5 predictions for the NYU Hospitality Conference


Place your bets.

With the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference taking place next week, it’s time to play our favorite game: What will the executives say?

That’s right, rustle up your spouse, your kids and grab some snacks: I'm going to make my best guesses as to what big trends will be discussed when thousands gather in Manhattan for this annual mid-year conference/industry check-up.

My grey suit is pressed: here we go (complete with imaginary, but still valid, quotes).

1. Industry fundamentals are strong—for the time being

The fundamentals are still really strong industry wide, and CEOs will say they believe that will continue for the remainder of the year. After that, not so much.

“We believe the fundamentals are still solid, though we are starting to see the softening in certain markets,” one brand CEO will say. “Places like New York City are not performing like they have been during the past year, even if we are all paying $350 a night this week. And gas and oil markets just aren’t going to make a comeback anytime soon. Just look at Houston.”

“We are very bullish on the remainder of 2016, but we’re concerned about the industry’s ability to push rate in 2017,” another CEO will say.

2. Sell now

We are at, or nearing peak pricing, for hotels in most markets.

“People continuing to hold on to properties they intend to sell, better do it now,” one executive will say. “If they sit on the sidelines much longer in the hopes of getting even more for their hotel by waiting six months to a year, they’ll discover they missed the top of the market.”

3. Further development is coming

Lots more development is coming, and it’ll soon throw off the supply/demand balance.

“I have never seen this much discussion about building new hotels in my entire career. We thought the mid-2000s saw a lot of construction before the Great Recession, but I am sensing even more during the next couple of years,” a hotel owner will say.

“If you don’t already have shovels in the ground, you are going to open into a down cycle,” says a developer. “Plus, I am seeing banks already constricting the reigns on the money spigot.”

4. That pesky Airbnb

They’ll be saying more of the same.

“We do see how they can change the dynamic of the industry, and we welcome the competition. We just want them to play fairly and follow the same rules that we do,” CEOs will say.

5. The truth in sushi

But forget all that stuff. If you really want to know the current state of the industry, go no further than the evening networking events. The type of sushi being served is the ultimate barometer for how well the industry is doing. Lots of assorted pieces and creative rolls, the industry is flying sky high. Just a couple types of sushi pieces and California rolls, the industry is headed for a downturn. Nary a piece of fish to be found and lots of vegetable rolls—time to panic!

Hear from the pros

If you want to hear more, take note of two panels:

Mine is Workshop XXII – NYU Alumni Panel Social Media, Emotional Connections, And The Bottomline to be held Tuesday June 7, Fourth Floor, Wilder Room at 11:45am.

Also, don’t miss Hotel Management Editor-in-Chief Dave Eisen’s session, Workshop VIII – Industry More Bang For Your Investment Buck! Fourth Floor, O’Neill Room at 12 noon on June 6.

How do you think next week is going to go? Am I right on, or are my predictions way off? Let me know. Drop me a line [email protected], or via Twitter and Instagram @TravelingGlenn. Or friend me on Facebook.

Glenn Haussman is editor-at-large for HOTEL MANAGEMENT. His views expressed are not necessarily those of HOTEL MANAGEMENT, its parent company Questex Media Group, and/or its subsidiaries.