Officials of the Southern Lodging Summit, an annual gathering of hoteliers specializing in development and operations in the southern United States, today announced it will host its 14th annual conference August 16-17 in Memphis, Tenn. The conference will commence with the organization’s signature luncheon at the world famous Rendezvous BBQ Restaurant, offering networking opportunities with industry experts and event speakers. Among them is keynote speaker and distinguished hospitality professional, Fred Kleisner. Other conference features include a tour of the TRU by Hilton model hotel room and lobby, providing attendees a more interactive experience.
“Industry professionals and financial experts across the board agree that we are at or near peak growth and now are at a steady growth rate with modest demand and supply,” said Chuck Pinkowski, owner of Pinkowski & Company and conference co-founder. “The Southern Lodging Summit allows hospitality professionals to network and exchange ideas with other hoteliers, strengthening the fundamentals of the industry for future growth.”
The conference kicks off with its “Lunch with the Speakers” at the renowned Rendezvous Restaurant for one-on-one networking opportunities with distinguished guests and event speakers. This will be followed by a tour of a TRU-Hilton Worldwide hospitality model room and lobby. TRU by Hilton is a midscale product and part of a portfolio of 13 independent yet complementary hotel brands. It is forward-thinking and innovative, with four zones for lounging, working, eating and playing. The zones include the hive, the play zone, command center and a build-your-own breakfast area, all offering an interactive and spacious, millennial mindset design. The day will close with a “March of the Ducks” at the Peabody and an evening cocktail reception and dinner.
The following day will take place at the Memphis Cook Convention Center and will kick off its sessions with a presidents panel. Mark Carrier, senior officer of the B. F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, then will provide a legislative update for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). Other sessions include an outlook on future design planning, F&B trends and profitability, and an STR presentation of industry trends.
With five decades of hospitality experience, keynote speaker Fred Kleisner has worked in nearly every sector in hospitality, from individual hotels and resorts to worldwide branded hospitality companies. During his career, Kleisner has held such varied positions as chairman, president and CEO of Wyndham International and Morgans Hotel Group, president and COO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Westin Hotels & Resorts, president and director of Hard Rock Holdings and director, executive committee member and treasurer of the board at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. He currently serves as an independent director of Caesars Entertainment Corporation and member on Aimbridge Hospitality’s board of managers.
Celebrating its 14th year, the Southern Lodging Summit was co-founded by Pinkowski & Company, an independent hotel industry consulting firm headquartered in Memphis, and Metropolitan Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association. The hospitality industry event brings together hotel professionals who target the southern and mid-south region of the United States for development and operations. The annual event draws a diverse group of owners, operators, sales executives, financial institutions, architects, attorneys, and hotel company representatives.