Future Hospitality
podcast

Making Informed Hotel Investment Decisions: Kim Bardoul

May 13, 2020

Jeremy Wells: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Future Hospitality Podcast. I’m your host, Jeremy Wells, joined today by co-host, Dustin Myers. We are partners at Longitude Branding, a hospitality branding and experience design agency. At Future Hospitality, our goal is to interview the brightest minds in the industry, gathering insights, ideas, and inspiration to share with you. Today, we discuss how hoteliers are making more informed investment decisions with Kim Bardoul, Partner at The Highland Group, the Hotel Investment Advisory Group. We’ll also discuss their annual report called “The Boutique Hotel Report” with information and data from thousands of hotels around the US. Let’s go ahead and jump in. Kim, thank you so much for joining us today.

Kim Bardoul: Thank you so much. I am honored by the opportunity.

Jeremy Wells: For sure, and we’re honored to have you. The circumstances surrounding us are a little bit odd and nothing we’ve ever gone through. So we’re just all dealing with that, I’m sure.

Kim Bardoul: Yes, we certainly are. It’s nice to hear another voice besides my own.

Jeremy Wells: Yeah. Zoom calls and conference calls have become definitely the norm now. So we’re all used to it by now. Yeah.

Kim, I know that we had connected a little while ago through LinkedIn. I had actually kind of stumbled upon you while looking at a speaker list for the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference. You are going to be speaking on a panel there related to boutique hotel investment. Just kind of peaked my interest, I thought it’d be really good to have you on as a guest and kind of share some of your insights, your experience, and what you guys do at the Highland Group. And so I would love to kind of dive in and just ask you more about your background and what you’re up to. Does that sound good?

Kim Bardoul: Yeah. Sounds good to me.

Jeremy Wells: Awesome. Yeah. So I’d love to hear just a little bit more about your background, kind of what got you into this industry, where you come from, and maybe even a little bit more about the Highland Group as well.

Kim Bardoul: Absolutely. So back when I decided to have a career after college, I had gone into radio sales and it was a lot of fun. It was energetic and it was very corporate, but I was new to all of that, a lot of client-relationship work, which I really enjoyed. But day after day, it just seemed like that I was spinning around in a wheel and there wasn’t really real meaning to what I was doing. So I got an opportunity to learn about the hospitality industry and specifically how hotels can be positioned and their performance can be weighed to help developers determine whether or not they want to continue developing them.

I at first thought, “Oh, this is so fun. I can work from home. I can travel and meet new people.” But I realized that there was a deeper meaning to my job, and it was because it allowed me to help other people. Developers and investors really get emotionally attached to their idea and sometimes need a third party to help them see things and they’re spending a lot of money in most cases, as you well know. So I get an opportunity to advise them, to recommend things as well as provide them with the tools they need to show lenders or partners that the project will work and how well and why or maybe the project won’t work. So I’ve been doing this for 16 years and I really like it.

Jeremy Wells: Awesome. So you got connected, with The Highland Group around what time in that career, in your career?

Kim Bardoul: Actually, The Highland Group was my very first day of work in this industry and I’ve been with them ever since. The Highland Group was founded by Peggy Berg, who happens to be a very good friend and my mentor. She’s retired, but still very much in our field. She works a non-profit organization for women in our industry to provide them with what they need to advance and it’s called the Castell Project. So she started The Highland Group about 30 years ago. It’s still around. It’s a small firm of independent contractors. We’re still doing the same thing we’ve always done, feasibility and market studies. We give investment advice, we do some impact analysis and portfolio valuation, which I have a feeling is going to be in great need after this COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeremy Wells: Oh, yeah, definitely. For sure.

Kim Bardoul: Yeah, brushing up on my skills there.

Jeremy Wells: And you guys also released a boutique hotel report as well, right?

