual property and financial services. The Gardere Hospitality Industry Team has handled billions of dollars in successful acquisitions, dispositions and financings in recent years for hotels and resorts worldwide on behalf of some of the most recognized names in the industry.

Barb Worcester
Tel: (440) 930-5770

Also See: Aimbridge Hospitality Opens the 216-room All-suite Houston Embassy Suites-Energy Corridor / November 2009

Mac Haik Enterprises Selects Aimbridge Hospitality to Manage the Houston Embassy Suites-Energy Corridor / December 2008

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