Bob Hunter honored at conference

During the second day of the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, Bob Hunter, founder of Hunter Hotel Advisors and the conference, was presented with the 2024 Hunter Conference Award for Excellence and Inspiration.

The award recognizes a hotelier who exemplifies exceptional leadership, citizenship and innovation. From his start as a hotel broker to founding a nationally attended conference, Hunter has been a leader who has pioneered relationship-driven business and results, according to organizers.

He began his industry career as a general commercial real estate broker, where he worked on a wide range of investment deals. Upon receiving a call from a lender needing to sell a foreclosed hotel, he ended up marking his first of many hotel transactions. He established Hunter Hotel Advisors in 1978 in his hometown of Atlanta. After a 40-year tenure as a hotel broker, he handed the company over to his sons—Teague, now president/CEO, and Lee, now COO—when he retired in 2018. The company now has six offices located in Atlanta, Austin, Chattanooga, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City.

Expanding upon his success in hotel brokerage, Hunter identified a gap in information and resources within the industry and envisioned a conference that would cater to all stakeholders, including emerging entrepreneurs. In collaboration with Georgia State University, he founded the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, an event designed to foster networking and provide insights into the buying, selling, financing and management of hotels. What began with 92 attendees in 1989 has grown into an annual gathering of more than 2,000 industry professionals, marking its 35th year.

“While I simply laid the foundation for the conference, my industry friends, alongside the outstanding work of the Hunter team, built a brick house on top of it,” said Bob Hunter. “I know Hunter will continue to connect our industry in the decades to come.”
William Reynolds, senior managing director, The Marcus Corporation and Hunter Conference award committee chair, said,

“When I entered the hotel business in the mid-1980s, Bob Hunter was one of several mentors who taught me the investment side of the business. A total gentleman, he has remained a treasured industry friend. I am thrilled that he agreed to accept the award this year, when his modest inclination was to give it to someone else.”

Lee Hunter, chairman, Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, added, “It was a unanimous decision across our trusted advisory board that Bob be this year’s award recipient. I have been incredibly fortunate to witness firsthand the impact he has had on so many lives over the course of his career. There could not have been a better time to honor him for all that he has done for our industry.”