BOSTON—Officials of the Hotel Equity & Lender Perspectives (HELP) Conference set for April 8-9 at the Seaport Boston Hotel announced key topics and speakers for the two-day event, including:
Perspectives from 30,000 Feet—Kicking off the conference will be an insightful outlook for hotel equity and debt featuring Scott Berman, principal and industry leader, PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Anne Lloyd-Jones, managing director, HVS International; Mark Woodworth, president, PKF Hospitality Research, LLC; and moderator, Jeff Higley, VP, Digital Media & Communications, HotelNewsNow.com/STR.
At Last, Financing for Hotels Over $25 Million—One of a number of panels expected to attract significant interest, this topic will be dissected by Israel Lopez, senior vice president, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Joe O’Loughlin, vice president, Wells Fargo Bank, among others; and moderated by Tom McConnell, executive managing director, Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman. A separate panel will be conducted on financing under $25 Million.
The REIT Beat—Are REITS Out in Front for 2013?—Already active in 2013, these publicly held investment structures are expected to be a major player this year. Speakers include John Murray, president, Hospitality Property Trust; and John Arabia, CFO & EVP Corporate Strategy, Sunstone Hotel Investors. “The HELP Conference features 12 sessions and break-out panels during the two-day event,” said Chad Crandell, HELP co-chair and CHM president. “HELP is the only national conference focusing on the billions of dollars in debt and equity required to support the hotel industry.”
Advanced registration is expected to exceed the 300 participants who attended the inaugural conference in 2012. Participants at this year’s event are expected to attract hotel owners, public and private investors and financial institutions with more than $15 billion of hotel assets. Other attendees include hotel management companies, hotel brands, consultants, and specialists in hotel real estate.
“We already are seeing a significantly larger group of financial institutions registering and sponsoring, which we believe is indicative of increased interest in hotel investment,” said Ken Wilson, HELP co-chair and CHM CEO. “We are encouraged by registration in this segment of our industry."
The conference is designed to encourage and support networking, including a “Dine-Around” at which small groups of hoteliers gather for private dinners at Boston’s leading restaurants to discuss trends and deals. “We know a number of real estate financings and transactions were initiated last year and expect a significant increase in deal activity this year,” said Jim O’Connell, founder, O'Connell Hospitality Group. “Overall, hotel real estate transactions are expected to increase substantially in 2013, and a number of those deals will start at HELP.”
Registration for HELP is $695 during the early registration period through February 1st, after which it increases to $795. More information about the Hotel Equity & Lender Perspectives Conference, including sponsorship details, is available at www.helpconference.com or by calling (978) 777-4100.