Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Spirides

Harry Spirides

President, Spirides Hospitality Finance Company

Hotel industry financier Harry George Spirides is the former owner and operator of a 205-room, full-service, beach resort hotel for over 20 years. He is a third-generation hotelier who has over 30 years of experience working in full-service hotels.

Mr. Spirides rose up through the ranks of his family's hotel company working in every position from restaurant dishwasher to front desk clerk to general manager to chief executive officer. Today, through his company Spirides Hospitality Finance Company, he finds it very rewarding to assist hotel owners with their financing needs, having "walked a thousand miles in their shoes."

Members of the Spirides family have owned, operated, developed, and advised hotels and restaurants for over 90 years, since the 1920s. In fact, in 1970 Mr. Spirides's late father George H. Spirides assisted his good friend Cecil B. Day to design, open, and manage the world's very first Day's Inn near Savannah, GA, and he subsequently became the first manager of the world's first Day's Inn early in his career as a distinguished owner and operator of hotels.

Mr. Spirides holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Mercer University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University. He has also been awarded the Advanced Certification in Real Estate and Hotel Investment from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, and he is a published book author of hotel history. He was previously a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and is a military veteran.

Please visit http://www.hospitality-finance.com for more information.

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hspirides/

Mr. Spirides can be contacted at +1 813-327-5101 or harry@hospitality-finance.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.