The 29th Annual Hunter Conference was a HUGE success. Thank you to all of our sponsors, exhibitors, & speakers, for making it possible!
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A National Hotel Investment Conference
Atlanta Marriott Marquis
Follow us on Twitter: Hunter Conference(@HHConference)
Last week, hotel owners, financiers, developers, and all other manner of hospitality professionals congregated at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Ga., for the 29th Annual Hunter Hotel Conference. The atmosphere at the event, which took place from March 22 to March 24, was noticeably more upbeat than it was just two months prior at ALIS. Shaking off the “hurry up and wait” feeling that investors were grappling with in January, attendees at Hunter were wheeling and dealing long into the night as they connected with friends and colleagues to make many, many deals.
More than 100—121 to be exact—industry experts spoke at the event, covering topics from active lending to new development to PIPs. High profile speakers, such as Rob Torres, industry director of Travel Google Inc., and Keynote Speaker and chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group Barry Sternlicht, talked to attendees about the future of hospitality. On “Finance Friday,” Mit Shah, CEO and senior managing principal of Noble Investment Group, and Tom Baltimore, president and CEO of Park Hotels & Resorts spoke during the Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series.
Among attendees, 40 states and five foreign countries were represented. About 43 percent of attendees carried the title of chairman, CEO, president, partner, or some other version of top executive.
The event started on Wednesday with an event geared toward young hoteliers before seguing into the Opening General Session. There, Bob Hunter, CEO of Hunter Hotel Advisors and founder and co-chair of the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, greeted attendees. He immediately noted the positive buzz at the conference. “60 percent of owners here today plan to develop a hotel in 2017. That shows a high degree of confidence, by you in our industry. [On the finance side] 92 percent of you tell us you plan to finance something this year,” he said.
Hunter noted that from Hunter Hotel Advisors’ perspective, the lodging industry is in a very good place. “We think market fundamentals remain strong. There is an abundance of capital ready to invest,” he described. From there, he explained that the “pause” the industry had been experiencing regarding development has actually helped the industry kick back into gear. “Prices have reset. Due to the more realistic pricing, buyers are now coming back. The industry is performing very nicely. Your hotels are in excellent condition. The economy is growing,” he added.
Attendees shared Hunter’s enthusiasm. Michael Sonnabent, managing member at New York City-based PMS Realty Capital LLC, said that the conference gives industry professionals an opportunity to connect and make good deals that further everyone’s financial goals. “Most of the year, everyone is in their little silo, they only know what’s going on with their hotels. So when they come together in large groups like this, they find that people who have hotels different parts of country may be having a different experience. These connections help everyone our industry adjust their expectations and get a more realistic view of what’s happening around the country, which helps them make better financial decisions.”
Brand executives were also looking forward to a strong development environment in the years to come. Janis Cannon, senior vice president of upscale brands for Choice Hotels International, said that it’s a great time to be in the hospitality industry. “The forecast is exceptionally bright. Right now, we have a good environment f
or owners, a good environment for investors, a good environment for operators, and, above all else, a good environment for our guests, not just in terms of the service their receiving, but also in that there are more new hotels in more new locations for them to choose from. Overall, it’s a very positive period within our industry.”
Posted by: Kate Hughes March 27, 2017
ATLANTA—While many movers and shakers at the 29th annual Hunter Hotel Conference acknowledged a shift downward in the industry’s robust performance is inevitable, there was no apparent sag in confidence that industry fundamentals would remain strong in the near term while owners and developers maintain a steady pace of buying, building and renovating hotels.
Founded and organized by locally based Hunter Hotel Advisors, the three-day event held at the Marriott Marquis Atlanta drew a wealth of hotel owners and investors from 40 states and five countries to get a read on the current lodging real estate and finance landscape in an environment changed by increasing interest rates, more consolidation, more brands and competition, and the overarching influence of a new government administration…
Corris Little contributed to this article.
—Stefani C. O’Connor
Click here to view full article: http://m.hotelbusiness.com/Hospitality/Industry-confidence-still-high-at-Hunter-Hotel-Conference/56741
HHN was on
the scene at the
Conference in Atlanta.
Editors recap the
and more highlights
from the event.
