Crystal Ball Conference

    CHLA’s Crystal Ball Conference showcased the perseverance power of hotels as employers, community ambassadors, and economic stewards appeared before an exclusive group of owners, brand representative, area vice presidents, and general managers on August 26 at Napa’s Westin Verasa.

    The pandemic’s impact was top of mind and conversations turned on predictions about what come next. Improving, but sobering, statistics presented by Cindy Estis Green, CEO of Kalibri Labs, shows U.S. occupancy down 18.8% from 2019 to 2021 and RevPar down 29.3% for the same two years.

    Standing out among lessons learned was hospitality’s human factor—embracing the well-being of colleagues and “leading with empathy.” Ken Greene, the President and CEO of AAHOA praised the power of hotels and called out the practical need for hotels to get back their mojo with employees.

    Alan Reay, President of Atlas Hospitality Group, popped eyes with his description of a $2.5 million per-key 2021 transaction, highlighting that non-replicable and unique hotel locations still do matter.

    Throughout the conference several themes emerged:

    • Leisure travel is leading hotels back from pandemic closures
    • Keeping employees is key for the long term
    • Individual hotel cultures are critical for success
    • Public advocacy matters more than ever

    Stay tuned for next year’s 2022 Crystal Ball Conference plans!