Kim Bardoul: Yes. So about seven years ago, we noticed how the boutique segment seem to be getting a lot of notice, and we started tracking the segment. I decided it was something that needed to be done to determine what really was a boutique hotel and kind of define it so that the industry could see what it was about. And I qualified thousands of hotels on a US hotel census and merged in the franchise hotels as well and developed a database that has allowed us to put together this report that we call The Boutique Hotel Report. It’s so creative, I know, but it is what it is. And it’s actually been out annually for the past six or so years and has tracked the performance of the boutique segment in a pretty amazing way. It’s kind of exciting. Every year, I put the report together and it’s like, “Wow! Look at this.”

Jeremy Wells: Yeah. And Dustin and I got a chance to have a peak at this year’s report and then I was just kind of blown away by how much depth and detail and insight there was in the report and Dustin I’m sure was… I know that we’re talking about it earlier today and it was really insightful. It’s something that I think we’ll probably want access to yearly for sure.

Kim Bardoul: Yeah. I’m so glad you have enjoyed it. I hope you can find it useful. One of the things that was really important at the beginning was defining boutiques as I mentioned. And if you’d like, I can kind of give you a summary of how we did that.

Jeremy Wells: Yeah. For sure.

Kim Bardoul: Okay. So we determine that, of course, there’s the true independently owned and managed boutique hotel. I really think they are experiencing a revival with all the attention that’s been paid the past few years by the major franchises and helping people be more aware of what that really is and that it’s out there. So these boutique hotels, they’re very design-centric. They’re immersed into the local community, and they have an identity. Through different touchpoints, they can show that identity through F&B or an art artwork or a storyline of some sort. And now they’re even grouped into little clusters such as 21c Museum Hotels or Virgin Hotels or the Graduate.

So that’s what we decided would make up the segment of the independent boutique hotel. And then as the franchise companies came in, they started throwing out different boutique hotels, but they weren’t all the same. So we clustered lifestyle hotels and soft brand collection hotel. And the lifestyle hotels, they offer a boutique type of stay, different from a traditional. You can see it in the design and architecture and things throughout the product, but it’s very prescriptive. So you’re going to find Le Méridien or an Andaz or a Hotel Indigo or a W, similar in each market, although still trendy in boutique. I think there’s about 20 of those now, franchise lifestyle hotels. Then the soft-brand collections, which really took off in 2010 with Marriott’s autograph. They appear independent. They’re very unique from one another, but they can do that plug and play with their parent franchise company, right? And so they actually can offer loyalty points and that sort of thing. What you’ll find there or hotels like the Curio by Hilton Destination and Unbound by Hyatt, Tribute by Marriott and I believe there are about 16 of those out there at the moment.

Jeremy Wells: Yeah, that was probably one of the more interesting parts of the report was just seeing how you guys defined each of those because I do think, as you guys probably found over the years, there’s almost been a little bit of dilution of what those terms mean, what is a boutique hotel, what does it mean to be a lifestyle hotel. And I like that term that you guys use of true boutique hotel and how you define that. Actually, I think you split it out into three columns and you had the descriptors of each one. So that was really neat, I think a neat part of that.

Dustin Myers: Yeah. I think that’s really helpful, just to set those parameters so that you know what numbers you’re looking at. It seems like an industry based on the report that has really grown over the last few years. I’m curious. You said you’ve been doing this seven years, how the report has evolved and some of the overarching themes that you’ve noticed through this research?

Kim Bardoul: Sure. Well, I have to say prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, because who knows now where growth is going to be and how fast it’s going to happen, but for the third year in a row, when we published this last one, it was 2019 data, the boutique hotel supply, those three segments collectively was the fastest-growing segment in the US. The US, all US hotels, they were clipping along at about a steady two percent growth. The upscale and extended stay hotels, upscale class and extended stay hotels who have historically been the fastest-growing segments, developers just really like to put these things up and they do really well, they were growing at about a four percent to seven percent rate. But boutique hotels had increased in 2019 at about 11 percent. And for the past three years had been topping those segments.

