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NEXT BIG NYC STAR

NEXT BIG NYC STAR
The Tonys may be over, but midscale hotels are poised for their strut down the red carpet, especially in NYC, where we mingled with thousands at last week's NYU international hospitality investment conference at the Marriott Marquis (we are very efficient when we mingle).
Ed Watkins, Jim Abrahamson, and Joel Eisemann at Marriott Marquis on June 5, 2012
InterContinental Hotels' Joel Eisemann (right, with Lodging Hospitality editor Ed Watkins and Interstate Hotels CEO Jim Abrahamson) says midscale hotels are following luxury's moment in the spotlight. He says New York City is teeming with mid-block projects (telling, since everyone knows the corner is the best piece). Some full-service hotels that have little or no meeting space and not much F&B are even converting to select-service—and sometimes getting better prices along the way.

Chris Christie at Marriott Marquis on June 4, 2012
NJ Gov. Chris Christie, keynoting the event, said a Day of Reckoning is coming, and he wasn't talking about a hoped-for Jets/Giants Super Bowl at the Meadowlands in 2014 (he bleeds green). Instead, he was referring to US money troubles. The man who cut $2B from the in-process 2010 state budget via executive order when he came into office says the American people have to choose between passive resignation to an economic tailspin or proactive mastery of their fates. That means rewarding those who speak the truth about cutting spending, reforming the tax code, and fixing entitlement spending and Social Security.
Eric Danziger, Lynne Brown, and Gerald Lawless at Marriott Marquis on June 5, 2012
Jumeirah exec chairman Gerald Lawless (right, with Parsippany-based Wyndham CEO Eric Danziger and NYU's Lynne Brown) says luxury hotels in Dubai are surpassing '07/'08 levels of 100% occupancy at $1,000/night. (Tom Cruise scaling the side of the Burj Khalifa in MI: Ghost Protocol must've been good PR.) His firm is about to open its ninth property in Dubai. Jumeirah has been concentrating on becoming a truly international luxury brand, and the goal is 30 worldwide by the end of 2015. He says the firm still intends to be running NYC's Essex House in a year (and thus we assume he means to infinity and beyond).
Arne Sorenson, Randy Smith, and Jonathan Tisch at Marriott Marquis on June 4, 2012
Loews chair and NY Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch (right, with Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson and STR CEO Randy Smith) says the breakdown in talks for a casino and convention center at the Aqueduct is good for friends of Javits, but other gaming companies certainly are interested. He also says social media ROI may not be immediately apparent to the hotel giants, but it evens the playing field for smaller firms like his to create brand awareness.
Wendy White, Ronda McCrea, and Marlene Colucci at Marriott Marquis on June 4, 2012
We also snapped Pillsbury partner Wendy White, Lodging Development Marketing principal Ronda McCrea, and AHLA's Marlene Colucci. Ronda tells us the lodging investment world is more optimistic than it's been in three years, especially in the Northeast. And that's carrying over to the design community, as postponed renovations and ground-up projects start up. She tells us her client MLG Architects is working on NYC's Westin Grand Central for Host, Morgans Hotel for FelCor, and Park Central Hotel for LaSalle Hotels.
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