CoralTree Hospitality is celebrating its Fifth anniversary and President Tom Luersen shares how the company came together, as well as the challenges and opportunities they went through and see on the horizon.

Video Transcript

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2023 is almost over, Anthony, and this is our final show of the year.

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What’s the first thought that comes to your mind?

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I’m going to miss you.

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I’m Anthony.

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Welcome to No Vacancy Lives.

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That’s my friend, Glenn.

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You’re watching the number one show in hospitality.

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Hey, everybody, and welcome to the final live show of No Vacancy Live for 2023.

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We look forward to welcoming you all back for more live shows at the top of the year.

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That’s Anthony Melchiorri.

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I’m Glenn Hausman.

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Anthony, it’s so great to see you today.

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Welcome back.

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2024, our lineup is so stocked with super, super, super people that we can’t even tell you who they are.

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Well, neither can you because you never look at the schedule.

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But that’s the mystery of it, doesn’t it?

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You know?

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No, I resemble that remark.

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Yeah, well, honestly, because our producers are so good, like I know that they’re taking care of people, but I don’t necessarily know who’s on which day of the week.

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So, Anthony, what was that?

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Who’s on first?

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Yeah, exactly.

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Before we get into it, any big holiday plans that you want to alert us to here?

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No, just we’re at home and I go to my sister-in-law’s on Christmas Day, my house Christmas Eve.

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And all the children are home, and the kids are home from college.

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Well, actually, my last one, who’s a senior, is home, and my other two will be home.

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So just chilling, man.

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Yep, yep.

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How are you?

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My boys are home.

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We went out and did an activity this morning, and then we got a little breakfast together.

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So that was really nice.

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Can you tell us what the activity was?

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Doctor’s appointment.

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Oh, when you said activity, I thought it was like you went bowling.

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No, no.

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I was just trying to be vague about it purposely, particularly since you knew that I went to the – Well, you did tell me that.

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Believe it or not, it slipped my mind.

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Yeah, just everybody knows it’s not an issue of anything like that.

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Now, for me, I’m excited because tomorrow night here on the Internet at 5 p.m.

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for Friday Night Audit, I’m doing my newest Christmas tradition, Anthony, and that will be singing Christmas songs written by Jews.

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So I’m excited.

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I’m excited to celebrate my people.

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Are there any Jewish people on the show?

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No, I don’t believe our next guest is a member of the tribe.

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I suspect he’ll be celebrating Christmas with you.

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Let’s bring him on right now, celebrating five years of Coral Tree Hospitality.

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Tom Lursen, president.

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How are you, sir?

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Merry, merry, happy holidays.

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Awesome, you guys.

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Happy holidays and happy Hanukkah to all of our friends.

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There you go.

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I’ll tell you what, Tom.

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I feel a little ripped off this year because Hanukkah was way too early, and I’m not ready to celebrate the holiday season so early.

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I love it when Christmas and Hanukkah overlap, and it’s just a big, fun celebration, you know?

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You’re empowered to extend the season as you wish, sir.

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As a matter of fact, being that I’m a non-religious person, culturally speaking, we have done that.

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We waited till my kids came home.

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And everyone’s welcome over here at the Hausman Resort, Pool Club, and Smokehouse for latke night on December 26th.

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I will speak to God, and he will give you permission, I’m sure.

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All right.

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So to get everybody up to street speed, Coral Tree Hospitality is a five-year-old management ownership company out of there based out of Colorado.

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And what’s really exciting is that you folks have such an incredible pedigree before you started this organization there, right?

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Coming from destination hotels, from two-road hospitality, and now you’ve

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all those years of experience, and you got to create a company the way you wanted to do it.

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Since you’re celebrating five years, the best place to start was your origin story.

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Tell us a little bit about that.

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Oh, gosh, Glenn.

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It’s a great setup for the conversation.

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You’re right.

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We’re owned by a family office out of Los Angeles, the Lowe family.

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And it’s not to be confused with Lowe Hotels or Lowe Hardware, but it’s a fully integrated real estate company and led by Bob

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Bob Lowe, who’s the patriarch, and his two boys.

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And they started in hospitality 51 years ago.

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Last year, we celebrated 50 years for a great celebration.

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So while Coral Tree literally just celebrated five years on December 1st, there’s this sense of kind of chemistry and history that we have together.

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we’ve had three names in the 51 years uh destination hotels and then back in 2016 we acquired uh john pritzker’s company called community hotels and resorts and that was formed a joint venture so we had to rename it we renamed two roads hospitality and then um you know from that time we had about 100 hotels five different brands yep the aleela brands and thompson brands and

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joie de vivre and then we created our independent brand into a collection called destination well a couple years later we were approached and ended up selling two roads hospitality to hyatt hotels and that was really just the preponderance of the management contracts about 80 85 contracts

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And now let me just put a pause on that for one second.

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And by pure coincidence, we had the incredible Katie Johnson on, VP and global brand leader of the independent collection of Hyatt, who is now the steward of those brands on last week.

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So check our database.

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Tom, please continue.

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Katie’s awesome, by the way.

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She worked for us and she’s just a world-class marketeer and she’s doing wonderful things.

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And I think highly of her.

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In short, we just ended up selling the company to Hyatt, effectively 2018.

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We sold it to Hyatt because we thought they’d be great stewards of the business.

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There’s a chemistry from a value standpoint about the way we run our businesses.

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They’re obviously a much more global hotel and we are smaller in scale for sure and lean more toward the independent structure.

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So we started Coral Tree the day that we closed on Hyatt, which was the first 2018 and here we are.

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And man, it’s been a whirlwind, but gosh, I’m really proud of what’s been accomplished and the way in which we’ve done our business.

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I still think we lead with our values first as a company.

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We can talk about metrics and how many rooms and how many keys and revenues, but

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it all starts to sound very transactional and institutional.

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So I’m more toward the conversation about culture and values and how we differentiate.

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Yeah, Tom, and you know us well enough, that’s the kind of stuff that we really like to talk about.

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I know Anthony’s itching to talk.

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Let’s let him ask.

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I’m not itching to talk.

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Yeah, in the video here, I’m like… You know what I like to do the most is I like to realize that I’m connected to everybody in this industry somehow.

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So I’m going to say a name and you’re going to see him smile.

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Mark Hickey.

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Actually, you’re right, I’m smiling.

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I just talked, Anthony, I talked to Mark last night, and I was texting with him this morning, and Mark and I go back 25 years.

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He was a real reason why I joined Lowe, because he was working in Dallas at the DFW Hilton, you know, decades ago, and I was running the Woodlands Resort hospitality platform in Texas, and we were colleagues, and

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We ended up selling that company and Mark was recruiting.

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So Mark’s a great man.

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He’s doing good work for Hyatt now.

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And he and I talk to each other regularly.

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He was my boss when I worked for Miller Global, who I’m sure you know.

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Of course.

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Miller Global, the nicest people I’ve ever worked with.

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And then so that’s where I met Mark.

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And he was my boss.

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I think he was the regional.

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And one day I was having a disagreement with someone that worked within the company, his company, Destinations.

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And he had to kind of get in the middle of it, like through a conference call.

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I’ll never forget the words.

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I said it last week, actually, to Katie.

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I’ll never forget the words.

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He said, Anthony, get off the train track.

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Well, when you speak about values, by the way, Mark’s one of those guys, as you know, Anthony, he leads a business with values.

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And he certainly had a good career before he joined us, but he was with us for 25 years.

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Amazing guy.

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And when he said that to me, I knew exactly what he meant.

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So he called me later.

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By the way, I won the argument.

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They listened to me.

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We went with my budgets to the ownership.

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But I like the fact that he said, listen,

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your points are good now get off the train track because you’re about to get run over so i never forgot that i i really respect him uh tremendously he was always very kind to me and he’s one of the good guys in this well there’s a lot of good guys but he’s one of the really good people in this industry and uh you know and uh it was it was a great experience

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Well, you’re a pro at doing this.