So you have to say, “Well, what is it? What is it that’s causing this to happen?” I really don’t think. It’s, it’s a huge surprise. I mean this type of hotel is so interesting and experiential. It’s definitely something that can command a premium if it’s done right, thoughtfully curated hotel that provides a different state than what corporate and leisure travelers are expecting, something that they can go home to their families and say, “Wow! You wouldn’t believe this place I just stayed in,” instead of, “Oh yeah, well, I just stayed in the same old hotel.” I think it just really has picked up traction and one part of our report shows segments of these types of hotels against the traditional hotels in RevPAR, which is, revenue per available room. And in most cases, they have a higher RevPAR and command a higher occupancy rate.

I mean this type of hotel is so interesting and experiential. It’s definitely something that can command a premium if it’s done right

Jeremy Wells: Yeah. As far as like some of the trends that you’re seeing there, do you think it’s like a mixture of like the consumer’s needs are changing, like what guests are expecting and what they’re wanting is changing? Or do you think maybe the investment opportunities kind of being free from that flag or that brand umbrella and having no strings attached there? Or do you think it’s a mixture? Like what do you think is making it ideal or seemingly ideal for investors to get into the more boutique and independently owned?

Kim Bardoul: Yes. I think it’s both. I think consumers are liking the option of having a little different experience when they travel rather than the typical traditional hotel, which certainly served their purpose. But when you can choose one against the other and the same market, it’s kind of fun to see what’s going on here and experience that. I think also what I was just talking about with the growth and new supply, I mean it’s picked up traction. All of the larger firms are announcing their own boutique brand. I think, as I said, if it’s done really well, it can get a higher average rate than your traditional hotel in the same market just because it’s unique and maybe you have a rooftop component or maybe you have a speakeasy and we can just wander the halls, if you’ve ever been to the 21c Museum Hotel and see artwork that rotates every quarter. So I think it’s just both. I think the developers see the potential and their performance and our boutique hotel report is certainly indicated there. I think it’s just a little of both.

Dustin Myers: Yeah, some really fascinating insights in here. I think anybody in the industry should be taking advantage of the data that you’ve put together. One of the things that I noticed is just how, how much of an impact F&B can have, especially within this subset. I think in one of the subsets that you pulled out, it was as much as 46 percent of revenue. So when you see that it’s the rooftop bar or the restaurant or a coffee shop, it really can’t be an afterthought or at least it shouldn’t be if it’s going to greatly impact overall revenue.

Kim Bardoul: Absolutely. The thought and the thread of the story that can also run not only to the hotel but through this F&B is it really adds a lot to the product and to the overnight stay. You’re used to hotels having restaurants where they had a bad rep, right? It was like, “Oh my gosh! The last thing I want to eat is hotel restaurant food.” But now it seems with the creativity especially as a boutique product, so much can be done and the menu items and the choices in the chef-driven effort, and I think it becomes a place that locals like to hang out just as much as the overnight guests. We do have a couple of proformas in our report where we had the benefit of some clients contributing collectively their high F&B revenue from their hotels and it really does paint a very interesting picture. I think it’s a huge asset to put thought into your F&B product, especially with boutique products.

I think it’s a huge asset to put thought into your F&B product, especially with boutique products.

Jeremy Wells: Yeah. And one of our first guests actually, Anthony Langan, he was talking on this topic a little bit too about the food and beverage playing an important role in hotels. I like his analogy of basically like if you don’t have a food and beverage element like you basically only have interaction with the guests during check-in and check out for like maybe 5 or 10 minutes max.

Kim Bardoul: Right, unless there’s a problem.

Jeremy Wells: Yeah. Exactly. But if you have a food and beverage element, whether it’s a restaurant or a rooftop bar or a café or what have you, you can have interaction with that person for an hour or two hours, whatever, and it just really heightens, like you said, it heightens that guest experience and it adds another opportunity to just really delight the customer and we’re actually seeing that. I mean we’ve been seeing that a lot growing as a trend over the last few years, especially even more recently it seems like every single hotel we’re talking to has some sort of rooftop bar or a food and beverage component to it and I think that the data as you guys have found in your report, I think the data is kind of the guiding force for that. So yeah, that’s really interesting.

