Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Kalanda

Jan Kalanda

Co-Founder, Morgansheer Hospitality

Jan Kalanda is a co-founder of Morgansheer Hospitality, an in-house hospitality team at Level Group, an innovative, full-service commercial and residential New York real estate brokerage company.

Born in Czechoslovakia, Mr Kalanda emigrated to the U.S. in 1983, becoming an American Citizen in 1989. Mr. Kalanda began his 32-year hospitality career as Chief Engineer at the Garden City Hotel in New York. This experience at an iconic, 1874 Long Island landmark, with 272 rooms, multiple restaurants, conference facilities and a spa, laid the foundation for his successful career in property and hotel management.

In 2002, Mr. Kalanda became a founding member of HK Hotels. As Executive Vice President he oversaw the development, opening and operations of six properties over a 15 year span in New York and Prague. With HK Hotels, Kalanda was responsible for all aspects of the pre-opening from design, to construction, to coordinating the opening with the property supporting and operations teams.

The luxury properties became premiere boutique hotels in NYC and Prague, including the 100-room Wales Hotel, the 103-room Elysee Hotel, 50-room Casablanca Hotel, 60-room Library Hotel, 73-room Giraffe Hotel and the 52-room Aria Hotel in Prague.

In 2008 Mr. Kalanda joined the Gansevoort Hotel Group, a young and dynamic company that had the vision to develop its first property in New York's Meatpacking District. The hotel became the company's flagship and led to a complete renaissance in the area.

As part of the Executive team, he was instrumental in searching, developing and opening new properties. A further three properties were added to the Gansevoort portfolio: the Gansevoort South in South Beach, Florida; the ultra deluxe Gansevoort Turks & Caicos; and the 249-room Gansevoort Park in Midtown, New York City. All properties are now globally established, thriving financially and remain stable.

Recently, Mr. Kalanda helped to found the in-house hospitality team, Morgensheer Hospitality, at Level Group. Backed up by Level Group's commercial brokerage resources, Mr. Kalanda and his partner, Trica Jean-Baptiste, are uniquely positioned to address the full scope of the hospitality industry's real estate needs.

Please visit http://www.kalanda.us for more information.

Mr. Kalanda can be contacted at +1 917-593-3037 or jan@kalanda.us

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.