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I listen to your show all the time and the way that you connect dots in the network.

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And it’s the best thing about our business.

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And, you know, I’ve been doing this 40 years and I started long ago in my dad’s company.

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And I think about these friendships like Mark, and I’ve got a great friend down the road that you guys probably know, Steve Bartlin, who runs the Broadmoor and see, Steve and I worked together, gosh, 40 something years ago in Nashville at Opera Land.

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Um, we’ve just stayed good friends.

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You know, I just love that about our business.

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And you know what?

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Um, congratulations.

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You beat me.

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I only have 38 years.

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So it’s very more time than I do.

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You know what?

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We still look young and we still are vibrant.

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That’s amazing.

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Well, I like the way that you see ourselves.

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Thank you for saying that.

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You know what it is?

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I do a lot of talking, um, to young people and, um,

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and i’m i’m consulting and you know what i say to people is the the problem with what everybody’s telling me today is nobody wants to work and all this stuff and they don’t like working christmas and holidays and i think the problem is is with the younger supervisors who don’t have the right mindset that either accept mediocrity or they’re part of the issue because they don’t know they don’t know how to deal with those challenges when we were coming up with this business

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We didn’t realize there were challenges because we just wanted a job and a paycheck and we just wanted to contribute and show our value.

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So the mindset of if you do those extra hours and you do those holidays, guess what?

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You’ll be a general manager 20 years faster than most people because today we’re desperate for leadership.

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So if you show that leadership early on, you will be promoted quicker than most people.

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Yeah, gosh, I mean, you and I are aligned on that, but I take a little different angle.

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You know, I’ve been on, gosh, like you guys, a lot of panels and conversations and someone’s always talking about the millennial and they speak to us because we’re far from millennials.

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My kids are even almost past that now.

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And there’s the expectation that I’m going to say is, man, they don’t work hard like we did and they don’t do this and don’t do that.

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And I actually just think that’s all crazy talk.

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I just think they’re working smarter.

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And I think my father, when I was coming up in the business, said, man, you’re doing it so different than the way I used to do it.

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We didn’t need an education to be in the hotel space.

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We went to the school of experience and we came up that way.

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And what do you mean you’ve got to go get a degree and an MBA and you’ve got to learn about investments?

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Can’t you just take care of the guests?

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And here we are now.

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Father’s passed.

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I’m 30 years later and I’m

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hanging around these millennials and i think they’re so smart um they’re exposed to so much data and so much things and my thought is nothing’s ever changed we got to find people in our business that have a big heart and they love to serve but if they can do it with technology and innovation and smart thinking more power that’s what’s going to change our world so i agree

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I say it all the time.

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They’re smarter than us, and I wish that I was in a position back then to be able to say, hey, I don’t want to do this because we can do it this way and it’s easier.

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I wish I had an opinion.

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When I was coming up early, early, early on, there wasn’t too many opinions, at least in my career.

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They just would kind of tell you how it’s done.

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So today I think we have some of the smartest people in the business, even the young people.

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They’ve just got to get past the –

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um, some negative thoughts of, of this industry.

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And, you know, one of the things, if you go into the hospitality industry in Europe, it’s seen as a profession, you come into America and it’s not seen so much at the lower, at the lower level, at the lower level, everybody, you start wherever you start, but this is a real profession.

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You can make real money and do really, really well.

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And we just need people to stay in long enough to do that.

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You know, I’ve seen I’m mentoring kids today and I’m just like, just give me another six months.

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Just give me another six months.

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And as soon as they do that, you know, I just got promoted.

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I’m making this much money.

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Oh, and they said next year I’ll be probably in this position.

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I say, just hold on.

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You know, it’s like like that’s that that’s my right.

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The only thing I want to do is like just hold on.

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And you your intelligence and the way you work will get you to where you want to go.

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Yeah, no, I think that’s right.

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I would say, though, also, I’m out to just to banter with you a little bit.

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Think about this.

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When I was picking to go to a hotel school, I think the year was 1981.

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I went to Michigan State, went to Cornell, went to FIU, went to just the beginning of what was the UNLV.

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You know, toward all was fortunate to be invited to all four of them.

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ended up going to Florida.

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We had limited choices.

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Now fast forward, you know, another 40 years, every university of significance or specialized has a great program.

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And it’s not just in hotel management.

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Now it’s in spa and wellness.

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It’s in specialty marketing.

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It’s in culinary and not just in CIA.

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It’s in specialized.

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So to me, while we look at the European hospitality world and some of their experiences go back to 100 years ago where we just got started literally in the last 30, 40 years, we’re making good advancements.

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And we’re finally, to your point,

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We’re paying people good.

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You can make a real living now being a leader in our business.

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And that doesn’t mean just necessarily being a general manager or a corporate executive.

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There’s a variety of good ways to

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real money.

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And that wasn’t an option that we knew about back in the day.

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Those were such an exception.

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So I’m bullish on the long haul of this.

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And I just think, you know, we the millennials will be serving our guest of the future.

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You know, it won’t be the three of us that it’s a guest anymore.

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My 35 year old who becomes 45 year old and we’re going to continue to adapt.

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And the smartest part or the smartest minds in our business is staying ahead of that and not trying to hold on to the past and say, well, we still have to have, you know, sophisticated, elegant service.

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You can still have luxury, but the elegance is now far and few between.

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You know, somebody called me.

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I was making a reservation.

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And they said, Anthony, this is your confirmation.

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Didn’t ask permission.

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Just called me Anthony.

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I liked it because she had a sweetheart.

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She was very kind the whole reservation.

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And when she called me Anthony, I don’t need to be asked to be called Mr. Valkyrie.

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I don’t need you to use my name three times.

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You called me Anthony.

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I enjoyed it.

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We had this little connection.

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And that’s authentic service.

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You know, that was authentic service to me.

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You know, Chip and I from AHLA were working on a new show called Hotel All Star.

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We were just on the phone the other day with his team.

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And how are we going to get people excited to come back into this industry or come into this industry?

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And we did two shows, one at The Breakers, one at Margaritaville.

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And that’s my only passion.

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My only passion is to get people into the hospitality schools and to get people into this industry and then hold on.

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Because it is a tough business early on maybe for you because you’re entry level.

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But there’s no place, I don’t think, anybody I know that’s been doing this a long time is so happy.

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I mean, I’ve never met anybody that’s been in the business 25 years that hasn’t said, like, I couldn’t believe I would do anything that I could do anything else.

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I love this business.

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I don’t know anybody that’s been 25, 30 years ago.

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Oh, I made a mistake.

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And I just, I can’t wait to audition out.

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I’ve never heard anyone say that.

17:19.085 –> 17:19.966
That’s so well said.

17:20.006 –> 17:22.309
I mean, I think about the three names we just talked about.

17:22.329 –> 17:32.481
You know, we have commonality, the Mark Hickey’s of the world that, you know, are approaching, you know, the older ages of late 60s and Steve Barlin in his 70s.

17:33.988 –> 17:37.190
Bob Lowe, 86 years old, still loves.

17:37.270 –> 17:39.831
And when someone says, are you going to retire?

17:39.871 –> 17:42.493
He’s like, why would I do that?

17:42.553 –> 17:43.734
I love what I do.

17:43.754 –> 17:44.694
I have a good life.

17:45.315 –> 17:46.435
I’ve got a good balance.

17:46.575 –> 17:49.137
I love being around people I can learn for.

17:49.737 –> 17:52.378
I think that’s a little bit rare in our business.

17:52.398 –> 18:04.583
You know, when you get into more of the corporate-minded industries, you know, there’s a race that last decade from 50 to 60 is how can I get an early package out?

18:04.643 –> 18:06.504
And by the way, I’ll hang on.

18:06.524 –> 18:09.705
I don’t really like it, but I’ll hang on and get paid.

18:09.945 –> 18:12.987
And then maybe when I’m done, I’ll get a job I really like.