Kim Bardoul: Yes, and what a fun thing for the consumer. I mean, as tourists ourselves or as travelers ourselves, we get to be a part of these experiments that the hotels are doing to try to capture that share and the rooftop component. I mean how fun is that, going to a city and be up top and have a drink? That just wasn’t popular before and now we get to be a part of that trial and error.

Jeremy Wells: Yeah, definitely. I was curious kind of diving into like what The Highland Group does for your clients and whatnot. As you guys are studying and doing these reports and research for your clients, depending on the concept or the type of hotel that they’re opening, what are some of the unique differences or challenges that you guys encounter as you’re studying the markets based on these different types of segments of hotels, like the lifestyle versus soft-branded versus independent? What are some of the differences you go through in that process?

Kim Bardoul: Well, there are some challenges, especially with the independent boutique product, because what we typically do is we go into a market and we analyze the market. We talk to economic development and the tourism board and try to interview some of the competing hotels. We also, of course, look into the economic indicators of the market, but we rely a lot on hotel performance and we work with Smith Travel Research, which also we are very honored that they help us put this report together, this boutique report. But the independent products to benchmark a new independent boutique hotel don’t always contribute to the hotel data. So it kind of leaves us with, “Well, do we get data on the franchise stuff and we benchmark against that or do we see if we can get hotel tax occupancy, hotel occupancy tax reports and determine how these perform?” And sometimes it’s really difficult. And we do it and we do it well, but it’s a deeper dive into a study.

As far as the lifestyle and self-brand collection, which are with the large companies, those aren’t as difficult to determine feasibility except for many times there’s such brand saturation because you may be a boutique hotel by Marriott, but there could also be several other Marriott properties there. It’s according to the market and to whether or not it’s a hugely corporately traveled or the point junkie people coming in and they just want to get in one of those hotels and it doesn’t matter. It’s hard to get as much share. The boutique property that you’re evaluating doesn’t penetrate the market as strongly because the brand distribution is so high. Sometimes we advise, “If you want to do a boutique hotel, there’s so much brand here, you might want to go independent and it sets you apart.”

Jeremy Wells: Wow! So you guys are actually oftentimes even advising, like they might not even know if they want to do a lifestyle or a soft-branded hotel out of the gate, but you guys are actually advising them and to make that decision.

Kim Bardoul: Yes.

Jeremy Wells: Oh, wow.

Kim Bardoul: Many times we do.

Jeremy Wells: Interesting.

Dustin Myers: What would be some of the common mistakes that hotel investors make when they’re trying to select a market? I noticed in the report, the breakdown of the primary and secondary and tertiary density of options. Could you speak to that topic?

Kim Bardoul: Sure. Yeah. In the report, we do have MSA distribution. It’s also very valuable for companies that want to kind of keep map where boutique product is developed already and where there might be a vacancy and sometimes developers might want to pick that up and say, “I want to put something here and it’s going to be amazing,” and it’s kind of the mentality of you build it and they will come. I can understand that, but even the most cleverly curated boutique benefits from the appeal of the surrounding area and you can’t always just drop it in this tiny little downtown that you hope is going to suddenly become wonderful. It takes a lot to be a destination boutique hotel.

Prior to the COVID-19, we had gotten a lot of business from small downtowns that we’re gentrifying and they were getting funds to gentrify and there were restaurants coming in and art galleries coming in and in many cases we would get that phone call, “I want to put a boutique hotel here.” But maybe there wasn’t anything around for hours to get there. So a destination hotel, yes, you can do that, but you also have to realize that a lot more goes into that than just your product.

