Appointments & Promotions

From First Employee to General Manager: Kenya Bannister, GM of Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport

LONG BEACH, CA. August 30, 2017 – Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport is pleased to announce Kenya Bannister as general manager of the 159-room Long Beach, California hotel. Bannister was the first employee on the hotel’s opening team in March 2013 and originally served as the hotel’s director of sales. In her new role as general manager, Bannister manages the hotel’s day-to-day operations and a team of 51 employees.

Bannister brings over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry to the Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport team and Kokua Hospitality, LLC, the hotel’s San Francisco-based independent management company. She officially joined Kokua Hospitality in October 2015 when the company assumed management of the hotel and represents just one of many female leaders within Kokua’s executive team and portfolio of hotels. Prior to her tenure at the property, Bannister served in positions ranging from front desk clerk and to director of sales and marketing across various hotel brands. Her time spent at hotels such as the Belamar Hotel Manhattan Beach, DoubleTree by Hilton LAX/El Segundo, and Residence Inn Orange armed Bannister with experience in diverse hotel sectors, including limited service, select service, full service, and boutique hotels.

“Kenya is a dedicated and results-driven leader who knows this hotel better than anyone,” says Kirk Pederson, president of Kokua Hospitality. “We are excited to have her leading the team and look forward to the continued success of the property under her direction.”

Bannister is a Long Beach, California native and studied communications at Long Beach City College. A role model for her team, Bannister holds the community close to her heart and regularly volunteers at the Long Beach Rescue Mission, WomenShelter of Long Beach, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is an activist in the local tourism community and serves on the local convention and visitor’s bureau Board of Directors.

To learn more about the Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport or to make reservations, please visit CourtyardLB.com. More information on Kokua Hospitality and its portfolio of hotels can be found at www.kokuahospitality.com.

About Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport

With over 900 hotels in 37 countries, Courtyard by Marriott gives worldwide convenience and travel experiences that fit the needs of their customers. Travelers will enjoy a hotel designed with them in mind with spacious rooms, plush bedding and complimentary wireless. Parent company, Marriott International, Inc., is a leading hospitality company with more than 3,900 properties, 18 brands, and associates at the headquarters, managed and franchised properties around the world. Founded by J. Willard and Alice Marriott and guided by Marriott family leadership for more than 80 years, the company is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013. For more information on the hotel, please visit CourtyardLB.com.

About Kokua Hospitality, LLC

Kokua Hospitality, LLC is an independent hotel management company founded with the drive to become the operator of choice for strategic institutional and select private lodging investors by producing superior results as turnaround specialists. Created by veteran lodging investment and management experts to appeal to an investor’s sensibility, Kokua Hospitality blends best-in-class operating practices with an owner’s DNA. Kokua Hospitality manages a growing portfolio of hotels and resorts nationwide. For more information on Kokua Hospitality, please visit www.kokuahospitality.com and follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

Renee Herron / Kate Gleason
renee@wagstaffworldwide.com or kgleason@wagstaffworldwide.com

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.