18:13.007 –> 18:15.568
Yeah, I’m laughing because I have a friend that’s doing that right now.

18:15.648 –> 18:18.209
He’s just like, I’m just going to coast to the finish line because…

18:19.144 –> 18:19.484
I’m here.

18:20.645 –> 18:24.087
And then you leave at 63, 64, and then you’re dead.

18:24.968 –> 18:27.350
And you’re wondering what to do.

18:27.650 –> 18:33.294
Or if you’re blessed and you find something you love, then you think, what the heck did I do?

18:33.374 –> 18:34.855
Why did I wait so long?

18:35.255 –> 18:40.579
And did I really need to hang on for that last X amount of dollars and just like it so much?

18:41.236 –> 18:43.858
Last year, me and Glenn were in these cabins up at State.

18:44.498 –> 18:46.459
It was a year ago.

18:46.579 –> 18:48.220
Literally, today, we did that show.

18:48.260 –> 18:50.381
I remember we’re sitting at the bar.

18:50.401 –> 18:52.662
We’re talking to this bartender.

18:53.483 –> 18:55.904
I’ll tell you the story, and I’ll tell you how me and him felt.

18:55.944 –> 18:57.525
We felt so blessed.

18:58.125 –> 19:01.267
The bartender said, what would you like to drink?

19:01.747 –> 19:02.828
The mixologist, I should say.

19:03.388 –> 19:04.229
We’re in this cabin.

19:04.269 –> 19:05.009
It’s only her.

19:05.149 –> 19:06.270
They’re all there because of us.

19:06.851 –> 19:08.095
And they’re taking great care of us.

19:08.536 –> 19:09.940
And he said, anything but gin.

19:10.060 –> 19:12.808
And she looked at him, she goes, why would you give me

19:13.479 –> 19:15.240
that challenge, I’ll be right back.

19:15.600 –> 19:17.260
And then made him a gin drink that he loved.

19:17.900 –> 19:27.043
And like, I remember that moment because we were both feeling blessed that here we are, it was snowy out, we’re in this beautiful cabin, people are taking good care of us.

19:27.563 –> 19:40.987
And this young lady, without ever being trained to say that, without ever having going to hospitality school, she made a moment for me, at least for me, I don’t know about Glenn, but her saying that, I was like, that’s this business.

19:41.837 –> 19:43.058
You know, that’s it.

19:43.118 –> 19:46.040
And she was all tatted up and she was all kind of like her own self.

19:46.501 –> 19:48.823
And she had like she was an entrepreneur behind the bar.

19:48.883 –> 19:49.423
And I loved it.

19:50.224 –> 19:53.687
Yeah, I get you know, it just inspires me when you say that kind of stuff.

19:53.987 –> 19:54.728
Look, here you are.

19:54.828 –> 19:55.028

19:55.088 –> 19:58.070
A media specialist, a hospitality industry expert.

19:58.451 –> 20:02.494
A year later on a broadcast, you’re telling the story.

20:03.257 –> 20:13.692
mean come on that’s what we talk about right every day is the ability to create a cool moment you know the you know the moments of delightfulness that right makes someone talk about and it’s not this

20:15.289 –> 20:16.330
Go back to the old school.

20:16.390 –> 20:18.592
It’s not this refined experience.

20:19.073 –> 20:22.456
It’s more about engagement and connection points.

20:22.496 –> 20:23.957
So I just love that.

20:24.017 –> 20:34.326
And every time I hear those little stories, I get motivated and you get reminded, man, let’s not get too caught up on strategic growth and these other things.

20:34.366 –> 20:39.831
Let’s remember while we’re here, while we’re here, excuse me, and do good things with it.

20:40.305 –> 20:54.711
Yeah, Tom, this is a great bridge into one of the things that I say often when I’m doing keynote speeches on stage is nobody comes back from a vacation and says you have to go to XYZ place because you’re not going to believe that lamp that was in the room.

20:54.791 –> 20:55.451
That’s important.

20:56.091 –> 21:01.254
It adds to the overall vibe, but they always say, so-and-so did this for me.

21:01.454 –> 21:03.876
So-and-so made this special for me.

21:03.936 –> 21:06.697
So it always comes back to the people.

21:06.758 –> 21:17.204
You have to have all the other stuff, but if you don’t have those right people there, they’re not going to be able to make those important connections with the guests that you know are critical for overall success.

21:17.244 –> 21:24.188
So how do you start to think about the guest experience through your amenity services and most importantly, the people?

21:25.014 –> 21:30.319
Yeah, I mean, to me, it’s a little bit of our own philosophy, but it’s exactly what we’re talking about.

21:30.919 –> 21:33.421
It’s the unscripted moments, right?

21:33.441 –> 21:37.865
That bartender that Anthony was speaking about, no one trained them for that moment.

21:38.686 –> 21:38.866

21:38.906 –> 21:42.109
You know, you hired for a personality, you created a culture.

21:42.859 –> 21:54.632
at that business model that said, look, if you hear something, you have a conversation with somebody, you’re empowered to go make a good decision and to do something special for them.

21:55.112 –> 21:59.917
Those are words, but you put words to action in a business model like we do.

22:00.538 –> 22:04.142
We try to deliver with culture is every guest

22:04.964 –> 22:06.265
is themselves, right?

22:06.685 –> 22:08.186
Every guest is an individual.

22:08.226 –> 22:10.268
We can’t treat them all the same.

22:10.948 –> 22:12.509
So how do we have those moments?

22:12.549 –> 22:32.983
How do we create an autonomous environment where the housekeeper, the maintenance executives, the front desk clerks, not just the GMs and that executive level of the hotel or the resort, we need everybody to be able to engage and do something special.

22:33.783 –> 22:44.046
I think we spend, you know, in our company, we spend 10 times more time trying to create those moments by sharing best practices, celebrating those moments.

22:44.126 –> 22:51.007
If that was my hotel and I knew that bartender did that, you know, I’d get a little note from Anthony or that bartender would tell me.

22:51.167 –> 23:01.550
And man, I’d be talking about it in staff meetings and celebrating and hoping that by demonstrating what somebody did to make a special memory, the next person wants to stand in line and do that.

23:01.670 –> 23:11.784
So not only that, but it gives them some practical information that they could file away and realize, oh, these are the types of things I can do if they’re a young person and didn’t realize that at that point.

23:11.904 –> 23:18.213
What I loved about that moment was that Glenn appreciated it as a customer.

23:18.826 –> 23:27.652
But as a hotel guy that’s been operating and trying to get people to do things like that, I think it meant almost more to me than it meant to you because – It did.

23:27.672 –> 23:28.553

23:28.733 –> 23:28.953
It did.

23:29.213 –> 23:39.360
It meant a lot to me, and it was really that and some other things like that during that particular experience are going to stay with me forever.

23:39.420 –> 23:43.563
But I haven’t talked about it as much as you have and brought it into our everyday conversations.

23:44.124 –> 23:44.664
A hundred times.

23:45.314 –> 23:48.416
And because it’s, there’s a couple of things going on there.

23:48.456 –> 23:56.241
When they feel free to do that, they trust their confidence that they’re going to, that Glenn’s not going to say, no, no, I do not want Jim.

23:56.762 –> 23:57.682
Like, don’t do that.

23:58.102 –> 24:00.744
Like they were confident enough because there are people that would be like that.

24:02.625 –> 24:06.168
With her people skills, she read that we were those types of people.

24:06.528 –> 24:08.749
Right, right, right, right.

24:09.690 –> 24:10.570
And that’s what we get up.

24:10.631 –> 24:12.292
And I think in our industry,

24:13.312 –> 24:16.915
And I think I’ve always been early on the word renegade.

24:17.216 –> 24:17.416

24:17.796 –> 24:25.343
Because I am good at board meetings and I’m really good at asset management and financials and development.

24:25.623 –> 24:27.244
I have those skill sets.

