Our responsibility drives us

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By Bhavesh Patel, AAHOA Chairman (2017-2018)

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

This idiom conjures up images of superheroes who possess other-worldly superpowers but use them for good rather than evil. The phrase has been used and applied to many everyday situations and was even quoted by United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan in an official opinion of the court.

The phrase’s origins are in the 1962 comic book “Amazing Fantasy No. 15” – the comic book that created Spider-Man – by young author Stan Lee, whose superhero creations for Marvel Comics would go on to fuel dozens of blockbuster movies and TV shows like “Iron Man” and “The Avengers.” In “No. 15,” Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben is killed by a mugger that Spider-Man could have apprehended had he cared about doing the right thing instead of selfishly only looking out for himself. Only then he realizes the responsibility that is now on his shoulders.

Fast forward to 2017 – and to real life – and the phrase can still serve as a guidance to anyone or organization in a position of influence or power, from the president of the United States down to AAHOA.

Over the past several years, AAHOA has grown in many ways. The 16,655 members we reached in 2016 was a record that a few years earlier we would’ve thought nearly impossible. We raised $1 million for our political action committee in the 2016 election cycle. We had 6,689 attendees at this year’s convention in San Antonio, Texas – blowing away the record 4,852 folks on hand in 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

A more meaningful way to interpret all of these numbers is how they affect our impact and influence on the industry. Over the years, it has become impossible for our peers in the hotel industry to ignore us, our concerns and our members’ success. That’s translated into more seats at the table with our brand partners, vendors, developers and financial institutions.

A visible manifestation of this growth was when, for the first time in history, 11 hotel brand CEOs took the stage together at one time to discuss the hotel industry at this year’s convention. Or, better yet, when many of those same CEOs could be found on the trade show floor afterwards talking with any hotelier who came to their booth.

With this greater role comes a responsibility for us to ensure our members are the best business owners in the industry, and that starts with education. One of the most exciting new educational offerings this year is the brand-new Hotel ROI conference series.

Now in the midst of a seven-city tour, Hotel ROI connects hotel owners with ideas, solutions and actionable insights to maximize their hotel’s revenue and reduce costs. AAHOA was approached by Hotel Management magazine to partner with them to produce the one-day events, and we gladly agreed when we saw the top-notch programming, speakers and panelists.

Hotel ROI’s tour kicked off in Houston in April before heading west to Los Angeles in June. This month, the tour stops in Chicago and Baltimore before heading to Pittsburgh and Atlanta in September. The series closes out 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina, in October.

Competition is fierce in our industry – not only from our peers in the hotel space but also from new, innovative entrants like Airbnb. Build a foundation for your business’s success at Hotel ROI.

For more information about Hotel ROI, the tour stops, dates or to register, visit HotelROI.com.

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