In his position as Pinnacle Hotels USA founder, Bharat Lall guides a wide range of properties in locations throughout Southern California and beyond. A prominent member of his local community, Bharat Lall is active with the San Diego Indian American Society, which was established more than three decades ago and provides scholarships and organizes cultural events.
An eagerly awaited event each year is the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture, which had Dr. Jonas Salk as its first presenter in 1984. The most recent speaker was Nisha Desai Biswal, who has achieved a high profile role in the U.S. State Department as Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia.
Previously an administrator with the U.S. Agency for International Development and with American Red Cross experience, Ms. Biswal was appointed to her position by President Barack Obama in 2013. She broke ground as the first person in the role to be of South Asian origin, and currently coordinates bilateral relations with countries ranging from Sri Lanka to Kazakhstan.
As reported in the Times of India, Ms. Biswal’s appointment placed her in the company of well-known politician Bobby Jindal as an Indian-American achieving the assistant secretary level in U.S. government. Speaking with the Telegraph, she noted that her position was one in which reviving talks between India and Pakistan, as well as resolving Indian-Nepalese issues, was a priority.
For nearly two decades, Bharat Lall has served as the president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA, where he supervises the operations of nine hotel properties in Southern California and Texas. Apart from his work, Bharat Lall is a committed philanthropist who supports many organizations in the San Diego area, including Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).
Last July, AVID praised the efforts of five San Diego area teachers, recognizing them with the AVID Teacher Advocacy Award. This distinction is given to teachers who stand out for their commitment to preparing students for college. A teacher is nominated by his or her peers, who submit an essay outlining the teacher’s specific accomplishments in helping students get ready for college.
Each Advocacy Award recipient receives $10,000 to help with college-readiness efforts in the classroom. The five winners were honored at the AVID Summer Institute in Sacramento on July 11, 2017.
Based in San Diego, Bharat Lall is a well-established entrepreneur who directs Pinnacle Hotels USA. Bharat Lall’s company manages a portfolio of nine premier hotels, including the DoubleTree by Hilton Austin. Situated adjacent to the University of Texas, the DoubleTree comfortably inhabits a historic area billed as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
One of Austin’s pedestrian-friendly highlights is Old West Austin, which lies to the west of downtown and north of Lady Bird Lake. Encompassing three distinct neighborhoods, the district inhabits a plateau formerly owned by Texas’ fifth and 13th governor Elisha M. Pease. Its residential roots extend to the days after the Civil War, when plantation land was sold to freed slaves who created a family-oriented community in the area. The Clarksville neighborhood is named after Charles Clark, who helped establish the African American community in its early years.
Featuring a multitude of well-maintained early-20th-century homes, Old West Austin is known for its abundant parks and outdoor recreation opportunities. The borders of the district also offer a variety of entertainment and dining options that reflect the diversity of the city itself.
As head of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall guides a company that maintains a portfolio of select hospitality properties across states from California to Texas. Bharat Lall’s collection of premier hotels includes the Four Points By Sheraton San Diego Downtown, which is situated just a few minutes’ walk from local highlights such as the Little Italy, Balboa Park, and the convention-friendly San Diego Concourse.
The hotel is also in the vicinity of the compact Gaslamp Quarter, which spans 16 historic blocks and features a combination of cultural offerings, from museums and symphonic venues to nightlife and dining. Carefully renovated buildings from the Victorian era mingle seamlessly with modern office buildings that feature rooftop gardens and views of the city skyline and Pacific Ocean.
Serviced by trolley lines, the Gaslamp Quarter centers around Horton Plaza, a multi-level outdoor mall that features many boutiques. Arts are the focal point in galleries such as Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts, which inhabits the historic Brunswick Building. In 2017, the Gaslamp Museum brought attention to the neighborhood’s 150th anniversary through the exhibit Alonzo Horton: The Sesquicentennial of the Founding of New Town San Diego.
An Indian American entrepreneur living in San Diego, Bharat Lall leads Pinnacle Hotels USA as president and CEO. Apart from work, Bharat Lall is an active member of the San Diego Indian American Society (SDIAS), which seeks to contribute to society through the provision of scholarships and educational symposiums.
In addition to its work in the area of education, SDIAS hosts a variety of cultural events and is preparing for its 10th annual Diwali Festival of Lights celebration. The citywide festival is scheduled to take place on October 14, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. In India, the five-day Hindu holiday of Diwali is the most important celebration of the year. With roots as a harvest festival and a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, it has become a national holiday, observed by all Indians regardless of their religion.
SDIAS organizes the San Diego Festival of Lights celebration in conjunction with a number of partners. Elements of the festival include an exhibit of 3- to 8-foot-tall lamps representative of India’s diverse regions and religions, as well as henna artists, dances from different Indian states, and regional Indian food. The festival ends with a procession of 1,008 lights and a Punjabi dance party.
The event typically draws more than 11,000 attendees throughout the day.
The president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall has worked in the hospitality industry since 1989. One trend affecting hotel investors such as Bharat Lall is the tendency of business travelers to extend work trips for leisure. Referred to as “bleisure” travel, this trend can bolster hotel revenues if the hospitality industry finds ways to encourage and cater to business-plus-leisure travelers. To motivate business travelers to engage in leisure opportunities, hotels may consider the following approaches:
– Extending the corporate rate. Offering business travelers discounted corporate rates can encourage them to stay on after their business obligations have ended.
– Focusing on convenience. Since bleisure travelers typically only stay a few extra days, convenience is important. Hotels can make planning leisure activities easier by offering package deals on off-site activities or, at the very least, including city guides in the rooms. Other convenience incentives include offering late checkouts or extended breakfast hours.
– Marketing incentives early. Most bleisure travelers preplan the leisure portions of their business trips, thus reaching out early is key. One way to do this is to include incentive offers in confirmation emails for business bookings.
A hospitality executive based in San Diego, Bharat Lall works as the president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA. Aside from his professional responsibilities with Pinnacle, Bharat Lall engages with the community as a member of the San Diego Indian American Society (SDIAS).
Dedicated to serving those in need and sharing Indian culture, SDIAS organizes a number of cultural events. In March 2017, the society held its 14th annual Unity in Diversity Festival of World Dances at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Each year, the festival presents a different theme, with the 2017 show celebrating 25 years of diplomatic ties between India and Israel.
Performances included intricately choreographed dances from India and Israel, as well as Egypt, Spain, and Japan, replete with detailed costuming and vibrant music. To honor the India-Israel relationship, the festival welcomed Shanee Zamir, a soprano from Israel, and the TNUA Israeli Dance Troupe, who performed the traditional song “Abba Sipur” (Dad, Tell Me a Story) through music, movement, and sign language. Also performing were members of the Ken Jewish Community, a San Diego-based group of Latin Jewish families.
In addition to Israeli dance and music, the festival showcased flamenco-Bollywood fusion dance, Japanese taiko drums, and Israeli-Moroccan dance. In all, more than 200 performers took part in the event, and among the approximately 700 spectators were diplomats from both India and Israel.