ALIS Summer Update: Industry Leaders Discuss the Crisis and the Future


Source: Hotel Business
By Adam Perkowksy

July 17, 2020

NATIONAL REPORT—For the second of three webcasts in the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) Summer Updates series, industry leaders discussed managing through the COVID-19 crisis, operations changes and other topics in “Views From the Boardroom.”

Moderated by Cecil Staton, president/CEO, AAHOA, panelists included Greg Friedman, CEO, Peachtree Hotel Group; Amanda Hite, president, STR; Biran Patel, chairman, AAHOA; Tracy Prigmore, managing partner, TLTSolutions; and John Russell, CEO, RLH Corporation.

Staton kicked off the session asking the panelists about their leadership during the pandemic.

When asked by Staton about changes in operations and how hotels will be different from a guest perspective, Patel responded, “During this crisis, hoteliers are making health and safety, along with cleanliness, a top priority—even more now than before. Making the guests feel comfortable in traveling again and staying in hotels is the ultimate goal. Some of the changes that I’ve seen include digital check-in that’s even more prevalent now; opt-in opt-out housekeeping; breakfast items have been cut down to grab and go; there’s fewer amenities in the rooms; guests are having to take their own luggage up to their rooms; valet service is gone and even our shuttle service have been minimized.”

To conclude the session, Patel had the final word. “The hospitality industry is resilient. We’ve gone through so much in the past, and we’ve come out on the other side,” he said. “When it’s all said and done, we’ll come out to be better owners/operators and better companies. If we just keep being educated and try to stay afloat during these times, I think we’ll come out on the other side being even better.”

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