Jeremy Wells: What are some of the things that you guys look for in those kinds of smaller markets where, like you said, it’s maybe a smaller town and they’re just wanting to build something maybe the community is proud of or that they can be proud of and support their local community? What are the differences in the research that you do there versus say like a larger market where there’s like you said, tons of competition?

Kim Bardoul: Right. Well, those are very challenging as well. And what we find ourselves doing, especially if it’s the only hotel coming into an area or one of the few or the best quality when all of a sudden, we do comparable work where we find situations where this has happened before and we can benchmark this hotel’s ramp-up and success based on similar factors, and of course, you have to use your expertise and your brain while you’re doing this. But in many cases, for instance, we did one where it was four hours to the most major population center. And so we thought, “Okay, we’re going to plot out areas that are about four hours from a major population center and see where their similarities are and where our clients’ similarities are and see if we can figure out how to benchmark this property.” And it’s getting easier because a lot of these places are developing a lot of hotels that back in the day it wasn’t so easy.

Jeremy Wells: As far as where you guys are getting your data, you mentioned STR Smith Travel Research earlier, is there other places you guys kind of turn to, to stay up to date with industry trends and data and insights?

Kim Bardoul: Yeah, absolutely. We try to stay in touch with as many organizations as we can. I’m good friends with people at CBRE who also put together reports on different segments. I am part of a couple of organizations. I was with BLLA, which is a really good company to be with. I’m sorry, not a company, a membership to be with. Also, my local Atlanta Hospitality Alliance, we work with each other and stay focused on each other’s work so that anytime there’s some kind of atypical thing, we might can help each other. I’m also a part of the ISHC, which is the International Society of Hospitality Consultants, and we have a great resource through email where sometimes we’ll get some kind of very challenging work and we’ll throw it out there and say, “Has anybody done this and how did you do it best?” So those kinds of things really help us along.

Dustin Myers: Yeah. That’s really fascinating. What are some trends or segments that you think are going to impact as we look to the future? And I know that we’ve had just such a pivotal event here as of late, but I guess based on the 2020 report and just kind of factoring in everything that’s going on, what are some of your guesses as to what we’re going to be seeing in the future of the industry as a whole?

Kim Bardoul: Okay. Well, if you’re asking about the performance of these segments, I still think that they’re pretty solid and the three boutique segments and I still feel that even though we’ve got a little bit of a road ahead of us to get back to what we call normal, these products are intriguing and just pull together the essence of why we want to get out and be with one another. The soft brand collection was the 2019 report that appeared to be performing the best. The upper-upscale class, Autograph, Curio, Ascend are the three that are the most developed right now. Over the past 10 years, they’ve grown by an average of 22 percent per year. They’re really just on the rise. Demand has increased for that segment by about seven percent per year since 2013. Demand was double digits in 2018 and ’19.

So I think out of the three segments, I see those continuing to move right along in strong performance. I also think that we’re going to start seeing some lower-priced boutique soft brand collections. There are some already, but I think that there’s going to be more of that because they’re just doing really well. They’re clustered in that other scale price point and it just only makes sense that that should kind of also move into a lower price point.

I also think that we’re going to start seeing some lower-priced boutique soft brand collections.

Dustin Myers: Yeah, it seems that the trend is showing that there’s steady growth and people really seeking out unique and thoughtful experiences. So I think that you’re right. We can see that across more varied price points, but I think that concept is definitely going to carry through to the future.

Kim Bardoul: Yes, absolutely. And just the anticipation of new places to explore and the connectivity and the desire for interesting travel I think will be a catalyst to move us along and get us comfortable again. And boutique hotels have that. They have that connectivity. They have an interesting piece to it. I think It’ll start capturing the attention of people that just want to get out and get away and experience something totally different than they have the past several months.

Dustin Myers: Absolutely.

Jeremy Wells: Kim, one of the final questions we’d like to ask all of our guests is related to, obviously the name of the podcast is Future Hospitality, and obviously with everything going on right now it is hard to predict what the future looks like, but do you have any idea or insights into some trends that you think could impact the future as we kind of move forward, things that we should continue to do that might be more evergreen or just new trends or technology or ideas that you think we should all kind of be focusing on?