24:27.485 –> 24:30.928
But I get bored real quick when people forget that the housekeeper

24:32.239 –> 24:33.599
is the most important person in the building.

24:34.059 –> 24:36.600
That really, really gets me irritated quickly.

24:37.140 –> 24:44.402
And as people get more promoted, get to the next level, to the next level, to the next level, they kind of forget that pain.

24:44.422 –> 24:48.462
You know, remember the first time you walked into a hotel for your first job, how nervous you were?

24:49.063 –> 24:52.063
Like every day, I still feel that I want to feel those nerves.

24:52.223 –> 24:54.584
I want to feel like, am I contributing?

24:54.744 –> 24:56.024
Am I doing the right thing?

24:56.404 –> 25:00.505
And I think sometimes our confidence gets the best of us where we forget that

25:01.265 –> 25:04.226
like I’m doing some classes for a consulting gig I’m doing.

25:04.847 –> 25:11.390
And these people in the class are very, very insecure about, you know, speaking up sometimes.

25:11.930 –> 25:17.692
But I love that because I’m giving them the opportunity to grow their confidence in these classes.

25:18.393 –> 25:23.375
And, you know, like listening to you, I mean, it sounds like you just came into this business yesterday.

25:23.435 –> 25:25.216
You still have such a passion for it.

25:26.076 –> 25:28.097
Yeah, gosh, there’s so much on that topic.

25:28.117 –> 25:28.397
You know, I,

25:29.842 –> 25:38.205
there’s an academic term that I’ve challenged a lot of our executives and team leaders to read and it’s all perceptive acuity.

25:38.225 –> 25:44.126
I don’t know if you guys are familiar with that term, but I’ve never, I’ve never heard that, but I, through context clues, I think I understand.

25:44.166 –> 25:44.887
It sounds interesting.

25:45.147 –> 25:45.267

25:45.287 –> 25:47.027
I mean, it’s, it’s what we do, right?

25:47.067 –> 25:53.389
I mean, you two are just, you know, world-class examples of it where your industry is,

25:54.219 –> 26:15.436
um teaches you how to read your customer right you might get someone on the on a broadcast you might be a little shyer a little harder to engage and you read that and you start facilitating you might get someone who might speak too much and you learn how to soften that and play it out and that’s all perceptive acuity and if you could somehow

26:16.056 –> 26:27.879
You know, the bartender and the housekeepers, if we can teach them how to read and how to anticipate, right, how to engage in a conversation that can happen within 15 seconds.

26:27.999 –> 26:29.359
Oh, gosh, why are you here, Anthony?

26:29.719 –> 26:32.280
Oh, you’re here with Glenn celebrating and going to do a show here?

26:32.720 –> 26:33.680
Oh, what’s the show on?

26:34.161 –> 26:37.921
In five seconds, they can figure out a way to serve you.

26:38.021 –> 26:40.002
But that doesn’t just happen innately.

26:40.842 –> 26:48.552
The leadership and the organization has to create an environment that invites that, that invites you to have a conversation.

26:48.932 –> 26:50.874
I like the individuality, right?

26:51.956 –> 26:56.762
Every bartender serves the same drink and has the same proportions.

26:57.441 –> 26:59.762
But the style of conversation is customized.

27:00.203 –> 27:00.923
It’s for each of them.

27:00.983 –> 27:06.186
It’s whatever they’re comfortable with, as long as it’s in the parameters of fair and good conversation.

27:06.587 –> 27:10.449
But that’s what you’re trying to build, I think, a hospitality platform on.

27:10.489 –> 27:14.031
It can be a hotel, a resort, a restaurant, a bar, whatever it is.

27:14.452 –> 27:21.056
But when you get that, that’s what people remember is the customization and the real recognition of individuality.

27:21.856 –> 27:24.618
People say to me, well, what’s the secret of creating that?

27:24.658 –> 27:26.019
I say, well, let’s start with the word safe.

27:26.886 –> 27:27.727
People have to feel safe.

27:28.487 –> 27:30.269
And once they feel safe, you can build upon that.

27:30.649 –> 27:37.714
But you can’t build upon that with with with salary and titles unless they feel safe.

27:37.794 –> 27:38.455
And what does that mean?

27:38.475 –> 27:46.541
You know, and I think like that’s why I remember Mark, you know, because that moment I was pretty like, no, this is I know the owners.

27:46.841 –> 27:49.243
This is the way I think that we should do this.

27:49.724 –> 27:53.226
And I remember Mark made me feel safe that I can speak pretty directly.

27:53.727 –> 27:56.669
But he also reminded me like, OK, you win.

27:57.702 –> 27:58.022

27:58.723 –> 27:59.883
And like, I felt safe.

28:00.123 –> 28:01.364
I wouldn’t have felt safe.

28:02.385 –> 28:06.467
I wouldn’t have been as direct if I didn’t feel safe with Mark.

28:06.847 –> 28:11.269
Mark, through his actions, told me, hey, man, you do a good job.

28:11.289 –> 28:12.110
I have your back.

28:12.910 –> 28:13.851
And I appreciate that.

28:13.911 –> 28:23.136
So I think a lot of us or a lot of ownership management companies forget that you can’t drive the ship.

28:23.176 –> 28:27.138
You can’t get that feeling unless people are feeling secure.

28:28.260 –> 28:33.183
Yeah, I think there’s another component of that too, and that’s to embrace failure, right?

28:33.243 –> 28:46.150
And failure doesn’t have to be – I’m not talking about catastrophic failure, but I’m talking about the front desk clerk who says, you know, somebody complained, so I gave them four nights at $2,000 a night.

28:46.630 –> 28:48.932
They go, okay, that’s a little overdone, right?

28:49.312 –> 28:50.973
But love your intention.

28:51.713 –> 28:52.554
What hotel was this?

28:52.614 –> 28:52.914
Who was it?

28:55.401 –> 28:58.865
But I must have used that example 1 billion times in my career.

28:58.925 –> 28:59.506
Oh, really?

29:00.147 –> 29:01.188
I’ve used it on this show.

29:01.769 –> 29:02.830
I don’t remember, but that’s funny.

29:02.910 –> 29:04.312
I’ll let you go.

29:04.753 –> 29:12.783
Yeah, I mean, so the key there is that we could go easily, go knock that employee down and say, my goodness, you gave away too much and you overdid it.

29:13.303 –> 29:24.534
But if you can tolerate that says, I can recognize your intention of how could we have done this different, not have to put out so much concession money and still recover a guest moment.

29:25.035 –> 29:34.444
And let’s try something next time around versus I’m going to write you up because you made a decision that somewhere in a handbook somewhere says you shouldn’t make.

29:34.964 –> 29:42.589
And once we do that, the person’s never going to have a guest recovery moment again, because they’re afraid they’re going to have something go wrong.

29:42.629 –> 29:53.236
And if you, you know, you can accelerate that any level, it could be an asset manager running a fiduciary role, or it could be a bartender trying to make a, you know, an interesting cocktail, but overpours.

29:53.676 –> 29:57.659
But to me, that environment that says, look, we’re not, you know, here to find faults.

29:57.719 –> 30:02.462
What we’re here is to try business decisions that make it different for the guest experience.

30:02.482 –> 30:02.722

30:03.633 –> 30:07.716
I was doing a shopping report for a client and the rate was $369.

30:08.196 –> 30:12.039
And I said, I saw the line for $329, which was kind of a fib.

30:13.160 –> 30:15.181
And within a second, you could tell she was a front desk agent.

30:15.221 –> 30:17.763
Within a second, she said, okay, we’ll match that rate.

30:18.223 –> 30:25.028
She only had a second to match the rate because if I was a real client looking for a lower rate, I’d have been gone.

30:25.048 –> 30:27.750
And she only had a second to make that decision.

30:27.770 –> 30:28.650
It was a Sunday night.

30:29.331 –> 30:30.492
So I know they’re empty.

30:31.373 –> 30:35.602
Um, because I know that I know that area and she immediately made the decision.

