The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) reached new heights this year with nearly 3,000 registered delegates at the two-and-a-half day conference from January 25-27 at the JW Marriott and Microsoft Theater L.A. LIVE, making ALIS the first hotel investment conference to reach this milestone. Co-hosted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and Burba Hotel Network (BHN), the 15th annual ALIS was themed “Where’s the Peak?” and attracted the lodging industry’s leading hotel executives, investors, lenders, developers, and professional advisory community. ALIS delegates attended panel discussions led by CEOs and C-Suite executives, seminars on hot development markets and investment prospects, countless networking opportunities, and roundtable discussions where industry leaders provided insight as to where the industry stands today, and more importantly, where the industry is headed.

To kick off the opening day, keynote speaker Todd Buchholz, economist and former White House senior economic advisor, presented his view of the state of the American economy and projected how the hotel industry can contribute to bolster economic growth. Finally, after a great day of opening remarks, industry prognostications and networking, ALIS welcomed Jay Leno to the main stage for some laughs.

While seminars took place inside the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, plenty of activity was also occurring outside. More than 150 hospitality industry executives at ALIS took the “Shatterproof Challenge” and rappelled 26 stories down the side of the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, raising more than $1 million for Shatterproof. Shatterproof is a national organization committed to protecting our loved ones from addiction to illicit and prescription drugs and alcohol. More than 30 hospitality companies co-sponsored the event. Leaders of the hospitality world marked the industry’s unity around Shatterproof founder, Gary Mendell, a former hotelier (Chairman of HEI Hotels & Resorts), whose son Brian lost his life to addiction in 2011.

Throughout the conference, ALIS honored individuals for their significant contributions to the hospitality industry, as well as companies responsible for the most influential hotel industry deals in 2015. To learn more, visit the ALIS website. Award recipients included:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Hasmukh P. (H.P.) Rama, Chairman and CEO of JHM Hotels
  • Development (Full Service) of the Year 2015 – 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami, Florida
  • Development (Select/Limited Service) of the Year 2015 – Aloft South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida
  • Single Asset Transaction of the Year 2015 – Waldorf Astoria New York in New York, New York
  • Merger & Acquisition of the Year 2015 – InterContinental Hotels Group PLC / Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Group LLC
  • Jack A. Shaffer Financial Advisor of the Year 2015 – Gilda Perez-Alvarado, Managing Director, JLL Hotels & Hospitality
  • ISHC Pioneer Award – Lyndall De Marco, Founder, Youth Career Initiative (YCI)

Perhaps the most meaningful and unique part of ALIS is its organizational purpose. Since its inception, ALIS has allocated a generous portion of its revenues to benefit the educational, research, and training missions of the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation (AH&LEF), AH&LA’s nonprofit affiliate. For information on the Foundation, visit www.ahlef.com. ALIS contributions have funded the following:

  • Provided scholarships for 1,207 students in 120 schools across the country.
  • Generated more than US$2.3 million for cutting-edge research projects.
  • Generated nearly US$5.3 million to support the development of hotel industry products.
  • Provided funding for the START program in more than 358 high schools and work force training centers.
  • Provided funding for the Lodging Management and the new Hospitality & Tourism Management Programs in 518 high schools in the US and overseas.

Though the 15th annual Americas Lodging Investment Summit just concluded, it’s never too early to look to next year’s event. ALIS 2017 will take place January 23-25, 2017 at the JW Marriott and Microsoft Theater L.A. LIVE. More details will be posted to the ALIS website in the months ahead.

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Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all segments of the nearly 2 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $176 billion in annual sales from some 5 million guestrooms.

AH&LEF is the charitable fund-raising and endowed fund-management subsidiary of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Founded in 1953, AH&LEF is the premier organization for scholarships, professional certification, and instructional material as well as funding for hospitality industry research.

BHN is the worldwide leader in developing and organizing conferences for the hotel and tourism investment community. With almost three decades of experience, nearly 130 events completed to-date, and over 90,000 international delegates, BHN conferences have become “must attend” events for industry leaders who come together to network, conduct business and to learn about the latest trends. BHN events include: the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles; ALIS Law in Los Angeles; ALIS Summer Update; Alternative Ownership Conference Asia Pacific (AOCAP) in Singapore; Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) in Miami; Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) in Hong Kong; HICAP UPDATE in Singapore; Hotel Investment Forum India (HIFI) in Mumbai; Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) conference in Miami; and Hotel Investment Conference Europe (Hot.E) in London. The BHN website at www.Burba.com is the gateway for information about the conferences BHN produces, as well as a direct link to important players in the hospitality investment world.