Front Desk

Fourth & Finest Lifestyle/Boutique Conference Set

As the lifestyle and boutique segments of the hotel industry have grown in recent years, so has the Lifestyle/Boutique Hotel Development Conference. Now in its fourth year, the event returns to the Fontainebleau in Miami Oct. 17-19 with its strongest lineup of content and speakers (sure, I'm a little biased).

The conference, sponsored by Lodging Hospitality in association with HVS Hotel Management and the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, features Anthony Melchiorri, star of the Travel Channel's hit show, “Hotel Impossible.” During a casual lunch conversation on Thursday, Melchiorri will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the show and insight into what he calls “Hotel 101,” a back-to-the-basics management approach.

Following a welcome reception on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 17, the event kicks of Thursday morning with a power-packed “State of the Business” general session, featuring David Duncan, president of Denihan Hospitality; Richard Millard, CEO of Trust Hospitality; Jason Pomeranc, Chairman of Commune Hotels; and Jay Coldren, VP of Lifestyle Brands for Marriott International. Moderator Jeff Higley, vice president of digital media & communications for Global, will moderate the session and present the latest data from STR.

Other first-day topics will cover all aspects of development, financing, marketing and operating boutique and lifestyle hotels, including these sessions:

• Overcoming the Risk Perception with Boutique Financing

• The Basics: A How-to Boutique Primer

• Independents' Day

• Boutique and Lifestyle Doesn't Have to Mean Luxury

• What is Digital Marketing, and How it Can Drive NOI

• Should You Outsource Your F&B?

The final general session of the day, “The Transactions Temperature,” will feature some of the industry's biggest players discussing why boutiques can be an attractive opportunity for investors. A.J. Singh from Michigan State's School of Hospitality will lead the conversation with Neil Shah, president of Hersha Hospitality, one of the 20 largest owners of hotel real estate in the U.S.; Pat Colee, founder and chairman of Noble House Hotels & Resorts; and Gregory Rumpel, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels' Miami office.

Friday morning is highlighted by two general sessions, including the annual and usually heated “Franchised, Independent or a Mix of Both” debate, as well as the attendee-favorite “Boutique Lending Landscape” panel of active lenders. The event concludes with a bus tour of three new and innovative South Beach boutique hotels.

Check out the event's new website for all the information and to register. Hope to see you in Miami. Stay posted as we're still adding a few more top-flight speakers!

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