Here we are in December, another year coming to a close. When I was younger, I would always roll my eyes when adults would tell me the older you get, the more time flies. Not rolling my eyes anymore, as I write this with Christmas music playing on Pandora. We’re closing this issue, as well as the annual Green Book, and planning the January 15th ALIS issue, and it seems like 2017 passed in the blink of an eye.
We started out 2017 celebrating Hotel Business’ 25th anniversary year. Each issue recalled moments from 1992 until now, focusing on the headlines, hot news, technology, design and people of our industry. And with everything that has changed over the course of a quarter century, there’s been a constant: It’s about the people. We’re in the business of people who love people and who, at the heart of everything they do, serve people. It’s really not surprising that every time I ask an industry colleague—CEO on down—what they like best about the industry, what makes a great stay, what makes an experience memorable, it’s that same answer.
And it’s people we focus on in this issue. From the CEOs of major brands on the move—Carlson’s John Kidd, Wyndham Hotel Group’s Geoff Ballotti and IHG’s Keith Barr—to the C-suite of a niche brand on the rise (21c Museum Hotels’ Craig Greenberg), to Dream Hotel Group’s Abid Butt, who has his eyes set on the AMEA region, to the global positioning of Caesars under Marco Roca, branded hotel companies are restructuring and expanding. Then there’s Janis Cannon, who has achieved record-breaking growth for Choice’s upscale brand Cambria with an aggressive pipeline to boot. Paul Sacco joined RLH Corp. as chief development officer to oversee franchising efforts and corporate growth of the company’s upscale brands. Two Roads Hospitality has brought Rika Lisslö on board as VP of acquisitions and development to strengthen Joie de Vivre, Thompson, Destination, tommie and Alila Hotels & Resorts. And speaking of lifestyle brands, it’s no wonder that Interstate Hotels & Resorts this year launched a lifestyle division and tapped Brian Sparacino as SVP of operations.
To bring our 25th year to a close, we asked each of our 10 what they were doing a couple of decades ago. And while most were cutting their teeth in the hotel industry, the best answer goes to Marco Roca, who not only was getting married 25 years ago, he was reading a brand-new industry publication while waiting at the altar. Thanks for sticking with us. Hotel Business is happy to share a special anniversary with you.