Canadian Hotel Investment Conference in pictures

From left: Don Cleary, new Marriott vice-president Canada, Bill Marriott, Michael Beckley, Scott Allison, Debbie Marriott Harrison and Ron Harrison.

From left: Don Cleary, new Marriott vice-president Canada, Bill Marriott, Michael Beckley, Scott Allison, Debbie Marriott Harrison and Ron Harrison.

While the highlight of the day had to be Debbie Marriott Harrison interviewing her father Bill, Himalaya Jain of ScotiaMcLeod explained why low oil prices aren't going away anytime soon. Here's a pictorial look at yesterday's Canadian Hotel Investment Conference, held at the Hilton Toronto.

Big Country, Big Changes, Big Deals was the topic of the first panel moderated by Lyle Hall and consisting of Steve Giblin, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts, Drew Coles, InnVest REIT and Bill Stone of CBRE Hotels, with Lyle Hall as moderator. Topics included consolidation of the industry, the contrast between transaction values in the U.S. and Canada, who is buying what in Canada, and the impact of oil on different regions.

Drew Coles, InnVest REIT, Steve Giblin, SilverBirch and Bill Stone, CBRE.

Drew Coles, InnVest REIT, Steve Giblin, SilverBirch and Bill Stone, CBRE.

Himalaya Jain of ScotiaMcLeod drilled deeper into the impact of oil, presenting a less optimistic view than the previous panel. While the earlier panel thought the low oil price problem might go away within the next year, Jain said the underlying world politics mean that the prices are not likely to rise substantially any time soon. 

Himalaya Jain, Craig Shannon of Trimaven Capital Advisors and Eric Watson of MasterBUILT Hotels.

Himalaya Jain, Craig Shannon of Trimaven Capital Advisors and Eric Watson of MasterBUILT Hotels.

Legendary hotelier Bill Marriott, his daughter Debbie Marriott Harrison and son-in-law Ron Harrison flew into Toronto for the conference, stopping en route from the airport to have a good look at the new Delta Toronto. At the conference, Debbie Harrison interviewed her dad, touching on topics such as leadership style, culture as a competitive advantage, and the need to leave your ego at the door. They also spoke about Marriott's biggest successes and biggest mistakes, the octagenarian's views on millennials, and his preference for colour rather than the current design trend toward grey, brown and other dark colours.

“I like reds and oranges,” he told the group. “Finally, they got me a little red pillow. They put it on email so now I get it everywhere I go.”

See video with caption: “Video: Bill Marriott speaks at 2015 Canadian Hotel Investment Conference”. Video available¬†here.

— SOURCE Big Picture Conferences Inc

Debbie Marriott Harrison and her father Bill.

Debbie Marriott Harrison and her father Bill.

One of the afternoon breakout sessions, titled Money Talks! started with the optimistic premise that “it's a borrower's market,” and continued to outline the current financing situation from the point of view of key lenders BDC, GE Capital and Wells Fargo, brokers Colliers and CFO Group, and borrowers InnVest and Holloway.

Money Talks! panel from left, moderator Jason Arbuckle, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP; Lisa To, BDC; Michael Rapps, Holloway; Chantal Nappert, InnVest REIT; Mark Kay, CFO Group; Robin McLuskie, Colliers; Ed Khediguian, GE Capital and Abid Gilani, Wells Fargo Bank.

Money Talks! panel from left, moderator Jason Arbuckle, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP; Lisa To, BDC; Michael Rapps, Holloway; Chantal Nappert, InnVest REIT; Mark Kay, CFO Group; Robin McLuskie, Colliers; Ed Khediguian, GE Capital and Abid Gilani, Wells Fargo Bank.

New this year was an artist who prepared real time infographics on each session.

The conference wound up with A View from the Top, as moderator Chuck Henry of Hotel Capital Advisors and speakers Rai Sahi of Morguard Corporation and Jon Love of Kinsett Capital provided insights into the state of capital markets.

This was one of the largest CHIC conferences with 490 registrants compared to the all-time high of just over 500, said Orie Berlasso of conference organizer Big Picture Conferences. Next year at this time, the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference will celebrate its 20th Anniversary.