Front Desk

LQ Live: Refreshing Approach

I've had little opportunity to work with or cover La Quinta in my time with Lodging Hospitality, but I must say I've been very impressed with the company and brand at its annual convention here in Oahu. First off, you can't beat the location, at least coming from somewhere like Cleveland. But more impressively is the company's vibrant, fun and optimistic personality, which I think comes directly from CEO Wayne Goldberg.

I don't think I've seen one exec, franchisee or corporate employee wearing a coat and tie (and I've seen more wearing swimsuits than I think I'd prefer) and that's indicative of the laid-back corporate culture with LQ. Sure, we're in Hawaii, but I bet many other companies would have at least one formal affair during an event like this, and certainly some execs would be hard-pressed to leave the dress suits at home and bring the swim version.

It's not that Goldberg or the company are oblivious to what's going on in the industry and economy around them, it's just they're confident they can and will survive, and maybe even thrive. I think they believe--and rightfully so, in my opinion--that by presenting a confident outlook and by keeping employees and franchisees loose and happy they'll get the most from them. Isn't there an expression about a happy employee being a productive employee? If not, there should be...

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