We'll Be Fine Until 09

The question I get asked most often (and not coincidentally, I ask a lot) is when will the lodging industry's current run of prosperity come to an end. While the topic makes for good cocktail chatter, I don't think we should be dwelling on it for fear of self-fulfilling prophecy. The more an industry concerns itself about a downturn, the more likely companies and executives will make the kind of conservative decisions (e.g., curtailing marketing programs, postponing renovations or expansions or deciding against new development) that lead to a natural slowing of business.

Rather, we should focus on what we can do as individuals and companies to heighten the industry's good times. When viewed in this light, the right questions are obvious: How can I improve occupancy and rate? What innovative marketing programs should I launch to separate my property from the competition? What ff&e, amenity and technology upgrades should I invest in to improve my competitiveness? What new development opportunities should I pursue? By focusing on the positive, you can create another self-fulfilling prophecy in which the lodging industry continues to grow in demand, occupancy, rates and profits.

The 2007 Lodging Hospitality Almanac can help you plan and execute your improvement plans for the coming year. Our helpful annual guide includes a comprehensive directory of all the products and services you'll need to operate, market and upgrade your hotel and to build new properties. Accompanying the Directory of Products & Services is a Directory of Suppliers to give you fingertip access to the key vendors serving the hotel industry.

And, by the way, when people ask me how long our prosperity will last, I tell them “we'll be fine until '09.”

Here's wishing you a great and profitable 2007.

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