30:35.682 –> 30:37.626
She didn’t hunt him in the heart or make it.

30:37.846 –> 30:38.327
She was okay.

30:38.347 –> 30:39.009
We’ll match that.

30:39.109 –> 30:40.372
Thank you very much for telling me that.

30:41.564 –> 30:57.675
I was like, you know, and again, if you’re not feeling safe or backed up and, you know, I’ve used that example so many times because at the Plaza Hotel, I implemented that, you know, just do what you, you know, on behalf of the guest, the owner and your fellow employees.

30:57.715 –> 31:00.017
If you do it in the right spirit, you’ll be protected.

31:00.057 –> 31:01.758
And somebody actually did something like that.

31:01.798 –> 31:02.919
It was a couple thousand dollars.

31:03.259 –> 31:04.380
I said exactly the same words.

31:04.520 –> 31:08.323
Not as, you know, elegant as you did, but I basically said the same thing.

31:08.343 –> 31:09.964
It’s like, hey, good job.

31:11.176 –> 31:12.997
What were you thinking when you were doing that?

31:13.618 –> 31:13.958

31:14.018 –> 31:14.318
All right.

31:14.598 –> 31:20.942
Do you think maybe if we just bought them, you know, Sunday brunch, you know, they had a daughter, you know, and Sunday brunch would that have worked?

31:21.382 –> 31:21.582
Oh yeah.

31:21.602 –> 31:22.363
I didn’t think about that.

31:22.683 –> 31:22.963

31:22.983 –> 31:23.464
No problem.

31:24.184 –> 31:25.385
Now you, now you’ll think about it.

31:26.686 –> 31:28.567
No, I agree a hundred percent.

31:28.867 –> 31:35.631
And I, what’s interesting is that while the three of us can sit here and talk about it and nod our heads and agree that,

31:36.414 –> 31:40.036
By and large, most businesses don’t do this, right?

31:40.157 –> 31:43.439
They’ve got leadership that says this is what we should do.

31:44.199 –> 31:51.884
But when you have that moment that doesn’t go perfect and you need some guest recovery, you see where the culture doesn’t work.

31:51.904 –> 31:53.565
And I talk about this all the time.

31:53.605 –> 31:59.269
When you think about the tens of thousands of hotels in our country, and they’re all different asset classes, right?

31:59.289 –> 32:02.191
Select service, limited service, luxury, and all those things in between.

32:02.211 –> 32:04.052
There’s still only…

32:04.990 –> 32:12.232
less than 50 hotels, literally, in the country that do this consistently every day.

32:12.892 –> 32:19.214
And it doesn’t mean you have to have a five-star, five-diamond, Michelin-credible source.

32:19.354 –> 32:22.835
It can be done at any asset class because it doesn’t cost anything.

32:23.649 –> 32:27.873
But what it costs is the culture and people supporting that.

32:27.933 –> 32:37.682
But when you think about those odds, then you think, I want to be in this business because if I really believe in that, man, I can knock it out of the park because we’ve got a lot of mediocrity somewhere else.

32:38.062 –> 32:42.467
And if we really do this the way we want to do it, we can do something special and really make some money.

32:43.107 –> 33:08.589
and do something special in our business you know Glenn I’m sorry that we’ve kind of taken this no no it’s just that you know that uh I this is the type of show I love sitting back and listening to what you guys have to say tell one more story yeah I write about I write about it in my book show up you can get it for the holidays and um the uh you just said again a lot of things that I I’ve said in the book and just on stage and everywhere I go

33:09.597 –> 33:13.105
is I’ve run three-star hotels, four-star hotels, five-star hotels.

33:14.187 –> 33:18.597
It starts with, you know, and Glenn’s heard me say this, it starts with the five-star baby theories.

33:19.229 –> 33:23.891
Whether you’re born perfect, whether you’re born with some challenges, God doesn’t make mistakes.

33:23.911 –> 33:25.132
You’re born as a five-star baby.

33:25.212 –> 33:29.995
And then you allow your environment to reduce that star.

33:30.135 –> 33:43.722
So if you go to a hotel or you work at McDonald’s or you work at wherever you work and someone’s wearing their uniform incorrectly and the supervisor hasn’t corrected them, then you’re going to start walking around with your uniform not maybe perfect.

33:44.062 –> 33:44.423

33:44.804 –> 33:45.646
I don’t have that gene.

33:46.328 –> 33:47.510
You can all look like slobs.

33:47.611 –> 33:53.224
I’m always going to look, you know, like I’m supposed to look and I’m going to act like I was a direct attack at me, by the way, Tom.

33:55.774 –> 33:58.496
Because they didn’t make a mistake when I was born, right?

33:58.576 –> 33:59.676
And they didn’t make a mistake when you were born.

33:59.977 –> 34:06.521
So I’m going to show up the way I’ve always shown up, and I’m not going to let my circumstances surrounding me lower my standard.

34:06.981 –> 34:08.142
And that’s what you’re talking about.

34:08.242 –> 34:09.983
And I’m so glad you said that.

34:10.063 –> 34:15.567
Somebody with your experience at your level said something that I’ve never said, but I probably thought a million times.

34:16.027 –> 34:20.210
There’s maybe, and we’re being generous, 50 hotels in our country that

34:20.350 –> 34:21.531
that do that consistently.

34:21.771 –> 34:27.234
And I was just at the Breakers in Palm Springs where we did a show there and they do it consistently.

34:27.915 –> 34:30.896
And it’s because it comes from people like you.

34:30.916 –> 34:40.222
If you’re sitting in a hotel as the general manager, the vice president, that hotel is going to run the way we were just speaking because it comes out of you.

34:40.622 –> 34:43.764
What I find, I’ve always worked for independent.

34:43.804 –> 34:45.405
I’ve always worked for the world.

34:45.445 –> 34:47.046
I always worked for private owners.

34:47.086 –> 34:48.887
That’s been my thing and I’ve loved it.

34:49.867 –> 34:51.548
I didn’t have a lot of people above me.

34:51.828 –> 34:55.769
And what people happen in corporations and a lot of these hotels are run by corporations.

34:56.250 –> 34:59.251
They’re afraid of what their boss is going to say.

34:59.711 –> 35:03.793
If you put in a culture of you’ll have to be afraid.

35:04.353 –> 35:05.614
Again, back to Mark Hickey.

35:05.694 –> 35:09.995
The first time I’ve actually worked in that environment where I actually had a regional and a vice president.

35:10.316 –> 35:12.997
I’ve never I’ve always been a general manager working for the owner.

35:13.717 –> 35:15.578
And but he made me feel like I can say it.

35:16.378 –> 35:22.343
And so that’s where I think we’ve fallen off a little bit, that everybody’s got a boss.

35:22.363 –> 35:23.404
You’ve got a vice president.

35:23.424 –> 35:24.104
You’ve got an asset manager.

35:24.124 –> 35:25.205
You’ve got senior vice president.

35:25.225 –> 35:25.846
You’ve got this person.

35:26.146 –> 35:33.032
So if that person at the top doesn’t really kind of see that and understand that and filter that through, it gets stuck somewhere in the pipe.

35:34.012 –> 35:39.557
Well, it’s interesting on the analogy there because there’s two distinctive words that you use.

35:39.717 –> 35:40.678
One was independent.

35:41.365 –> 35:42.546
and the other one was corporate.

35:43.226 –> 35:49.270
And, you know, it’s, what’s interesting is in the independent model, there usually isn’t a hierarchy, right?

35:49.310 –> 36:07.061
It’s a much more flat line structure of ownership to management yet in, and this is no knock on large, you know, hospitality industry companies, they’ve all had great success, but there is a lot of hierarchy and you, I always think it’s interesting.

36:07.081 –> 36:10.824
Uh, uh, the, the hotel executives that have the largest portfolios,

36:11.519 –> 36:13.900
They’re the furthest removed from the physical hotel.

