WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

A wake-up call to action

"This Is Unprecedented."

That sentence has become our collective mantra over the past few weeks. Who are we kidding? Make that the past 4 years. It’s been repeated so often, the words have lost their meaning. Their sharp urgency has been dulled to a droning hum. We are all inured like the urbane city dwellers who are so accustomed to the noise that they don’t look up from their phone when they hear a BANG. (It’s probably just a garbage truck.) Make no mistake about it. The full impact is still ahead. There has already been so much fallout. Just one piece of the debris is my beloved Hospitality industry. I cannot ignore the roar of the crash echoing through empty halls. I am on my feet, running to the window. It is absolutely NOT just a “garbage truck”.

The landscape has been irrevocably changed. And if it hasn’t yet, then it must. In the post-COVID 19 era, can I really return to debating which local roaster I carry for my coffee? Making quips about the superficial things that most hotels are going to get wrong anyway? Posting pictures of palatial hotel bathrooms that are larger than some Manhattan apartments? I think not. This time calls for bigger thinking. Bolder action. If humanity is at my door, have I done all that I can to welcome them as guests? To alleviate any distress they may feel? To inspire and revive them? Have I adequately advocated for my community? Have I fought for all the change I believe in? Could I do more? These are essential questions I am driven to answer now.

Hospitality will experience a sea change. And my role within the business must as well. I have decided to conclude my tenure with Provenance Hotels. Over the past 15 years, I have worked alongside so, so many good, kind, smart and generous humans who do amazing work. Building Provenance Hotels with them has been a pleasure and an adventure. We grew, we expanded, we won awards. But, most importantly, we built community. My circle of extended family has grown to include treasured guests, partners, co-conspirators and team members. I will remain invested, in so many ways, in Provenance Hotels. But I am closing this chapter so I may become a vital part of the revolution ahead.

Whenever we finally hear the “all clear,” we will once again embrace family, friends and strangers with kindness, community, generosity and hospitality. We will get back out there and explore, grow, wander and connect. We will book a flight. Hop in the Uber. Hit the trail. Because it is essential to who we are. Because we must. We will navigate this new world. And I will be there. In the wilds of this changed frontier. Bringing a loud voice to the conversation about how our industry should fundamentally transform. What will be different about how we travel? What moves the new guest who will emerge from this storm? How might we work and live differently? How will we connect?

Keep an ear out. I’m going to make some serious noise.

Catch me if you can

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