We will all look back on 2020 and reflect on the many lessons we learned, the positives that came out of such challenge, and the stronger people and organizations we are because of it. The old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” has never been more accurate than it is this year. I look at our own publishing company as an example. We are a very collaborative team, working face-to-face every day to put out the best product we can for our community. Impromptu meetings, talking in the kitchen while getting some coffee, and troubleshooting after hours would inevitably produce the next great idea.
Then COVID-19 hit, and our company prepared to take an entire publishing operation remotely in just a few days. Without warning, the team that thrived on in-person collaboration, was now hunkered down in their homes working remotely. Editor-in-Chief Christina Trauthwein and I admittedly looked at each other and said, ‘How are we going to make this work?’ Well, we did. The Hotel Business team has not missed a beat—and for that, I am immensely proud. We figured it out, and in the process , found ourselves being as innovative as we’ve ever been.
Our cover story in this edition tells a similar story of our industry innovating out of necessity. Mitchell Hochberg, president of Lightstone, owners of a diverse portfolio across the country, including the Moxy Hotels in New York City, addresses working from home: “One clear factor is that people are getting fatigued with the monotony of working from the same place for six months and wanting to get out.” Through this challenge, the lodging industry saw an opportunity to help their guests who were not traveling but were in need of hotel space in a new way. You can read more starting on page 16 on how this new WFH (working from hotel) concept is benefiting owner/operators and guests alike.
The convention and meetings business has been decimated by the pandemic. But again, look at how quickly they pivoted, and through technology, found a solution to keep us all connected with virtual meetings and events. This issue is the HITEC edition. This year, like all the other trade shows and conferences in our industry, the pandemic will prevent HITEC from being an in-person event. But the show will go on! HITEC is taking place virtually—yet another example of ingenuity overcoming challenge. There is no doubt HITEC will feature a host of new tech aimed at helping hoteliers bring guests back safely.
We keep innovating. That’s what the hospitality industry does when faced with adversity. We assess, create, implement and keep moving forward. We would love to hear about your innovation during the pandemic. Send us an email at [email protected] and tell us your story.