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Hersha Hospitality CEO to Speak at Bisnow Hotel Summit Oct. 19


It was a long climb from a small motel chain to major hotel owner for Hersha Hospitality Trust, CEO Jay Shah, who will be a speaker at Bisnow's 4th annual Lodging Investment and Innovation Series in DC, tells us. Hersha was started as a family business in the early '80s by his mother and father, Hersha and Hasu Shah, and their founding partners.

"Although my brother Neil and I grew up in the business, we pursued professional careers following college and graduate school," he says. "We chose to join the family business in the late '90s, when the company had six limited-service hotels in secondary and tertiary markets in central Pennsylvania."

The partners and their parents gave Neil and Jay great latitude to shift the company's strategy toward the CBDs of the coastal gateway markets in the US, and take the company public. Now the company owns 52 hotels totaling more than 8,400 rooms, mostly on the East Coast.


There's more growth to come: "We're in a historic era of travel as transportation, hotel and lifestyle experiences have become more democratized and widely accessible," Jay says. The industry is the beneficiary of the three major trends underway: urbanization, globalization and digitization.

Despite the great success the industry is enjoying today, Hersha remains focused on understanding technology and how it impacts consumer tastes and preferences. "It's a challenge to know where the puck is going to be and to skate to it, but it is also an opportunity of epic proportions." Pictured: Hersha's Hyatt Union Square New York.

Bisnow's 4th annual Lodging Investment and Innovation Series will be at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel on Oct. 19. Sign up here.