Once again, it's a great time to be in the lodging industry, and lots of opportunities are available for owners, developers, operators, marketers and lenders in this exciting environment. A good place to track down those opportunities is at this month's Midwest Lodging Investors Summit, a relaxed but down-to-business event that will enable you to make new contacts for future business and renew old acquaintances. The 4th annual Summit will be held July 17-19 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.
Lodging Hospitality and Penton's Commercial Real Estate Network are sponsors of the event in association with HVS Hotel Management. The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State is the Summit's academic partner.
The three-day Summit will feature a mixture of general session panels, breakout discussions and networking events, all geared to helping you improve your bottom line. The conference pace is lively, and audience involvement is encouraged in every session.
This year's Summit has some new features:
• HVS founder and valuations guru Steve Rushmore will present his outlook for hotel investments, including his takes on cap rates, transaction volumes, when to buy and sell and where and when to build.
• The conference inaugurates the Game Changer Award, an honor given to a hospitality industry leader who has constantly innovated while growing a business. This year, Steve Marcus, chairman of Marcus Corp., will be saluted for his firm's many accomplishments, including the pioneering mid-1970s launch of Budgetel, one of the first limited-service hotel chains.
• Following a Sunday evening reception, the conference kicks off Monday morning with a state of the industry panel moderated by Jeff Higley of STR and HotelNewNow.com. The panel will combine stats and anecdotal conversation to explore the opportunities in today's lodging sector.
• Tuesday morning features two general sessions. The first will look at the hotel financing landscape in which a panel of lenders and owners discuss the sources of debt and equity for refinancings, new construction and more. A second panel, led by industry veteran Scott Anderson, will feature a group of lodging industry innovators who will share their secrets for growth and success.
• Lunch on Monday will feature a panel discussion among Joe McInerney of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Bill DeForrest, current chairman of the IAHI, in which they discuss the current legislative battles in Washington and how they effect the hotel and tourism industries.
• The Summit also features eight breakout sessions that will take in-depth looks at a number of key investment, operational and marketing issues. Topics include extended stay hotels, brand development strategies, the outlook for transactions, successful revenue building, development opportunities, soft brands and more.
• Two cocktail receptions and numerous coffee breaks will allow attendees to mingle with each other and visit representatives of the Summit's sponsoring companies and association partners.
Visit the Summit website for more information and to register for this important event.