Our special report, “A View from the C-Suite,” which begins on page 54, has appeared in Hotel Business the last couple of years. But, this time, we changed it up a bit. When we first launched this series—and its subsequent appearance—we focused on executives from hotel companies, asking them to address issues they all, as CEOs of major hotel brands, faced each and every day in running their businesses. The common themes were the—at the time current (and yet still applicable now in many instances)—hot headlines and pressing topics that affected their decisions and strategies in moving their respective brands forward. Whether in exploring regions, i.e., Cuba, or exploring demographics, i.e., Milllennials.
And while the approach to the C-Suite coverage has been very well-received in years past, we, at Hotel Business, also wanted to explore further. So, this year, we took the temperature, so to speak, of executives representing our broader readership to present the views from not only the brands, but from leaders who head owner, broker, lender and management firms. Our executive lineup in this issue includes Jim Merkel, CEO, Rockbridge; Teague Hunter, president, Hunter Hotel Advisors; Jon Wright, president/CEO, Access Point Financial; John Belden, president/CEO, Davidson Hotels & Resorts; and Keith Cline, president/CEO, La Quinta Holdings Inc.
Each executive was asked questions that pertain to his segment of the hotel space so that, collectively, we can present to you five consecutive pages of from-the-top answers chock full of insight, information and experience from those who do it. Every. Single. Day.
And while I have your attention, I want to say, I hope the cover of this issue has yours. Yes, it’s something a little different for us; a departure from the people we, more often than not, put on the cover. At first glance, it might evoke a “Wait, what? A heart?” response but, then again, we know that when it comes right down to it, isn’t your hotel business really about love? Love for what you do, love for your guests, and—the theme of our cover story—love from your guests? You know, the kind that makes them loyal. There’s so much happening in terms of loyalty programs these days in an effort to evolve with guest preferences and expectations, and the major brands are delivering. Our cover story begins on page 42 and, after reading it, we hope you can “feel the love” guests have for your hotels when their loyalty is rewarded the way they want.