At this year’s The Lodging Conference, we heard a lot of talk about the economy, ranging from fear of an economic recession to optimism about the future. Concerns over trade wars and tariffs were on one side of the discussion, with the hotel industry’s 11-year trend of positive growth on the other. There was also discussion about competition and the unique nature of hotels, being single-night businesses with constantly fluctuating prices and costs.

Once again, construction, renovation and design trends were featured topics at the Lodging Conference. We were thrilled to see a project worked on by FSN-Hospitality’s finishing contractors featured in a session – the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport.

Here are some of our interesting takeways from the conference:

• According to J.D. Power’s 2019 Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study: Alternative Lodging Users: “50% of hotels guests reported using alternative lodging in the past 90 days.” Guests chose between hotels and alternative lodging based on travel needs.

• In the U.S., year-over-year hotel “transaction volume is down 8%, driven by 10% declines in full-service hotel transactions and 2% declines in limited-service hotel transactions,” according to RCA data cited by Adam Lair of HVS.

• Hotels continue to launch new brands targeting specific market segments. Hyatt Hotels announced the launch of its 15th brand, Caption by Hyatt, in the select-service segment and focused on bringing people closer together.

• M&A activity in management companies continues. Kokua Hospitality and Filament Hospitality are combining to create Sightline Hospitality, a third-party management company.

• The hospitality industry supports one of every 25 jobs, but the worker shortage means hotels face challenges finding and retaining qualified employees.

• Completing new construction and renovations on time and on budget due to a shortage of skilled contractors remains challenging for many companies. The same is true for keeping properties open during renovations without disrupting guests and employees.

We’d love to hear your takeaways from the Lodging Conference. Give us a call at (410) 564-5876 or email us at to discuss the conference or your next project.