Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Schanfarber

EJ Schanfarber

President & Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Hospitality

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Hospitality, EJ Schanfarber is directly responsible for day-to-day supervision of Alliance Hospitality's third-party hotel management assignments. Additionally, Mr. Schanfarber directs Alliance Hospitality's executive staff, including in the areas of financing, revenue management, human resources and corporate sales. Mr. Schanfarber works closely with Alliance Hospitality Chairman Rolf Tweeten in the areas of strategic growth planning, brand relationships, acquisitions and investor relations. Working with Tweeten, Mr. Schanfarber has helped forge Alliance Hospitality's operating philosophy of managing hospitality assets “from the perspective of ownership,” aligning with their strategic goals and objectives. With more than thirty years of experience in the hospitality industry, Mr. Schanfarber is known for his management and people skills, as well as his keen understanding of market segments, operations in resort-driven locales and consumer trends. Mr. Schanfarber has excellent experience working with all classes of lodging property types, including select service, full service, and destination resorts with a focus on luxury and lifestyle assets. In these assignments, Mr. Schanfarber has worked with all major hotel brands, including Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Starwood, Choice, Wyndham, and Carlson Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Schanfarber's development experience includes award winning ground-up projects in the Caribbean. Mr. Schanfarber is also respected as an industry leader in the areas of sustainable development and eco-friendly operating initiatives. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Schanfarber began his career in the hotel industry with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in 1981. He has also served as Executive Officer for Divi Resorts Group, a premier developer and operator of destination resorts in the Caribbean and has held senior management positions with Remington Hotels, Extended Stay America, Omni Hotels & Resorts, and Durango Mountain Resort.

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

Mr. Schanfarber can be contacted at 919-791-1801 or ejschanfarber@alliancehospitality.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.