Thomas J. Baltimore, Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Park Hotels & Resorts and co-founder of RLJ Lodging Trust, will take the stage at the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference on Friday, March 24, in Atlanta, with Mit Shah as part of the Bharat Shah Leadership Series. As the first endowed series for both the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality and the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, the annual speaker series provides a candid introspective on the personal journeys of struggle and perseverance that have shaped today’s most influential leaders in the hospitality industry.
As founding president of Park Hotels & Resorts, Baltimore’s personal stories of success will include Park’s recent lodging REIT spin-off from Hilton Worldwide. Park is the second largest lodging REIT with 67 hotels and nearly 35,000 rooms worldwide with approximately $9 billion in assets. Baltimore is focused on assembling a portfolio of upper-upscale and luxury assets in top 25 markets in the United States and premium resort destinations. Prior to Park, Baltimore was co-founder, president and CEO of RLJ Lodging Trust until he resigned in May 2016. During his tenure as CEO, RLJ became one of the world’s largest hotel REITs.
The Bharat Shah Leadership Series began in 2014 thanks to Mit Shah, founder, and CEO of Noble Investment Group, who wanted to honor his father, Bharat Shah. Fifty years ago, Bharat Shah arrived in the United States from India. After spending a decade in the food industry, he risked his entire savings to buy a motel in North Carolina. That one motel eventually led to the formation of Noble Investment Group currently led by his son, Mit Shah. Nobel has invested more than $2 billion in primarily upscale select service and extended stay hotels throughout the United States.
The backdrop for the Leadership Series is the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, one of the industry’s top hotel investment conferences with a 29-year tradition of gathering the nation’s top hotel owners and leading executives annually at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
“This series adds another opportune layer of insight and accessibility to the greatest minds in our industry,” said Lee Hunter, co-chair of the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference. “It’s a candid conversation sharing personal stories of success and setbacks, and an introspective look at the road to becoming a great industry leader.”
The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference provide scholarships to hospitality students within the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University. To register for the Hunter Hotel Conference and attend this year’s Speaker Series, visit the conference website at www.HunterConference.com.
Read more at http://atlanta.daybooknetwork.com/story/2017-03-13/53229-hotelnews-hotel-leaders/#W3XpS1DewRAWaUDR.99
Martha Seabrook, 404-725-5854
Starwood Capital Group Chairman to address nation’s top hotel executives at March conference
ATLANTA, January 18, 2017 – Event organizers with the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, one of the nation’s top hotel investment conferences, announced today that Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, will take the stage as keynote speaker at the 29th annual event. The conference will be held on March 22- 24, 2017, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Ga.
“Barry is both an industry legend and visionary, and has introduced innovations that have elevated our industry’s standard,” said Lee Hunter, Conference Co-chair and Chief Operating Officer of Hunter Hotel Advisors. “Our conference earns the loyalty of our patrons by featuring the most influential leaders like Sternlicht.”
Sternlicht formed Starwood Capital Group in 1991, a global investment firm focused on real estate, hotel management, oil and gas, and energy infrastructure. Mr. Sternlicht also serves as Chairman of Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), the largest commercial mortgage REIT in the U.S.; TRI Pointe Homes (NYSE: TPH), one of the U.S.’s largest homebuilders; and French crystal maker Baccarat S.A. Sternlicht has structured investments with an asset value of approximately $79 billion, and has accumulated more than $51 billion of assets under management.
In addition to building a global investment empire, Sternlicht founded Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 1995, and built it into one of the world’s largest hotel groups, employing more than 120,000 people in 100 countries. Mr. Sternlicht also created W Hotels, perhaps the world’s most successful “boutique” brand, and built the St. Regis Hotels brand from a single hotel to a global brand. In 2008, Mr. Sternlicht founded SH Group, his hotel management company which owns and manages Baccarat Hotels & Resorts and 1 Hotels brands.
The three-day Hunter Hotel Investment Conference is owner and investor-focused with a strong emphasis on real estate and finance, and has the highest percentage of hotel owners in attendance of any of the major hotel conferences. In addition to Sternlicht, the agenda will feature speakers and panel discussions by a wide cross-section of the leading industry innovators and thought leaders on topics ranging from financing to new development.
Proceeds from the Hunter Conference provide scholarships to hospitality students within the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University. For online registration, please visit the conference website at www.HunterConference.com or contact Nancy Petenbrink, conference director at 770-916-0300 or Nancy.Petenbrink@HunterHotels.net.
