Garvey Schubert Barer’s Hospitality, Travel & Tourism practice group, in conjunction with program sponsors and presenters, recently hosted two morning Hospitality Forums in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. The forums were designed for hotel owners, developers, investors and operators as well as hospitality industry service providers, consultants and lenders. Both events were well attended—a testament to the sponsors and presenters who offered current data, insights and analysis into issues of importance to those in the hospitality industry.
In particular, Matthew Gardner, of Gardner Economics, provided a macro-level discussion of current economic trends and then narrowed the focus to the Northwest. Matthew sees Seattle as having strong institutional underpinnings that will contribute to continued economic growth. Within the Northwest, condominium projects are not being approved by banks. Apartment construction projects in Seattle are being approved but that segment may soon be over saturated. Matthew did not express concern with the limited amount of hospitality construction underway. A similar presentation by Tom Potiowsky, the PSU Chair of Economics and Director of the Northwest Institute for Applied Economic Research, led off things in Portland. Although not quite as bullish on the local economy as Matthew, Tom was confident that a recovery (although slow) was underway in Oregon, and more particularly, the greater Portland market. Copies of Matthew’s presentation and Tom’s presentation are attached.
Last week the Seattle Hotel Association presented the 6th installment of its annual symposium and economic forecast. Like years past, this year's program featured a terrific line up of local and regional experts, including Matthew Gardner (Gardner Economics), Vail Brown (STR), Lee McCabe (Expedia), Chris Kraus (PKF) and Tom Norwalk and Jerri Lane (Seattle King County Convention and Visitor's Bureau). Local general managers and directors of sales and marketing have come to rely on the Association's annual symposium as an important part of their annual budgeting process.
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.