1 HM: Looking into your crystal ball, and with everything you’ve seen in 2013, how will the hotel industry fare in 2014 in terms of overall operating metrics and profits?
PS: The hotel industry is looking to do very well in 2014. Pricing power is on the rebound right now and discretionary spending is slowly increasing.
2 HM: In regard to how you handicap 2014, what specific or significant goals have you set for your company?
PS: We want to continue to expand the “Stay Well” footprint across properties embracing the health-minded traveler, and we want to establish “wellness” as a sustainable category producing incremental room revenue for hotels across market segments.
3 HM: Most pundits are predicting healthy growth for the industry over the next three years, but what out there (government or otherwise) has the possibility to upset this optimism?
PS: Monetary tightening too soon would clearly be a problem. Within the industry, continuing erosion of margins at the hands of third-party intermediaries can also pose a threat—especially in the event of a broad economic slowdown should it reduce average daily rate and pricing power across the board.
4 HM: Developing new markets is always top of mind. In 2014, and beyond, where are you concentrating on for growth and expansion?
PS: With wellness tourism still at an early stage of development, all major markets are ripe for growth. Beyond the U.S., Europe, India and China are particularly attractive. We’re a national company—and we are seeing strong demand for health/wellness tourism across all regions.
5 HM: Technology and social media play major roles in the hospitality industry today. What is your company doing on those fronts to stay ahead of the curve?
PS: Our Stay Well apps are allowing for an interactive wellness experience between the hotel room and the guest.