36:14.440 –> 36:14.740

36:14.920 –> 36:22.961
So they live in a headquarters office somewhere that no longer has hotels and they get into an office dynamic.

36:23.322 –> 36:34.684
And that’s how they survive is take care of the boss above them or below them or side you, as opposed to take care of the business and then the independent space, which is why we lead in this space.

36:38.021 –> 36:47.625
And you make the decisions with the people on hand and you don’t have this hierarchical leadership that one’s trying to impress the other for survival.

36:48.006 –> 36:49.746
You can stay focused in on the business.

36:49.786 –> 36:58.090
So it’s interesting that analogy and even in your description of using the word corporate versus independent and that you also like that space the most.

36:59.262 –> 37:02.044
Listen, at the end of the day, I always say I’m a busboy.

37:02.064 –> 37:03.525
I’ll be a busboy the day I die.

37:04.145 –> 37:09.228
And people, when they meet me and when I work with clients, they don’t understand.

37:09.248 –> 37:10.669
I just had this conversation.

37:10.689 –> 37:11.630
I have it almost every week.

37:12.429 –> 37:14.630
It’s like, they’re like, what are you going to do?

37:14.650 –> 37:16.390
I was like, yeah, I want to do that.

37:16.430 –> 37:17.210
They’re like, really?

37:17.470 –> 37:18.831
You, you want to do a shopping report?

37:18.871 –> 37:19.691
You want to talk to her?

37:20.011 –> 37:21.211
You know, you want to teach classes?

37:21.231 –> 37:22.632
Like, yeah, that’s what I want to do.

37:23.192 –> 37:25.613
You know, listen, I’ve been, I’ve been very fortunate in my life.

37:25.693 –> 37:33.255
You know, I’ve proven some things to myself and I’m like, but the only, I like, I, you’ll catch me in a hallway talking to a housekeeper.

37:33.275 –> 37:37.476
If I’m in a hotel, I’ll spend 45 minutes talking to a housekeeper and I’ll probably miss a meeting.

37:37.956 –> 37:47.841
Because I want to know how that person feels because that person is working and cleaning 12 rooms, 14 rooms, 15 rooms, going home, taking care of their family.

37:48.507 –> 38:00.350
you know, doing what they need to do, taking the bus or, or, or driving to work, getting there at six o’clock in the morning, working physically all day and doing it over and over and over again.

38:00.770 –> 38:04.291
And typically with a smile on their face and they’re just glad to have the job.

38:04.771 –> 38:10.513
And so to me, the second I removed myself from that feeling, I should, I should never do this again.

38:11.933 –> 38:12.593
Amen to that.

38:12.633 –> 38:15.474
I mean, I, and when we started Coral Tree, Anthony, you know, my,

38:16.332 –> 38:22.916
I talked to the Lowe’s about it, whether I was going to do something different or start a company.

38:23.016 –> 38:26.859
And I’ve just got the ultimate respect for them.

38:26.939 –> 38:28.420
And they said, Tom, what do you want to do?

38:28.480 –> 38:32.862
And I said, look, what I want to do is get away from a corporate environment.

38:32.882 –> 38:37.825
And I want to get back to running hotels and resorts and collaborating.

38:37.845 –> 38:40.907
You know, when we were two roads, we were a good midsize company, right?

38:40.947 –> 38:41.448
We had 23,000 employees.

38:41.468 –> 38:41.948
You know, I had

38:44.147 –> 38:53.036
a GM reporting to an area, reporting to a regional, a regional reporting to a senior, a senior reporting to an EVP, and four EVPs reporting to me.

38:53.336 –> 38:58.261
And I got so far removed from talking on a day-to-day basis

38:59.190 –> 39:08.033
to the people that had the greatest instincts, the housekeeper, the concierge, the bellman, the bartender, the people that are interfacing with our guests.

39:08.733 –> 39:11.054
And so I said, look, we’re going to we’re going to flatline this.

39:11.394 –> 39:15.936
So even today, if you look online, I don’t have any C-suite executives.

39:16.216 –> 39:17.076
That’s intentional.

39:17.496 –> 39:22.638
I’ve got the functions and the competency that could be C-suite executives anywhere in our industry.

39:23.098 –> 39:47.400
but i chose not those titles um i don’t have an executive committee uh you know why because everybody has an executive committee and it starts to sound hierarchical and every company starts to sound like the other company and the whole notion is that our organization needs to be principle forward meaning that we’re not going to be so removed that we don’t know um you know that it’s ashton

39:47.850 –> 39:53.997
the Director of Revenue Management at Terranea, where maybe before I might not have met Ashton.

39:54.838 –> 39:55.378
Thank you, Glenn.

39:55.398 –> 39:57.761
I saw that Terranea reference behind.

39:59.411 –> 40:00.612
But we need to know each other.

40:00.632 –> 40:06.973
The simple philosophy, the teacher in MBA schools, you take care of the guest.

40:07.093 –> 40:12.715
Sorry, you take care of the team, take care of the guest, guest takes care of the owner, and then you repeat and rinse all over again.

40:13.195 –> 40:20.177
It’s a simple formula, but schools like Wharton and Cornell and Harvard and MIT,

40:20.897 –> 40:29.683
You spend two years getting an MBA trying to understand what that really means and how it gets monetized and how you deliver it.

40:30.024 –> 40:38.950
And if you can live in a business here where you really get to know people and then you can be agile enough to listen and make changes, you know, what’s the worst thing?

40:38.970 –> 40:40.231
The housekeeper says, you know what?

40:40.751 –> 40:46.936
I love our beds and they’re awesome, but I can’t clean them because I can’t get around them and I can’t lift the mattress to make a corner fold.

40:47.736 –> 40:48.697
What can we do about that?

40:50.069 –> 40:52.653
If I don’t do anything, now I’ve created a bad environment.

40:52.673 –> 40:58.643
So I’m really, I mean, if there’s something I’m proud about with Coral Tree is that we’re highly engaged

41:00.151 –> 41:01.412
that touches the guest.

41:01.872 –> 41:07.155
And we’re willing to customize every property to do what we need to do to make a great experience.

41:07.295 –> 41:07.715
I love it.

41:07.855 –> 41:09.276
Every new favorite guest, Glenn.

41:09.616 –> 41:10.717
I know.

41:10.757 –> 41:12.178
Don’t tell all the other guests that.

41:12.578 –> 41:14.059
Tom, we got a question for you.

41:14.799 –> 41:18.421
Mr. Karch is asking, he’s a GM in Pittsburgh, I believe.

41:18.482 –> 41:20.783
Weekends to this day are challenging finding employees.

41:20.863 –> 41:24.505
How do you feel about pay increases or other incentive ideas that you implement?

41:25.427 –> 41:33.114
Yeah, I feel the same way today that I did 30 years ago, which is, look, if you want top talent, you pay top wages.

41:33.874 –> 41:39.659
And wages doesn’t always come across in just what’s your hourly rate or what’s your salary.

41:40.160 –> 41:41.261
It’s a package, right?

41:41.301 –> 41:50.629
If the two of us are going to go out and do something different, the salary might be somewhat meaningful, but what’s more meaningful is the other stuff.

41:50.689 –> 41:52.090
So we worked really hard.

41:52.777 –> 42:21.575
uh to try to create um compensation packages that uh has people perform at the highest level you know so we’re we’re performance based we i believe your compensation shouldn’t be capped it should be applied into the guest experience everybody the company including me and i share it every year has similar if not exact um criteria we have guest satisfaction employee engagement

42:22.150 –> 42:25.231
They’re equal to GOP, right?

42:25.311 –> 42:37.714
Where if you look at all our competitors, the most hotels will say, well, I know guests satisfaction is important and team is, but look, we should put more weight on Evita and more weight on GOP.

42:37.754 –> 42:38.575
Like, wait a minute.

42:38.595 –> 42:40.415
I thought you agreed on this philosophically.

42:40.455 –> 42:41.155
What’s important.

