John Williams isn't predicting any major hotel deals will be negotiated this week at the Skirvin Hilton — but he's quick to point out the arrival of 150 top hotel executives this week is a big win for Oklahoma City.
As general manager of the Skirvin Hilton, Williams is playing host to a five-day-long annual summer summit of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
"It's an extremely high profile event,” Williams said. "These are the leaders of the industry – they live and breathe hotels day in and day out.”
The conference is a chance for the executives to catch up and discuss the latest issues, which include creating "green” hotels, overcoming immigration issues in light of a growing labor shortage, and even how the industry might fare through ongoing economic hardships.
Showing off Oklahoma City
In between conferences, the executives are being offered a chance to see the city and sample its finest restaurants.
"We really get to show off Oklahoma City,” Williams said, which he added could translate into new opportunities for any executives looking to "expand their brands.”
Joe Martin, owner of Stillwater Hospitality and incoming association chairman, said he was proud to have fellow hotel executives visiting his home state.
"Oklahoma in general, and Oklahoma City in particular, is doing great with the improvements that have been made in recent years,” Martin said. "It gives me a great deal of pride to not just show the growth, but the quality of the growth.