Anticipating a tsunami of hotel refinancing, development and refurbishment projects as the hotel industry continues to recover, industry leaders today announced plans to host the inaugural Hotel Equity & Lender Perspectives (HELP) conference, a two-day hotel investment event scheduled for May 2 – 3 at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston.
“It’s been several years since any substantial financing has been available to the hotel industry,” said event co-organizer Jim O’Connell, principal of O’Connell Hospitality Group. “This conference was developed to re-engage the players and discuss the issues and opportunities. We believe that assembling professionals with common interests is the best way to get investment funds flowing and further the resurgence of the industry.”
Unlike other industry conferences, HELP attendance will be limited to 400 to ensure that participants have sufficient time and opportunity for meaningful dialogue. “You cannot underestimate the value of networking, so in addition to formal presentations, our curriculum allows for plenty of casual interaction that often is the catalyst to deals being made,” added co-organizer Chad Crandell, president of Capital Hotel Management (CHM).
The event promises to offer up activities not found at other hotel investment conferences. To set the networking mood, the welcome cocktail reception will feature comedian, Lenny Clarke, (Rescue Me, Burn Notice, the John Larraquette Show) followed by an exclusive Dine Around event at which participants have the opportunity to become better acquainted at a number of Boston’s leading waterfront restaurants.
“There’s nothing funny about the lack of financing available to the hotel industry over the last few years, but we think that sharing a drink and a laugh is great way to start a new business relationship,” Crandell added. “It’s a new twist on a conference staple that will set HELP apart.”
The HELP Conference’s goal for networking is to help hoteliers find lending partners and help lenders find quality investments. With that goal in mind, leaders from both industries have come together to design the inaugural program and lead the discussions.
“Topics will range from obtaining debt above and below $25 million, acquiring hotels through buying debt, restructuring and re-emerging, REITs in the hotel space, and a ‘speed dating’ function with the top hotel brands,” said Ken Wilson, co-organizer and CEO of CHM.
Registration fees are $695 for the two-day event. More information about the Hotel Equity & Lender Perspectives conference, including sponsorship details, is available at or by calling 978.777.4100.