42:41.956 –> 42:42.456

42:42.556 –> 42:46.497
But I don’t think we should, you know, let’s have everyone focused on on and said, I’m like, what doesn’t work.

42:46.937 –> 42:50.398
So we’ve got a really balanced approach to compensation.

42:51.431 –> 42:56.693
Finding the talent, you know, most of our industry colleagues are talking how hard it is.

42:57.914 –> 42:59.194
I’m not going to go down that path.

42:59.494 –> 43:02.015
You know, my view is I don’t know when it was easy.

43:02.436 –> 43:06.857
And if you all can remember when it was easy to find good talent, you’ve got better memories than I do.

43:06.877 –> 43:08.398
You know, what do we do?

43:08.838 –> 43:10.639
Every day I’m hunting, right?

43:10.979 –> 43:15.141
You know, I’ve got a little cafe I like to stop and have coffee and breakfast in.

43:15.601 –> 43:20.542
You know, two of the staff members now work for us, right?

43:20.942 –> 43:22.742
We got a local dry cleaner.

43:22.762 –> 43:25.903
This wonderful lady just was so awesome.

43:26.383 –> 43:28.104
She now works for one of our hotels.

43:28.524 –> 43:32.424
So we’re trying to find people who have the right spirit, and then we’re going to pay them fair wages.

43:32.844 –> 43:43.887
Our agenda is to try to pay at the top 75 percentile of the market, and then every position try to create a performance metric that they can exceed their wages by at least 25% to 30%.

43:45.507 –> 43:49.649
If they’re performing at the highest level, it’s not an entitled wage.

43:50.150 –> 43:54.232
And then we’re creating for mid management and long term management.

43:54.667 –> 44:01.251
You know, we’re creating longer-term incentives, which our industry stayed away for a long time.

44:01.711 –> 44:07.875
Their fear was, wait a minute, what do you mean I’m going to give someone a long-term incentive plan or an LTIP if you’re a GM?

44:08.355 –> 44:09.436
Well, you know, what if they’re here?

44:09.456 –> 44:10.316
I’m going to have to pay them.

44:10.616 –> 44:15.199
Like, yeah, wouldn’t that be great that we could write someone a check for half a million dollars?

44:15.219 –> 44:15.699

44:15.719 –> 44:19.001
They’re going to stay for five years and we didn’t have to turn it over three times.

44:19.421 –> 44:22.303
And when we turned it over each time, we probably lost a million hotels.

44:22.981 –> 44:24.623
in intangible dollars.

44:24.983 –> 44:33.392
So we’ve created long-term incentive plans, midterm incentive plans tied into metrics that are balanced between qualitative and quantitative.

44:35.014 –> 44:41.701
What if you’re at the property level and you have to convince your bosses or owners of this sort of philosophy?

44:41.721 –> 44:42.923
What’s a good strategy for that?

44:44.318 –> 44:59.552
i think everything it gets measured in returns you know so sometimes when i speak about promotion so much someone might think you know oh my gosh must be a great company because nobody looks at a p l that’s not true right well our portfolio is performing at 105 index

45:01.534 –> 45:07.516
Our guest satisfaction to our competitors is serving at 104% index, meaning we’re punching above our weight.

45:07.616 –> 45:09.497
So everything gets measured.

45:09.577 –> 45:14.499
So at the company level, my view is that I’m sitting down with the front desk agent and I’m talking to Mary.

45:15.159 –> 45:24.302
And Mary, if you’re making $22 an hour at Terranea at the front desk, and I say, Mary, every time Anthony comes in, would you let him know there’s a suite available?

45:24.989 –> 45:29.691
And that if he wants to stay there, we’ll give it to him at a great value because it’s empty tonight for an extra $100.

45:30.672 –> 45:33.854
Anthony, if you want it, it would normally cost you another $1,000 a night.

45:34.334 –> 45:37.355
And Mary, by the way, if you do that, I’m going to share that with you.

45:37.695 –> 45:39.817
I’m going to give you 25% of that.

45:41.297 –> 45:50.482
And if you do that, Mary, and you do that one time a day, five days a week, you’re going to add 55% to your $22 wage.

45:51.262 –> 45:52.043
But you know what, Mary?

45:52.103 –> 45:52.663
It’s up to you.

45:53.523 –> 45:54.524
You do it if you don’t want to do it.

45:55.208 –> 45:56.930
That’s what we’re doing on our property level.

45:57.670 –> 45:59.052
And that’s so critical.

45:59.212 –> 46:05.738
And where those programs fall apart is when they do it, they’re not…

46:07.441 –> 46:08.661
They’re not paid immediately.

46:08.681 –> 46:13.723
And then the manager stops implementing it and everybody forgets about it.

46:14.563 –> 46:31.007
And it’s when your point is when you’re having that conversation with them, explaining to them and then keeping that program up and then, you know, celebrating the program, putting it in the back, putting up a sheet of paper and celebrating where everybody is and doing it every day.

46:31.787 –> 46:35.808
making sure they get paid as fast as possible, and making sure that we’re celebrating it.

46:35.988 –> 46:42.310
And so people talk about it, but very few people do it like you do, where it’s like, we’re going to celebrate this and we’re going to talk about this.

46:43.050 –> 46:44.730
And you can apply that everywhere.

46:44.970 –> 46:47.811
I mean, sometimes you think it’s always just the guest facing, right?

46:48.191 –> 46:48.911
But you can do it.

46:49.371 –> 46:51.252
We manage a bunch of golf operations.

46:51.292 –> 47:01.114
So you can incent and motivate our agronomy teams by saying, look, if you can get your job done in four and a half hours, I’m going to pay you.

47:01.787 –> 47:02.548
Four and a half days.

47:02.568 –> 47:02.988
Excuse me.

47:03.008 –> 47:04.209
We’re going to pay for five days.

47:04.669 –> 47:05.830
Can we do it efficiency?

47:05.890 –> 47:07.091
What’s going to be the process?

47:07.471 –> 47:14.316
And by the way, if you can take off on a Friday where you normally would be here till four o’clock, five o’clock and be done at noon, here’s what you’ll do.

47:14.777 –> 47:19.380
But you’ve got to do things swiftly, safely, and you’ve got to do them in a qualitative way.

47:19.680 –> 47:21.161
And there has to be a process for that.

47:21.201 –> 47:24.504
So I don’t think there’s a one answer answer.

47:25.385 –> 47:46.350
um you know fits every function to me it’s all customization uh you know what’s good for the housekeeper right sometimes what’s good for the housekeeper is that if they could work four days versus working five days if they could get a guaranteed weekend off you know two two times in a month as opposed to being in a random schedule right take care of people who take care of us that’s what we do

47:47.520 –> 47:47.880

47:49.620 –> 47:52.241
No, it’s freaking amazing.

47:52.341 –> 47:54.741
I love this kind of stuff.

47:54.801 –> 47:58.982
I think this is what really adds to the depth of our show and what separates us from others out there.

48:00.002 –> 48:05.843
But I want to ask you real quick before we get going about new development next year.

48:05.883 –> 48:08.844
And unfortunately, this is the only – the best I could do.

48:08.904 –> 48:09.824
I cut off part of the picture.

48:10.164 –> 48:12.264
Pier 66 coming to Fort Lauderdale.

48:12.284 –> 48:14.625
The reason why I picked it out is I love –

48:15.405 –> 48:19.667
modernizing and bringing classic buildings into the present.

48:19.707 –> 48:23.448
This is such a gorgeous piece of mid-century modern architecture.

48:24.248 –> 48:34.232
How are you approaching this renovation and meeting the guest needs in 2024 as opposed to when this thing was built in, I guess, early 1960s?

48:34.592 –> 48:36.413
You respond on.

48:37.013 –> 48:42.635
First of all, I smile when you put that picture up because, like I said, I’ve been doing this 40 years and

48:43.375 –> 48:47.637
I’ve built or been a part of building and operating a lot of new hotels.