Kim Bardoul: Yes. I mean as we move past this huge pause in our life, I think whatever type of hotel you’re operating or developing, there will need to be a personal and even an emotional connection with the guests because I think they’re going to need a little more right now to feel safe and taken care of. Cleanliness and transparency, I think will be big and showing that things are getting cleaned somehow, making sure that the guest is aware that, yes, this is sanitary. I’ve been listening to a lot of webinars, I’m sure as you guys have, and reading things. The technology, the no-touch rooms, the robotic housekeeping, I mean it makes sense. Whatever it takes that makes the guest feel taken care of I think will be key and will rise up through a different mentality of staying at a hotel. To me, that’s hospitality, taking care of your guests and what better field to do that end than hospitality. Right?

Dustin Myers: Sure. Absolutely.

Jeremy Wells: Definitely. Yeah. I think this was more directed towards restaurants, but I remember reading an article recently on that topic of this gentleman thinks that the cleanliness and just the standards of a restaurant are going to be like a new unique positioning for the future of restaurants. Do you think that something like that is going to be as important? I mean, obviously just general cleanliness for a hotel is important and it has always been. Do you think that’s going to be some sort of unique positioning point for a hotel moving forward or what are your thoughts of that?

Kim Bardoul: It feels like it. It feels like there’s an opportunity there. If you can grab onto a way to really exhibit and show that you are paying attention to this and the F&B place in a hotel, I think so. And think about this. I mean we were already relying on TripAdvisor and different reviews in social media. I think there’s going to be a lot of scrutiny and people are really going to pay attention to that. So hotels and restaurants really need to stay on top of their game and make sure that they’re paying attention.

Jeremy Wells: Yeah. One other trend I just would love your thoughts on to is I’ve been talking with a number of different colleagues in the industry and whatnot and the topic of domestic travel versus international after this pandemic kind of starts to decrease over the next few months here. I’ve been hearing that a lot of people are predicting that domestic travel is actually going to kind of skyrocket, maybe even by the end of the year. Do you have any insights or have you ever thought about that? If you expect that to happen, people maybe being afraid to hop on a plane, but a road trip might rebound?

Kim Bardoul: I think so. I think you’re exactly right. The drive-in markets I think are going to come around first because you get there the way you choose to get there in a car and you can always just go back home. It’s kind of like just dipping your toe in the water and making sure everything’s okay before you take this long flight and go into this foreign country where you’re not quite sure how things are going to turn out. So definitely. After 9/11, people were afraid to fly. Drive-in markets became huge for a little while. I mean, they definitely came around first. So I don’t see that that would be much different from now.

Jeremy Wells: Yeah. 9/11 forever changed how people travel, how easy it is to get on a plane, how people’s perceptions of what that whole process is like. And I think this situation, it might be that black swan event for the hospitality and hotel industry. There’s going to be things that will forever change as far as traveler expectations and perceptions of what hotels are meant to be and the amenities in them and how things are laid out, the processes, everything and a lot of that we might not even see, might not come out for the next few months, but like I think those things are going to stick for sure.

9/11 forever changed how people travel, how easy it is to get on a plane, how people’s perceptions of what that whole process is like. And I think this situation, it might be that black swan event for the hospitality and hotel industry.

Kim Bardoul: I do too. And it’ll be interesting to see how many hotels really do come back online. I know it’ll pick back up eventually and there’s going to be a lot of capital available, but I don’t know. There may be people that have just decided that this isn’t the route they want to take. Maybe there won’t be as much supply for a little while and I think it’ll change the travel experience for both the hotel, the hoteliers and the traveler for a good while.

