Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Spelts

Larry Spelts

President, Lodging & Lifestyle Adventures, Indigo Road Hospitality Group

Larry Spelts has spent his career in the development and management of hotels, restaurants, spas, co-work, and social and fitness clubs with a focus on value creation through creating unique, new lifestyle concepts. He serves investors by conducting the strategic analysis of investment opportunities and guiding the development or acquisition process including market analysis, creation of brand identity and business strategy.

On the acquisition side, Mr. Spelts has led the repositioning of underperforming assets to create value for asset owners and partners, particularly for independent hotels.

Mr. Spelts has had the opportunity to establish three successful hospitality companies, including the Texas-based Village Hospitality, which spearheaded the programming for a $500 million, 500,000 square-foot, mixed-use development project - now operated by the group. His recent work includes time at The Carlyle luxury hotel in New York and serving as president and chief development officer at Expotel Hospitality Services, preceded by time as vice president of business development with Charlestowne Hotels.

As of 2020, Mr. Spelts has secured hotel development and management deals for over forty hotels, including a period from 2009 until 2017 during which he led business development for Charlestowne Hotels, and played a lead role in the growth of their portfolio of managed hotels from 12 to 50 properties.

Among Mr. Spelts's strengths are organization design, branding, and strategic analysis. This combination enables him as a leader in the hospitality space to synthesize business performance and market data to think creatively and strategically about concept positioning and optimizing market opportunities while providing effective leadership for a multi-functional organization. The skills he gained through his work experiences were further refined through earning an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business which he completed in 2009.

Please visit http://www.theindigoroad.com/ for more information.

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/larry-j-spelts-53437a3/

Mr. Spelts can be contacted at +1 843-297-8385 or lspelts@theindigoroad.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.