48:47.997 –> 48:49.938
We have nine of them under construction right now.

48:50.618 –> 48:54.859
This is the most complicated, most expensive project I’ve ever done in my career.

48:55.199 –> 48:56.260
Whoa, really?

48:56.520 –> 49:00.961
So Terranea, you had the picture of Terranea, which is a world-class resort in Palos Verdes.

49:01.602 –> 49:04.643
That was a half a billion dollar investment.

49:05.363 –> 49:08.384
That was like 15 years ago?

49:08.404 –> 49:09.585
15 years ago, yeah, great memory.

49:09.645 –> 49:10.345

49:11.052 –> 49:23.418
you know, so, you know, irregardless of present value, you know, calculations, this is a $2 billion project project, and that’s a B and it’s an independent, um, property.

49:23.458 –> 49:25.299
So it has no brand affiliation.

49:25.920 –> 49:26.560
And, um,

49:27.557 –> 49:54.048
being built and designed and intended to be awarded at all the accolades that begin with the number five five star five diamond we’ve got um unbelievable decor in here uh and it’s you know interesting enough it’s not on the beach and so you know someone would say gosh you’re the marina yeah right got the marina and it’s got not a marina it’s got the biggest marina in you know all of florida and the gate what

49:54.868 –> 49:57.950
Gateway to the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

49:58.130 –> 50:01.252
So it’s a big part of the customer base is those yacht owners.

50:01.312 –> 50:09.976
So what you’re doing here, this is being developed by Tavistock, which is a very successful privately held company led by Joe Lewis.

50:10.076 –> 50:12.998
And it also has this wonderful hotel that we’re operating.

50:13.058 –> 50:15.619
And we helped to open in Lake Nona called The Wave.

50:16.279 –> 50:18.361
It’s an unbelievable product.

50:18.381 –> 50:20.862
So he’s got impeccable taste.

50:21.202 –> 50:23.023
So the decor is world class.

50:24.183 –> 50:30.569
We’ve got restaurants, we have nine restaurants in Pier 66, a wellness and spa operation that

50:31.783 –> 50:35.227
You know, candidly, we’ll make all the luxury brands in the market be envious.

50:35.607 –> 50:36.608
It’s going to be unbelievable.

50:36.648 –> 50:38.250
So we’re going to open it in October next year.

50:38.270 –> 50:39.471
We’re underway.

50:39.551 –> 50:45.698
It’s the only thing that really left is if you see right behind your head, there’s what’s called the pier.

50:46.078 –> 50:48.661
At the top of that is a restaurant on pier.

50:49.161 –> 50:51.924
That’s the only building that remains from gold.

50:52.124 –> 50:54.267
Everything else has been torn down and rebuilt.

50:54.987 –> 51:03.113
And that building, we just took down to the concrete and kept some of the shell, but everything else, it’s just unreal.

51:03.493 –> 51:05.755
Where is it located?

51:05.915 –> 51:06.615
Fort Lauderdale.

51:06.655 –> 51:07.676
Fort Lauderdale, Anthony.

51:08.826 –> 51:14.488
right there on the intercoastal and on the port heading out to where the cruise ships go, et cetera.

51:14.528 –> 51:15.648
So unbelievable.

51:15.668 –> 51:20.450
You know, this will be a business model that’s got about a thousand team members serving it.

51:21.290 –> 51:24.731
It’s got products, the guest room product, meeting space.

51:24.751 –> 51:25.932
We’ve got a glass ballroom.

51:25.972 –> 51:27.212
I mean, think about that.

51:27.252 –> 51:31.594
All that stuff to really take, you know, the benefit of the blue skies and the like.

51:31.634 –> 51:33.454
So it’s going to be unreal.

51:33.474 –> 51:34.595
I can’t wait for it to be done.

51:36.136 –> 51:46.823
It’s got about 385 hotel rooms and then it’s got another, I’ll call it 52 more villas, which are basically the equivalent of penthouse suites.

51:47.223 –> 51:49.324
And then there’s condominiums on the property.

51:49.745 –> 51:51.165
Also, that’s for sale product.

51:51.185 –> 51:52.246
They’re actually selling now.

51:52.266 –> 51:56.729
They’ve been selling condos that are going in the range between four and ten million dollars.

51:57.233 –> 51:58.974
So it’s a spectacular property.

51:58.994 –> 52:00.135
You guys got to go check it out.

52:01.156 –> 52:02.657
So spring breakers won’t be staying there.

52:03.637 –> 52:04.538
I don’t think so.

52:05.138 –> 52:05.799
I don’t think so.

52:05.839 –> 52:08.280
At least if they did what I did at that age, the answer is no.

52:09.501 –> 52:09.841

52:09.921 –> 52:14.744
I was sleeping on a beach somewhere, you know?

52:15.025 –> 52:18.807
So Tom, you should have us out for the opening of this thing.

52:18.827 –> 52:21.869
We can do a broadcast from there and the whole, the whole, I would love for you to do that.

52:21.889 –> 52:22.009

52:23.675 –> 52:31.223
So before we wrap up, any final thoughts, any observations on 2023 and how you see 2024?

52:31.884 –> 52:33.646
Just real broad, quick comment.

52:33.846 –> 52:39.091
Yeah, I mean, 23 has been a bit for the industry, a grind, right?

52:39.272 –> 52:40.853
Debt markets have been challenging.

52:40.933 –> 52:42.235
Interest rates jumped up.

52:42.855 –> 52:44.157
The loans from

52:44.833 –> 52:50.455
A lot of hotel owners, CMBS loans, in particular in the urban, all are coming to maturity dates.

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That’s the industry.

52:53.536 –> 52:57.078
At Coral Tree, 23 is a phenomenal year.

52:57.398 –> 52:58.779
We’ve got a lot of new growth.

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We bought a new platform, a vacation rental platform with properties in all the islands of Hawaii and up in the mountains.

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Exciting times.

53:08.144 –> 53:09.326
24 is simple for me.

53:09.927 –> 53:18.500
Um, it’s I’m bullish, you know, really, uh, the indicators obviously remove the feds, move the interest rates and telegraph that we saw the market jump.

53:19.061 –> 53:21.905
Uh, we’re seeing some softening and a little bit of the debt market.

53:22.681 –> 53:27.283
And we’re seeing a lot of liquidity of people who have a lot of high net worth ready to buy things.

53:27.683 –> 53:30.704
So we’re back in the business and group is back.

53:31.804 –> 53:38.607
Leisure obviously slowed down and group is back and group is spending money because they haven’t been together for a while.

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And companies say, look, I might be worried about the economy, but in order to be that, to serve the economy, I got to have my companies come together.

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So our group backlog for next year is really strong and robust.

53:51.331 –> 53:51.811

53:52.052 –> 53:53.353
Thank you so much.

53:53.413 –> 53:56.075
Tom, how about a good shout out for Coral Tree Hospitality?

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Thanks so much, you guys.

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Great to see you and happy holidays to you all.

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I hope you have a great holiday.

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And please tell Mark I said hello.

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I’m going to text him in about 30 seconds, Anthony.

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And like I told the young lady last week, I tell him I said I got off the track and I listened to him.

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You’ve done just fine, sir.

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I’ll see you next week.

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Thanks so much.

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I want to thank you out there so much for supporting Anthony and I and everything that we do in 2023.

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This has been the most incredible year, and I look forward to being here with him throughout 2024.

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Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, NoVacancyNews on YouTube, and all of our shows are housed at

54:44.149 –> 54:46.971
And don’t forget, download the audio version of our shows.

54:46.991 –> 54:48.612
I know a lot of you are listening to that right now.

54:48.652 –> 54:52.834
For those of you that are watching us, download it and get our newsletter text word HOTEL to 66866.

54:54.515 –> 54:56.616
Merry, merry, happy holidays, everybody.

54:56.636 –> 54:59.078
And remember, you’ve got one life, so blaze on and…

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Be kind to yourself.

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See you next year.

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Next week.