It was about six years ago when Harry Javer was in the exhibit hall of the Arizona Biltmore giving away one of the famous $1,000 cash prizes at The Lodging Conference. He was calling the name of my colleague Mike Reckling: “Mike Reckling—going once, going twice.” Unfortunately, Mike and I were in a meeting with a client, so he was unable to collect his prize. As the conference program always says, you need to be present to win. Oh well. Such is life at a conference.

This year marks the 25th anniversary for the conference in the desert. For the first time in 23 years (the inaugural year was hosted at The Phoenician), The Lodging Conference will be hosted at a new location, the JW Marriott, Phoenix Desert Ridge. While the surroundings are new to the conference, the upscale, yet relaxed atmosphere will remain, according to Javer, chairman, producer and founder of The Lodging Conference (see cover story on page 44 and video interview on We are an industry of events for sure. And each are very well done and provide the opportunity to meet and get deals done. However, The Lodging Conference definitely stands out from the pack, and is a highlight on my calendar every year.

Speaking of meeting and getting deals done, this issue also features coverage from the latest HB Executive Roundtable—Picking the Right Partner: Finding a Franchising Relationship That Fits. Owning a hotel is a huge investment. So, you want to make sure you get it right. Selecting the appropriate franchise partner for you and your needs is critical to ensuring a profitable business and successful property. The roundtable coverage explores best practices in choosing the right franchise partner for your business objectives. From fees to reservation systems to brand reputation—and more—read about all the factors you must consider when selecting a brand partner.

These are just two of many great features in this edition to read. We truly hope the information we provide on a daily, weekly and monthly basis helps you succeed in your business. On behalf of the entire Hotel Business team, thank you for allowing us to be your hospitality media leader and we look forward to seeing you in Phoenix.