Morris Lasky, the co-founder and producer of The Lodging Conference, passed away last week in Chicago after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Lasky was one of the most well-known faces and names in the hospitality industry for more than 50 years. He was the founder and CEO of Lodging Unlimited, Inc., which provided management, consulting and arbitration services to properties and directed more than $7 billion of management activities, development, real-estate and financing over the years. He also served as CEO and founder of the LUI Group and Lodging Opportunities Group.
A letter from Lasky's Lodging Conference partner, Harry Javer, read:
It is with deep sadness that I have to tell you, Morris Lasky passed
away at his home in Chicago after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
I've known Morris for more than two decades and I can't recall a day when he was not upbeat. Even during these last few months, he remained optimistic. As the conference chairperson and co-founder, he helped guide the conference program since 1995. His industry knowledge and contacts were invaluable when we started this event twenty-one years ago. Morris will be missed, and we will honor his memory by continuing to improve this great industry event that he so loved.
Our Lodging Conference leadership team remains strong and committed to providing our attendees with an outstanding venue to learn, conduct business and meet top hotel industry deal-makers and decision-makers. No changes are anticipated in the company's day-to-day business activities.
Lasky had a profound effect on many in the industry, including Steve Belmonte, CEO of Vimana Franchise Systems, who said of him:
"I remember Morris Lasky giving me advice when I was a very young man and had just recently launched the Equity Hotel Corporation. He was so caring and compassionate that our friendship rooted immediately and has been strong ever since.
There are few people in the industry that are as beloved as Morris Lasky. He was always soft-spoken and ready to help whenever help was needed. He was the first to be involved with any charitable and philanthropic efforts which occupied a good portion of his life. He was a gentleman and cut from the same cloth as the likes of Jack Vaughn, Mike Leven, Lee Dushoff - all men who influenced hundreds of budding hospitality entrepreneurs through the decades.
I loved him as a friend and will miss him dearly. Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship which struggles on in the survivors mind toward some final resolution, some clear meaning, which it perhaps never finds. The relation that hundreds of people have had with Morris will continue for a very long time."
Lasky is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Lasky. In lieu of flowers, contributions are being asked to be sent to:
University of Chicago
Cancer Research Foundation
For Dr. Kindler and Dr. Baron
5841 S. Maryland Ave,
Chicago, Il 60637
A "Celebration of Morris' Life" will be held Monday, April 6th from 3:00pm - 8:00pm at Cog Hill Golf Course Club House in Lemont, Ill. A Funeral Mass will be offered by his brother-in-law, Fr. Tom Koys, on Tuesday, April 7th at 11:00am at St. James at Sag Bridge Church also in Lemont, Ill.