2005 Hotel Investment Conference Announces Keynote Speakers

Gary Tharaldson to Give Owners/Developers Outlook; Henry Vickers to Speak on Hotel Investing

Hotel News Resource Officials of the Hotel Investment Conference today announced that hospitality industry leaders Gary Tharaldson and Henry Vickers will be keynote speakers at the 2005 Hotel Investment Conference, to be held March 13-15, 2005, at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta, Ga. The Hotel Investment Conference is one of the industry's four major annual nationwide events designed specifically for hotel owners and investors.

"We have the flexibility to go after experts who have a unique influence on the hospitality field that other conferences often do not consider," said Bob Hunter, conference founder and president of Hunter Realty. "This year in particular, we have spent a great deal of time putting together a list of senior hotel industry executives who will bring a fresh message and unique perspective on the state of the industry that generally aren't heard at other conferences."

Gary Tharaldson, president of Tharaldson Lodging Company, one of the largest independent hotel ownership companies in America, will present his outlook for developers and ownership. Henry G. Vickers, Jr., principal, AEW Capital Management, L.P., one of the nation's leading real estate investment advisory firms, will discuss the changing face of hotel investments. Other featured speakers include Mike Leven, president and CEO, US Franchise Systems, Inc.; Robert Weller, group president, Cendant Corporation; W.Thomas Parrington, president & CEO, Lodgian; Howard Silver, president & COO of Equity Inns; and Joe Green, president of Winston Hotels.

The conference, now in its 17th year, will present several panels focusing on a range of issues, including condo hotels, hotel finance trends, new hotel development, today's market for buying/selling hotels, as well as a president's panel and a special presentation by Dr. Donald Ratajczak, consulting economist. The meeting also will include 12 breakout sessions and 15 roundtable discussions on timely topics of interest to hotel owners.

Hunter noted that early registration is at an all-time high. "We set an attendance record last year with 500 participants," Hunter said. "Factoring in this year's high-profile speakers and the industry rebound, we expect to break that record. Tharaldson spoke five years ago and was great, and we have wanted to bring him back ever since. Vickers is well-respected in the industry for his ability to analyze the industry and predict future trends."

Hunter added that networking remains a key component of the Hotel Investment Conference. "We expect the halls to be alive with the sound of deal-making," Hunter said. "Last year, we had representatives from 35 states and three continents, including a growing contingent from the upper Midwest."

Interested parties may register for the conference on line at by phone at 404-355-0880; by fax at 404-355-0888; or by standard mail: Hotel Investment Conference, One Northside 75, Suite 102, Atlanta, Ga. 30318.

Standard registration fees are $795 and include all breaks, Sunday and Monday evening receptions/buffets, Monday and Tuesday luncheons and all sessions and materials. Hotel owners receive a deep discount to $595. In addition, there is an early registration discount offer that expires February 11, 2005 of $50.