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Crystal Ball Webinar Series - Forecasting webinars for hotel leaders.

Past Event
Thursday, August 27, 2020

Get a glimpse into your future. This exclusive new Crystal Ball 2020 Conference, now a virtual webinar series, takes you into the trends, economics and outlook now shaping California’s hotel and lodging industry going forward after the Covid-19 crisis. Aimed at engaged hoteliers, management companies, owners and sponsors, Crystal Ball 2020 will help you get some direction to help you shape tomorrow for your property. It is a must-attend for the knowledge and data that will be shared between our speakers and top-level industry connections.

Join us each Thursday at 2:00pm during the month of August for a one-hour forecasting webinar. 


Week 1: August 6 – Economic Survival in a Pandemic

A global health scare and its corresponding scarred economy have turned 2020 upside down for consumers and businesses. Although there are cautious signs of commerce re-emerging, it likely will be years before the economy fully recovers. Jesse Edgerton, Senior Economist, provides an overview of what J.P. Morgan thinks will happen with the virus and the U.S. economy.

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Week 2: August 13 – Hotels, Financing and COVID-19: Survival of the Fittest

Julie Purnell with CBRE Hotels Advisory shares CBRE’s forecast for recovery, and then Cara Leonard with CBRE’s Debt & Structured Finance group provides an update on the state of the debt markets. Get a glimpse into lender sentiment and which asset classes and locations are weathering COVID-19 the best.

Week 3: August 20 - State of the Hotel Industry

Join us in learning how the hotel industry has performed in these unprecedented times. Vail Ross, Senior Vice President, Global Business Development & Marketing at STR, will discuss what markets are recovering, what customer segment is coming back , and what they see is on the horizon for signs of recovery.

Week 4: August 27 - Clarifying a Fuzzy Future

The global pandemic and the resulting economic downturn this year was a one-two gut punch for hotels. The short-term impact was swift for owners, brands, managers and employees. Despite the economic hardship, hotels’ collective response to COVID-19 was a quintessential moment of our commitment to communities and people as we provided thousands of rooms to first-responders, hospital workers and vulnerable populations such as the unsheltered. Finding our way back to pre-pandemic normalcy is unpredictable, yet, there are signs of what that path may look like. AHLA’s President and CEO Chip Rogers joins CHLA’s Board Chairman Bijal Patel and President and CEO Lynn S. Mohrfeld to provide some clarity to a fuzzy future.

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Bijal Patel, Vice President , Coast Redwood Hospitality

Bijal Patel is a third generation hotelier who serves the hospitality industry as the 2020 Chairman of the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA), the youngest person in that role in the association’s 127-year history, while also being CEO of Coast Redwood Hospitality, a company based in Northern California that owns and operates a portfolio of hotel and multi-family assets. CH&LA is the largest state hospitality association in the U.S., which represents almost a quarter of a million rooms at properties that range in size from small boutique inns to hotels with 3,000 rooms. During the past five years, Bijal has also held leadership roles in the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), notably as a member of the Young Professional Hoteliers Committee and as an Ambassador in the North Pacific Region. In 2019, he was recognized by AAHOA as a Premier Ambassador and the Young Professional Hotelier of the Year Award. 

Chip Rogers, President & CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association

William “Chip” Rogers joined the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) as President and CEO in January 2019. He previously served as the president and CEO of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), the largest U.S. hotel owners association. Prior to joining AAHOA, Chip had a long career as a public servant. He was elected to the Georgia General Assembly six times and was unanimously elected to serve two terms as the Senate Majority Leader. He was elected the first national chairman of the Majority Leaders conference and served on the national boards of directors for the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, The American Legislative Exchange Council, and Community Leaders of America.

Jesse Edgerton, Executive Director , JP Morgan

Jesse Edgerton is an Executive Director and Senior Economist on the U.S. Economic Research team. He joined the firm in 2014, and Institutional Investor named him a “Rising Star” in economics research in 2015 and 2016. Previously, Jesse was a corporate debt strategist at Goldman Sachs and an economist at the Federal Reserve Board. He holds a BA from Stanford and a PhD from MIT, both in Economics, and he has published academic papers in the Journal of Finance and the Journal of Public Economics.

Lynn Mohrfeld, President & CEO, California Hotel & Lodging Association

Lynn Mohrfeld serves as the President & CEO of the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA).  He has been with CH&LA since 2002.  Mr. Mohrfeld has been involved in the tourism industry for more than 30 years, currently leading the largest and most influential hotel association in the nation, which includes the CHLA Hospitality Foundation, the California Boutique & Breakfast Association, and both candidate and issues political action committees.  Additionally, CHLA manages both the Hotel Association of Los Angeles and the Long Beach Hospitality Alliance. 

Vail Ross, Senior VP of Global Business Development & Marketing , STR

Vail Ross, STR’s Senior VP of Global Business Development & Marketing, is responsible for the overall coordination, functional management and leadership of the company’s business development and marketing strategies. Vail is often featured as a guest speaker at international, national, regional and state conferences. She is an active member of the Destinations International Foundation Board of Directors, HSMAI Las Vegas Advisory Board, Greater Nashville Hospitality Association Board of Directors, and the Margaret Maddox YMCA of Nashville. She was recognized by Hotel Management as one of the Influential Women In Hospitality of 2019 and was the recipient of the 2013 American Hotel & Lodging Association John Whitaker Award.

Julie Purnell, Managing Director |Advisory Leader Americas, CBRE

Julie Purnell is a Managing Director with CBRE Hotels Advisory. Based in San Francisco, she is the advisory leader of the West Division practice. Ms. Purnell brings 30 years of hospitality industry experience from the principal, operator and franchisor perspective from her diverse background in strategic planning, acquisitions, real estate development, adaptive re-use conversions, management contracts, business development and asset value enhancement. Throughout her distinguished career, Ms. Purnell has held acquisition and development roles at notable hotel companies including Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Loews Hotels, Marriott International. Denihan Investments and Destination Hotels. Ms. Punell has been responsible for significantly expanding property portfolios within these hotel companies through sourcing opportunities, negotiating agreements and closing transactions. 

Cara Leonard, Senior Vice President , CBRE

Cara Leonard is a Senior Vice President of Debt and Structured Finance for CBRE Hotels. She is responsible for sourcing advisory clients, capital structure consulting, assessment of assets and business plans, and negotiating investment terms on behalf of her clients. 

Prior to joining CBRE, Cara led the US-based capital markets advisory platform for the Global Hotel Group for Savills plc where she focused on expanding the footprint of the Savills hotel and resort capital markets advisory platform. Before joining Savills, Cara ran lending and structured finance activities for Lowe Enterprises Investors, a Los Angeles based institutional investment manager. While at Lowe , Cara completed approximately $400 million in a senior loan and structured investments on behalf of state pension fund clients. She also sourced and closed financing facilities for senior lending programs and hotel portfolios.  During her tenure at Lowe, Cara also managed the recapitalization of the firm's $266 million hospitality fund and was a key member of the firm's capital formation team, where she closed several programmatic joint ventures with state pension funds, and spearheaded the firm's capital raising and client development efforts. 

CHLA Partners