AHOAACON21 | A State of The Industry Report and AHOAA Tips From Alkesh Patel, Past Chairman Of AAHOA.

AAHOA is upon us.  For those who are unaware, the Asian American Hotel Owner’s Association (AAHOA) is the largest hotel owner’s association in the nation. AAHOA boasts over 19,500 members who own almost one in every two hotels in the United States. According to AAHOA, their members have billions of dollars in property assets, hundreds of thousands of employees, and are core economic contributors in virtually every community.

In advance of the AAHOACON21 in Dallas, Sky Global Hospitality, a world leader in outfitting developments around the globe, spent a few moments with AAHOA Past Chairman, Alkesh Patel to gain some industry insight and helpful tips to make the most of our time in Dallas.  We’re excited to return to an in-person conference this year after last year’s virtual conference due to COVID.

Sky Global Hospitality:  What have you been up to since serving as Chairman of AAHOA?

Alkesh Patel:  I am currently Chairman and CEO of Evergreen Hospitality Development Group.  We are involved in the development, management, and construction of traditional, select service, and extended stay properties with a variety of brands including Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, and Hampton.  We opened three hotels between 2019 and 2021 with five more ready for construction.  Three will be breaking ground in 2021, and two in 2022.  We are also diversifying into multifamily and senior housing.

Sky Global Hospitality: Why do people attend AAHOA?

Alkesh Patel:  AAHOA has been around for over twenty-five years and is the best event of its kind for the lodging industry.  Attendees get a thorough insight into the state of the industry and gain knowledge not otherwise available.  It is also an unrivaled networking opportunity where you get facetime with industry experts, vendors, and franchises.  It’s really a “must-attend” to help ensure success in navigating the challenges facing our community.

Sky Global Hospitality: What are you looking forward to at AAHOACON21?

Alkesh Patel:  I’m really excited to meet face-to-face with the members, vendors, and industry partners since many of us have not been able to fully interact over the past eighteen months.  AAHOA is about making personal connections and sharing knowledge.  With all the changes that have happened to our industry, it’s imperative we get together and collaborate to propel us forward.

Sky Global Hospitality:  What must people do at AAHOA this year.

Alkesh Patel:  Attending the general sessions is a must this year.  We’re all going to gain valuable insight into the challenges facing our industry.  From franchise to build, you can get all the information you need at AAHOA.  Just take advantage of everything the show has to offer.  It’s like drinking from a firehose.  Talk to vendors and attend social events.  Besides the networking opportunities, it is much-needed time spent with our community.

Sky Global Hospitality: Speaking of challenges, how has COVID affected the industry?

Alkesh Patel:  COVID has impacted everyone in different ways, mentally, physically, and financially.  Of course, there was the shutdown.  Anytime the train stops moving, there’s going to be a lot of pains, and everyone had to be nimble and creative just to survive.  But the ripple effects are still quite prevalent.  Now we have a labor shortage facing our industry.  This forces capacity downward since we don’t have enough staff to properly service the entire property.  I don’t anticipate a quick fix to the labor shortage, but I genuinely believe we will come up with creative solutions.

Sky Global Hospitality:  Are there other challenges facing the industry?

Alkesh Patel:  All industries are facing a supply chain problem right now.  We’re feeling it in lumber, textiles, FF&E, and even toilet paper.  The supply chain issue doesn’t just affect new construction but remodels and even regular maintenance.

Interview continued below
Alkesh Patel - Past Chairman of AAHOA
The past eighteen months are over. I predict business will be very busy for the next three to five years.

Sky Global Hospitality:  What can people do to navigate supply chain issues?

Alkesh Patel:  That’s a simple yet complex answer.  Plan.  Lead times aren’t three to six months anymore.  We need to plan a year in advance now.   It’s also critical they have capable vendors like you who can source worldwide.

Sky Global Hospitality: *laughs* Thank you for the kind words.  What encourages you about the future of the industry?

Alkesh Patel:  The past eighteen months are over.  I predict the lodging, meeting, and conference business will be very busy for the next three to five years.  People are ready and want to get out and start making deals in person.  While the pandemic slowed development which reduced supply, it also allows operators to capitalize on the demand.

Sky Global Hospitality:  Thank you for your time and we’re excited to join you face-to-face in Dallas.

Alkesh Patel: Yes, I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing all the members and friends and connecting in person again at AAHOA.

You can find out more and reach out to Alkesh by visiting https://evergreenhdg.com

Contact: David Ber david@skyglobalhospitality.com

About Sky Global Hospitality:

Sky Global Hospitality is your customized, direct, high-quality one-stop shop fulfilling all your interior requirements of hotel, hospitality, and resort developments.  We are a U.S.-based corporation with global offices that combine western expertise and professionalism with international manufacturing and workforce.  The results are outstanding benefits, from technical and design proficiency to expertly built products in our own facilities.  We have a proven track record of working with the world’s top developers, and Hotel / Restaurant operators in providing completely customized to spec interior build-out solutions.

To learn more about Sky Global Hospitality, visit https://skyglobalcorp.com