Event Details

Location: Costa Mesa, CA


Cornell O.C. Business Luncheon at the Center Club:

Hotels vs Airbnb: Where is the Hospitality Industry Headed?

Thursday, June 13, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

For our next luncheon, our accomplished guest speaker will be Mr. Bob Alter, Chairman Emeritus and Founder of Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. (SHO:NYSE).

We are honored to bring renowned Hospitality Executive Mr. Bob Alter back, who will talk about his career path in the 45 years since he left Cornell. He will also provide us some insight about current state of the hotel industry, the impact of home-sharing companies such as Airbnb and the ongoing consolidation within the industry.

Event Summary:
• Entrepreneurial spirit
• Opportunistic nature
• Life time learning attitude    
• Hotel REIT Industry – Public / Private
• Adaptive Reuse – office Buildings to Hotels
• Brand Proliferation
• Hotel company consolidation
• Home sharing trend/Airbnb
• State of the industry
• Q & A

11:30 AM Luncheon will begin promptly
12:00 PM Presentation/Q&A
1:30 PM   Luncheon will end promptly

Cost: $40 members and $45 non-members, includes valet parking at Center Club.

Become a member and save: Click here to sign up for membership.

Event Contact: Gaye Tomlinson, MBA ’05, Chair of CAAOC Business Lunches, gak23@cornell.edu, 714-742-2948.  

Mr. Alter is Chairman Emeritus and Founder of Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. (SHO:NYSE). He established the company in1985 and took it public in 1995 with a total enterprise value of $75 million. By 1998, Sunstone boasted revenues of $450 million and had a valuation of exactly $1 billion. In 1999, Bob joined with Westbrook Partners to execute a management-led leveraged buyout of Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. with a total valuation of over $900 million.

In October 2004, Sunstone and Bob took Sunstone Hotel Investors, LLC public as a hotel Real Estate Investment Trust (SHO:NYSE) with a total enterprise value of approximately $1.6 billion. Bob, as CEO, then led Sunstone on an acquisition spree that acquired an additional 17 hotels  including such landmark assets as the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, the Hilton Times Square and the Renaissance Hotel Washington, DC.  

During the 22-year period of Bob’s position as CEO, Sunstone acquired 125 hotel properties with over 20,000 guest rooms and led the disposition of 80 hotels. Bob oversaw approximately $1 billion of renovations and brand conversions and built 7 ground-up hotels, including the JW Marriott Cherry Creek, among others.

Mr. Alter is currently President of Seaview Investors, LLC, a real estate investment management company that is involved in the operations and management of five hotels.  Seaview acquired a 282,000 square-foot office building near LAX and converted the building into a dual-branded 168-room Curio by Hilton and a 122-room Homewood Suites by Hilton.   In 2017 Seaview also converted a 11 story office building in Beverly Hills Adjacent, during 2017-2018 to a AC Marriott which opened in January 2019.

Bob has received entrepreneurial awards from Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998, the Orange County Business Journal in 2006, and the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at Cornell University in 2008.

 In the Fall of 2009, at the request of Dean Michael Johnson, Bob served as an adjunct member of the faculty at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. He also been a guest lecturer in some 24 different courses for several  of the professors at the Hotel School.

Mr. Alter is the current chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Tejon Ranch Company (NYSE: TRC), one of the largest landowners in California; and a former member of the Board of Directors of West Coast University, a private, proprietary, nonsectarian, coeducational institution.   

Bob is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. He and his wife, Joni, reside in Newport Coast, California and collectively have four grown children.