ATLANTA, December 15, 2016 –The 29th annual Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, one of the nation’s top four hotel investment conferences, anticipates another great Hunter Conference on March 22-24, 2017, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Ga. This prominent hotel real estate and finance conference is designed for hotel owners and investors. The Hunter Conference annually attracts the highest percentage of hotel owners and expects to host over 1,300 hotel and finance executives at its three-day event.
Keynote speakers will include Barry Sternlicht, founder, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, and Rob Torres, Managing Director of Travel at Google Inc. As always there will be multiple panels featuring key executives from the nation’s top companies.
“We are talking daily to hotel owners and investors and know what issues they are most interested in,” said Lee Hunter, conference co-chair and COO of Hunter Hotel Advisors. “We use this knowledge when planning the conference program so it includes the industry’s hottest topics.”
With the guidance of a strong advisory board, Hunter recruits the industry’s key players for both keynote and panel discussions. The end result is a wide cross-section of informative panels with more than 120 speakers. Sessions include innovators, economists, and thought leaders who speak on an array of timely topics relevant to hotel owners and investors focused on hotel real estate, development, and financing. “We take pride in delivering meaningful, timely, and relevant topics so conference attendees can capitalize on the information they receive,” said Hunter.
Conference registration is open and early bird rates apply through Feb. 15. Proceeds from The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference provide scholarships to hospitality students within the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University. For online registration, please visit the conference website at www.HunterConference.com or contact Jillian Dahlquist, conference coordinator, at Jillian.Dahlquist@HunterHotels.net or 770-916-0300.
Jonathan M. Tisch to address nation’s top hotel executives at March conference
ATLANTA, January 12, 2016 – Event organizers with the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, one of the nation’s top hotel investment conferences, announced today that Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts and co-chairman of the board of Loews Corporation, will be the keynote speaker at the 28th annual event. The conference will be held on March 16-18, 2016, at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Ga.
During his time as CEO of Loews Hotels & Resorts, Tisch is credited for engineering the company’s expansion and emergence as a leading hotel company. He places a high value on partnerships that empower team members, satisfy customers, contribute to communities and improve the bottom line.
Tisch is also an author of three bestselling books, and hosted the Emmy-nominated Beyond the Boardroom television series, which aired on Bloomberg Television worldwide. He founded and served as chairman of the Travel Business Roundtable until 2008, and now serves as chairman emeritus of its successor organization, the United States Travel Association.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Tisch to the Hunter stage. He is a true champion of corporate responsibility, and a passionate advocate on behalf of our industry,” said Bob Hunter, conference co-chair and chief executive officer of Hunter Hotel Advisors. “He initiated the Loews Good Neighbor Policy over 25 years ago, the first of its kind in the hospitality industry, and works tirelessly to educate our elected officials and the public about our industry’s significant contributions.”
The three-day Hunter Hotel Investment Conference is hotel owner and investor-focused, with a strong emphasis on real estate and finance, and has the highest percentage of hotel owners in attendance of any of the major hotel conferences. In addition to Jonathan Tisch, the agenda will feature speakers and panel discussions by a wide cross-section of the leading industry innovators and thought leaders on topics ranging from financing trends and industry disruptors to the impact of the economy.
“Having Jonathan as keynote affirms our commitment to featuring the world’s most influential leaders in lodging, said Lee Hunter, conference co-chair and chief operating officer of Hunter Hotel Advisors who, with the guidance of a strong advisory board, recruits the industry’s key players for both keynote and panel discussions. “The Hunter Conference is all about providing an environment conducive to networking, deal making, and hearing from our industry’s best.”
The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference is a recipient of the prestigious Allie Award as Best Tradeshow and Conference. Proceeds from the Hunter Conference provide scholarships to hospitality students within the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University. For on-line registration, please visit the conference website at www.HunterConference.com. Or contact Nancy Petenbrink, conference director, at 770-916-0300 or Nancy.Petenbrink@HunterHotels.net.
Martha Seabrook, 404-725-5854
|Video: Hunter Conference Day One recap|
|March 26 2015|
|Panelists and speakers at the Hunter Hotel Conference left at least one member of the Hotel News Now team in a state of discombobulation.|
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