The Hotel Data Conference 2017 in Nashville saw record attendance and came this year amid great excitement of the solar eclipse. I met a cyclist on her way, and it looks as though American Airlines is getting into the spirit, too.
Once again, for the ninth consecutive year, a very successful Hotel Data Conference has just ended in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s an all-hands-on-deck event for us at Hotel News Now, so I get to go over to enjoy this growing city’s hospitality.
And Music City really is booming. There are cranes everywhere, some of them over an upcoming JW Marriott and other hotels ready to welcome the many flocking here to live, meet and savor.
As one HDC attendee, Matt Marquis, CEO and president of Pacifica Hotels, tweeted, a destination in which numerous cranes are busy at work has to beat one that rarely sees them, that is, if you are in the real estate, development and hospitality game.
We used his tweet on that subject as part of the conference’s Day 1 wrap-up.
A subject mentioned at length throughout HDC was the upcoming total solar eclipse, which will move across the US today, 21 August.
The eclipse will be experienced in Nashville (here’s a map of its Tennessee trajectory), and it is hoped the STR staff at its Hendersonville, Tenn., headquarters can be forgiven for leaving their desks for a few minutes to witness this extraordinary event.
Talk at the conference was of occupancy and average daily rate hotels in the trajectory might enjoy during the eclipse. Certainly more detail of that will be shared by STR.
Two days after the end of HDC, I moved on to HNN’s offices in Ohio.
Driving around the state, I stopped off in Wooster, and the wonderful Tulipán Hungarian Pastry & Coffee Shop (I recommend the poppy-seed strudel), which made me nostalgic for the Hungarian Pastry Shop on Amsterdam Ave. and 111th St., close to where I once lived in New York and much beloved by locals and Columbia University students.
Anyway, I got talking with four cyclists at Tulipán who had broken up their training with a coffee. One said she was off to Nashville to see the eclipse.
I asked if it would be rude of me to ask how much she had paid for her hotel, and she replied she got it on points.
That is quite the score. The cyclist said she had booked quite a few months ago.
Which had me thinking of bad eclipse puns about hotels not being able to have blackout dates.
She added her parents were paying a healthy sum for their hotel, but the four of them were off on their bikes before I could ask if they intended to cycle down to Nashville.
The one oddity about my trip to Nashville was my American Airlines flight to Chicago, before I transferred to Tennessee.
Now, I always ask for a window seat if I know the flight is during the daytime, but on this flight, the first time I had flown in a Boeing 787, or at least this era of it, the windows automatically tint to a shade of bluish-black that disallows any chance of seeing outside.
This to me is hideous, doubly so as this airlines is where my air miles are stored.
Yes, I know I will be asked to draw down the shade, if there had been one, but I could have pulled it up a little to see the beautiful scenery unfold below me, and I realize I would never win the argument that I would forward that Earth is far more entertaining than the latest bunch of movies on the inflight TVs that have considered sanitized enough for all-ages consumption.
There is also the strangeness of flying with the sun across the planet but it being perpetually dark inside the metal tin until about 10 minutes before landing.
Get a nighttime flight if you want darkness (another argument I will lose).
Maybe the airline is preparing us all for the eclipse or giving an idea of how wondrous it is to those who will not have the chance to witness it.
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