Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ashbel

Boaz Ashbel

Managing Director, Aztec Group

As Managing Director of Aztec Group, Inc., Boaz Ashbel focuses solely on hospitality acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, and debt and equity financing. His area of expertise involves a variety of hospitality property transactions and financing, including select and full-service hotels, convention-oriented resorts, as well as condominium hotels. Mr. Ashbel's 25 years of hospitality experience includes acquisitions and dispositions, debt, mezzanine, and equity financing, joint venture creation and capital restructuring, market research, economic impact analysis, financial analyses, appraisals and operational reviews for a variety of existing and proposed hotels, resorts and other leisure-oriented properties. Prior to joining Aztec, Mr. Ashbel founded Ashbel Realty Advisors, Inc., which facilitated the acquisition, disposition, joint ventures, and debt and equity financing for hospitality properties. Over the past 15 years, he has been involved as a principal in a number of hospitality related projects, gaining a keen understanding of operational and ownership related issues. Mr. Ashbel gained considerable experience at Landauer Associates, Inc., Pannell Kerr Forster, and Laventhol & Horwath where he directed hotel related valuations and appraisals, as well as feasibility studies and developmental consulting for projects located throughout the Caribbean, South Florida and other international locations. Mr. Ashbel graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Administration. He is a former Vice President of the Cornell Society of Hotelmen, a Tourism Committee member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and an active Florida Real Estate and Mortgage Broker. Please visit www.aztecgroup.com for more information.

Mr. Ashbel can be contacted at 305-854-5000 or bashbel@aztecgroup.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.