HSMAI University Kicks Off Series of Market-specific Trending Webinars with HotelNewsNow.com/STR

  • 09.18.09
While supply growth is still an issue in the Los Angeles area, demand declines may be near the bottom and improving into 2010.

The good news for Los Angeles is they are anticipating growth by 2011.

Smith Travel Research Senior Vice President Bobby Bowers, Hilton Orange County Costa Mesa General Manager Shaun Robinson, and Interstate Hotels Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing George Brennan participated in the webinar and discussed current demand declines and forecasted 2010 growth strategies in the Los Angeles area.

Bowers started out the session by setting the stage across the United States. The only place hotels are over performing in 2009 is in supply, and RevPAR has dropped below 2001 levels. Los Angeles sits right in the middle with a RevPAR that has dropped 22.4 percent in the past year. And while the number of rooms under construction in Los Angeles has dropped 28 percent, the planned pipeline is down 32 percent, down 6.4 percentage points from the national average.

Bowers is predicting meaningful growth by 2011, and Brennan said, “We have a lot of city convention activity planned for 2011 and 2012, which means creating strong demand needs to be a huge focus for 2010.” 

Key points from the session included:

  • Get out in your neighborhood and hit your niche markets.
  • Clients are asking for lower rates – 10-15 percent lower than 2009; be prepared with ways to raise the rate by a few dollars.
  • Many hotels are concentrating on association and SMERF groups and have seen the greatest durability in education, healthcare, government, ethnic and sports groups.
  • Adjust operations and services for these new clients.
  • As a midscale property, be prepared to compete with four and five-star hotels for groups that normally couldn’t afford those properties.
  • Spectacular site inspections and pre-convention meetings require that your entire team be ready.
  • Service is making or breaking meeting planners’ decisions.

This market-specific series is designed to help hospitality professionals gage where their market is today and hear from industry insiders on what key indicators are for the year ahead. This information-packed series is moderated by Jeff Higley, vice president, Digital Media & Communications, HotelNewsNow.com/STR/STR Global. Upcoming sessions will cover New York (Sept. 22), Orlando (Oct. 6), and Chicago (Oct. 20). An archive version of the Los Angeles session is also available. Visit www.hsmaiuniversity.org for more information on these webinars.

Launched in 1996, HSMAI University is the organization’s most comprehensive and ambitious initiative in the realm of education for sales and marketing professionals in the hospitality and travel industry, entailing a wide-ranging schedule of course offerings and learning experiences in public venue, private label and online formats.

HSMAI is a hospitality industry source for knowledge, community and recognition for leaders committed to professional development, sales growth, revenue optimization, marketing and branding. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI's Affordable Meetings®. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas region.

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