Lodging Econometrics founder Pat Ford dies at 78

Patrick H. Ford started Lodging Econometrics to track all new hotel development and the status of every open and operating hotel globally. (Lodging Econometrics)

Lodging Econometrics founder and Chairman Patrick H. Ford died this week in Rye, N.H.

According to an obituary provided by his family, Ford was born in Lowell, Mass., on July 28, 1942, to Mildred Fay and Patrick Ford and was raised along with his brother Jack by his aunt Katherine “Kay” Brick. 

After graduating from Keith Academy in Lowell, Ford worked at Lamie’s Inn & Tavern in Hampton, N.H. for the Dunfey Family Hotel Company, which subsequently recommended him to the UNH Hotel School. 

After marrying his late wife Ruthie, Ford became the assistant food & beverage manager at the Eastland Hotel in Portland, Maine. He later transferred to Burlington, Vt., and became the general manager of what is now the Doubletree Hotel and originally known as the Sheraton Hotel Burlington. Ford subsequently become general manager of the former Sheraton Wayfarer Bedford in N.H. as well as the Parker House in Boston, now the Omni Parker House. He is credited with establishing the annual budgeting process in the hotel industry.

In 1971, the Dunfey Family transferred Pat to Southern California where he assumed regional management duties for five hotels in Anaheim & San Mateo, Calif.; Dallas; Houston; and Atlanta. He continued in this position for two years, instituting sales and marketing practices that drove revenue growth. After that, he returned to Bedford, N.H., where he became Director of Hotel Operations for the Dunfey Family’s portfolio of 27 hotels.

In 1977, Ford established his own hotel management company, which soon expanded into hotel brokerage with New England Hotel Realty; a firm responsible for brokerage and advisory services for many hospitality owners and many lenders during the financial crises of the late 1980s and early 1990s. He is a former president of the Hotel and Motel Brokers of America.

In the mid-'90s, Ford started Portsmouth, N.H.-based Lodging Econometrics to track all new hotel development and the status of every open and operating hotel globally using—and regularly updating—research. Lodging Econometrics now employees 48 people and provides business development and analytical programs for a variety of hotel franchise companies, vendors/suppliers with a product or service to sell within the industry, many ownership and management groups, private equity companies and Wall Street firms. Three of his children continue to operate the business.

In 2018, Ford was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his 55 years of contributions to the hospitality industry by the Lodging Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Ford is survived by his children Patrick H. III “JP”, and his wife Susan; Julie and her husband, Col. Timothy J. Bailey, USMC; Shawn and his wife Pollyanna; Bruce and his wife, Paula; Timothy and his wife Lori; and his daughter-in-law, Ann Marie of Barrington, along with a number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and several siblings.