A meeting of the minds when it comes to hotel investments and development, and with more than 2,500 hotel industry leaders expected to attend this 13th annual event this week in Los Angeles, it’s sure to be a very productive week in the world of hotel development. Following the excitement of the Grammy Awards at the JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live and the Nokia Theater, The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) will take place from January 27-29, 2014. I was fortunate to get some time with the hosts of the event to learn a little more about the event itself, as well as the attendees and speakers for this year.
Hosted by Burba Hotel Network (BHN) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), this is the first official hotel investment conference of 2014, and from the circulating buzz, this event, and the year in general, look to be a very exciting time for the hospitality industry. Exploring new trends and ways to identify new opportunities, this unique collection of investors, owners, lenders, financial advisors, developers, hotel chain/management company executives, builders, investment bankers, lawyers, architects, government tourism officials, media and more come together for several days of networking opportunities and an extensive array of seminars and panels by hotel industry experts. With AH&LA’s more than a century of steadfast service to all sectors of the hospitality industry and the industry knowledge and passion from Jim Burba and Bob Hayes of BHN, it’s sure to be another hugely successful event.
The Theme: ‘Going Up’
“This year’s theme of ‘Going Up’ certainly reflects the current mood of the hotel investment community,” said Jim Burba, Co-founder and President of BHN. “We select a theme almost a year in advance, based on surveys of our delegates and program planning committee,” Burba added. With predictions about the year in travel and hotel investments being very positive, such as GBTA estimating a 12.5% growth in outbound travel along, totaling $36.7Billion, ‘Going Up’ seems to be a very appropriate theme for 2014. “It can be risky, not knowing what the sentiment will be so far out, but I think we hit it spot on this year,” said Bob Hayes, Co-founder and Vice President of BHN
The Lineup: Attendees & Speakers
The program this year includes an impressive lineup of leaders, including: Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International; Christopher J. Nassetta, President & CEO, Hilton Worldwide; and Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Another featured session will have leaders from Facebook, Google, and TripAdvisor on the Nokia Theatre stage talking about why these social media powerhouses matter to the investor, and what’s coming next from them within the hotel industry. A special keynote address will be given by Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Magic Johnson Enterprises. "We believe that we’ve put together the right program, speakers, and content that reflects the opportunities in the market for the coming year," said Bob Hayes, Co-founder and Vice President of BHN.
ALIS was originally created with the concept of giving back to the hotel industry as its organizational purpose. “Our goal is to inform the ALIS delegates so that they have a more prosperous year, while they also have fun during the event", said Bob Hayes, Co-founder and Vice President of BHN. The hosts of the conference are committed to contributing a significant portion of the net proceeds of the event to educating future leaders in the hospitality industry. Benefiting from the event is the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF). To date, more than US$10Million has been contributed to scholarships for high school and college students, research, and educational programs.
“We are very proud of the fact that ALIS has been able to contribute so much to the future of the hotel industry through scholarships for students and hospitality research,” Bob Hayes, Co-founder and Vice President of BHN said. “It’s part of our business philosophy of sharing success and giving back,” Hayes added. With global travel and hotel development on a rise going into 2014, this year’s event is sure to be especially special. With a full year of global hospitality conferences slated for Jim Burba and Bob Hayes with the Burba Hotel Network, this first event will be setting the stage for a very productive 2014.