Dustin Myers: Yeah. I think it would be impossible for this not to be a purging and a pruning opportunity in the market. I think the businesses that have a strong brand, a strong identity, solid leadership are going to be able to come out stronger. And I think there will be casualties in the industry. But I think that it’s an opportunity to just assess what we’re doing and why it matters and how we’re serving customers. I think that in the long run it’ll be a refining fire for the industry, in our industry and in most other industries as well.

Kim Bardoul: I agree. And differentiating yourself from the boutique standpoint, I think will not only take on stronger importance, but it can be used in so many creative ways to promote goodwill and safety. Even in hospitals, I mean, the hotels that turned into hospitals, as long as people feel safe going back in there and feel like it’s clean, why not display that as, “Look, we gave our property up to help.” It’s a promotion of goodwill and there may be an opportunity there for those properties if they market it right and they’re actually authentic about it.

Jeremy Wells: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve heard, I forget who I’ve heard it from, but basically like how brands show up during times like this, in times of crisis, in times of disaster and whatnot, how they show up to their guests and their audience is how people will remember them forever. You just said like things where people have stepped in and provided for their community or provided for their team members and things like that, I think it’s their opportunity to show their true colors through this. As Dustin mentioned, I think the brands have a purpose, have a mission, have something to stand for more than just the bottom line, so to speak. I think those are going to be the ones that really come through on the up and up after all this is said and done.

Kim Bardoul: I agree with you and I think that’s actually a positive and bright thing to look forward to.

Dustin Myers: For sure. Well, Kim, our final question, we always ask, we’ve talked about the future of the hospitality industry as a whole, but we want to hear on a more personal level. What are you excited about? What are you looking forward to in your future in the hospitality industry?

Kim Bardoul: Thank you. Well, when the work resumes, I am looking forward to getting back out there and doing what I mentioned at the beginning, helping clients determine if they’re making the right decision. I also think a stronger focus on guiding them, boutique investors, and owners through a branding process to develop an identity is necessary. It’s essential. It’s challenging to prove that showing creativity can create a higher return on investment, but I think it’s something I’m excited about looking into a little more. There’s just so much share to be taken from the traditional hotel.

It’s challenging to prove that showing creativity can create a higher return on investment, but I think it’s something I’m excited about looking into a little more.

For the immediate future, just for me. I’m learning how to exercise patience. I’m not rethinking my path as I’ve talked to many people that are. They’re like, “Maybe I have time to think about this. Maybe I want to go a different route.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it’s a great time to have a little self-evaluation and then decide if this is really what you want to do when you grow up. This is what I want to do when I grow up and I just looked forward to adapting to what lies ahead and seeing where I can plug in and benefit the most people.

Jeremy Wells: Awesome. Well, Kim, it’s been a huge pleasure and a huge honor to speak with you. I’d love to, if you could, share how people could get to know more about The Highland Group and about you.

Kim Bardoul: Sure. Absolutely. Our website is thehighland-group.net and you can go on there and learn about the work we do and the professionals that we employ and take a look at that boutique hotel report and see what you think.

Jeremy Wells: Awesome. And do you have any, I mean, obviously until further notice, are there any sort of events you’re attending the rest of this year, speaking out in the future?

Kim Bardoul: Well, I’m part of the Hunter Investment Advisory Board, and unfortunately, as you mentioned earlier, that panel had to be canceled as did the whole conference. and I was supposed to do Meet the Money in LA and it got canceled. So right now I’m just hanging tight. I’m hoping something will come along and fill those spots. I have a feeling that they will. And I look forward to getting out there and being a part of it.

Jeremy Wells: Well, Kim, thank you so much again for joining us. I know that I really enjoyed the conversation and I encourage anybody who’s listening to go check out The Highland Group and see what they’re all about and definitely get connected with Kim and her team. And Kim, thank you so much again.

Dustin Myers: Thank you, Kim.

Kim Bardoul: Thank you, Jeremy. Thank you, Dustin.

Jeremy Wells: I hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Future Hospitality Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s topic and episode, please leave us a review. You can also find us on Instagram at Future Hospitality and on Facebook by searching for Future Hospitality.