The FORT Podcast: @SomeHotelGuy

On this episode, Chris talks with the anonymous “Some Hotel Guy” ( about the hotel industry. SHG details the nuances of owning & operating both independent and branded hotels, the process of working with “The Big 4” Hoteliers, how the industry was affected by COVID-19, and how he sees the industry moving forward. Enjoy!

(03:04) – What’s your position within the industry?

(04:00) – Do you operate under one or multiple brands?

(04:49) – What types of hotels are you involved in?

(05:47) – Describe Upper Mid-Scale, Upscale and Upper-Upscale Hotels

(07:26) – Do you have to get approved as an owner/operator to be associated with one of these brands?

(09:26) – Is there ever conflict within owners working under multiple brands?

(10:22) – Scenario: I’ve never owned a hotel, but I own a great piece of land for a hotel and I approach Marriott: How does that conversation go?

(11:53) – How does the payment structure work as an owner?

(13:45) – Do the “Big 4” have a true monopoly over the resources available to hotel owners such as booking software?

(17:15) – What’s the difference between an independent hotel and brand affiliated?

(17:49) – In an independent scenario, is the owner often the operator?

(18:31) – Who’s bearing the risk in a situation of an owner franchising a hotel and hiring an operator?

(22:12) – How do you see the owner/operator relationship changing in light of the last year?

(24:08) – When did you know something was about to happen from a business standpoint in 2020?

(25:51) – What happened from your perspective in April/May for hotel Owners & Operators?

(28:48) – Did the industry suffer a lack of clarity in terms of a uniform response across the country?

(31:!7) – Are closures determined on local government mandates or customer demand?

(32:34) – How much do labor markets play into what hotels decide to do?

(34:19) – Is there anything you’re seeing legislation-wise that will be beneficial to the hospitality industry?

(35:10) – What are the Big 4 brands mandating as it comes to cost structures over the next couple of years? Where are you saving money and where do you need to add costs?

(38:19) – Is there anything that keeps you up at night or are you more optimistic as we move forward?

(41:19) – What’s the % of hotel stays that are international vs. domestic in a market like New York?

(42:40) – Is the international issue more that we won’t be letting people in or that they won’t want to come?

(43:34) – Are there hotels that will fare off better than others? Or will everyone recover the same?

(44:49) – Have there been any notable transactions as it pertains to M&A within hotels?

(48:35) – What’s going on at hotels that aren’t open?

(51:26) – What’s the state of capital markets?

(53:49) – Are you having to underwrite differently now?

Twitter Questions

(54:57) – What does the hotel industry think about Airbnb and its place in the industry?

(57:10) – Is Airbnb going to get into the hotel industry?

(59:11) – What are your thoughts on the Kayak hotel opening?

(1:00:21) – If you had $100m, what would you go do in the industry?

(1:01:53) – Do you see the check-in experience changing?

(1:03:02) – Is there any technology that interests you right now?

(1:04:42) – What amenities matter in hotels or things on the horizon people want?

(1:06:35) – Room Service vs. Uber Eats/DoorDash

(1:08:41) – “If I own a 1960’s hotel in Trenton, NJ that is primarily longer stays for low-income folks: Do I sell now and cash out before it’s too late? Or, how long do people with roach motels have before it’s an obsolete asset?”

(1:10:17) – What are some common mistakes independent operators make pre-opening?

(1:11:57) – What are some common mistakes inexperienced operators make?

(1:14:17) – Is there still room for independent boutique hotels in the industry?

(1:15:06) – SomeHotelGuy’s Fear of Heights

The FORT with Chris Powers is produced by Straight Up Podcasts

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