San Diego entrepreneur Bharat Lall leverages more than two dozen years of experience in the hospitality investment sphere to guide Pinnacle Hotels USA as president and CEO. With Pinnacle Hotels, Bharat Lall oversees properties associated with brands such as Hyatt Regency and Marriott and stays current on the latest industry trends.
Positioned at the forefront of the technology sphere, Marriott recently tested a prototype Internet of Things (IoT) room in tandem with Legrand SA and Samsung. Within a hotel context, IoT employs coordinated technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa and Nest temperature controls in providing an adaptive environment tailored to guest preferences.
Among the technologies incorporated in Marriott’s IoT room are digital wall art that can be switched to people’s preferred images, such as family photos, and showers that remember the temperature of water used previously. In addition, the mirrors offer embedded on-demand videos with a high degree of content personalization. Early adopters of the soft-launch IoT room in 2018 are expected to be W hotels and Vanderslice, with Hilton in the process of debuting its own “teched-out” hotel rooms.
Bharat Lall owns Pinnacle Hotels USA, company he established in 1998 after a decade of strategically purchasing, renovating, and reopening a succession of mid-scale or dilapidated properties. Born in East Africa to parents originally from the state of Gujarat in India, Bharat Lall personifies the Indian American immigrant success story. Pinnacle Hotels now oversees a total of nine hospitality properties, all situated in rapidly developing regions of Texas and Southern California that attract both business and leisure travelers.
Immigrants from Southeast Asia today own tens of thousands of hotel properties in the United States, many having overcome severe obstacles in order to do so. Close to one-half of all American motels are under the ownership of Indian Americans.
The Asian American Hotel Owners Association lists more than 16,000 members, and in fact is the largest hotel owners’ trade group in the world. Its membership supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and makes a vital contribution to the overall American economy.
Pawan Dhingra, a sociologist at Tufts University, even devoted an entire book to the subject, publishing Life behind the Lobby: Indian American Motel Owners and the American Dream in 2012.
Despite recent economic achievements, Indian Americans have often faced severe patterns of discrimination. For example, the Immigration Act of 1924 was also known as the Asian Exclusion Act for its exclusion of Southeast Asian people, who were largely barred from entering the country. In 1965, the new Immigration and Nationality Act abolished restrictions based on national origin.
Bharat Lall is the president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA. Pinnacle Hotels offers over 1,700 rooms in nine locations across the United States, including multiple offerings in Southern California. Bharat Lall accordingly keeps a watchful eye on national and regional trends in hotel development.
In Southern California, one new trend is reshaping the hospitality industry. Hotel companies have increasingly been joining forces by combining two brands in one building. Leading examples of this growing pattern in Los Angeles include the combination JW Marriott/Ritz Carlton and the Courtyard/Residence Inn, both on West Olympic Boulevard.
This new arrangement saves on operating costs for both brands. Some companies share operations or management staff, and many combine back-of-the-house operations for efficiency.
For buyers and investors, this trend has been lucrative. Blending brands or offering them side-by-side brings in more guests and can eliminate some degree of local competition. This brand diversification remains appealing to investors, and brands like Marriott continue to seek out dual-brand opportunities in major cities.
Bharat Lall serves as the president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA in San Diego, California. In this role, Bharat Lall oversees a portfolio of eight hotels with more than 1,200 guest rooms.
For the past decade, “local” has been a major buzzword across many sectors, including the hospitality sector. The hospitality sector’s idea of “local” may have typically involved making artisanal products available to guests in hotels. However, the meaning of the term is likely to change in the near future.
Hotel experts have predicted that hotels will eventually play greater roles in the lives of members of local communities. While hotels used to serve as major community centers, in recent decades, they have focused more on guests from out of town than on locals. Not surprisingly, locals avoid going into them because they feel that they need a room number to receive services.
Hotels will once again begin offering services to the community by holding packages and keys, recommending nearby services, helping locals accomplish simple tasks, etc.
A hospitality industry executive, Bharat Lall is the San Diego-based head of Pinnacle Hotels USA. Away from work, Bharat Lall supports Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a nonprofit organization that offers college-readiness programs to close the achievement gap.
Recently, AVID announced that it would receive $1.5 million in grants from the Nike School Innovation Fund (NSIF). This money will be distributed among schools across Oregon to bolster AVID programs for college and career readiness as well as school success. The grants will enable AVID to extend its operations to 40 percent more schools.
2017 is the third year of NSIF’s collaboration with AVID. In 2015, 50 high schools benefited from the partnership. In the subsequent year, 71 schools received funding. This year, to mark NSIF’s 10th anniversary, Nike is extending support to 100 schools.
NSIF began its partnership with AVID after Nike asked Oregon school leaders what was necessary to improve student success. The leaders indicated that AVID constituted impactful programming that would have positive results.
As CEO and president of Pinnacle Hotels, Bharat Lall is in the business of buying and refurbishing underperforming hotels. Currently, Pinnacle Hotels owns and operates nine hotels in southern California, Texas, and Ohio. Bharat Lall’s most recent acquisition is the Hyatt Regency North Dallas.
Located in Richardson, Texas, the 342-room Hyatt Regency North Dallas includes two restaurants as well as room service from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. For no charge, the hotel also provides guests parking while at the hotel and shuttle transportation to nearby businesses. Fitness options at the hotel include an outdoor pool and whirlpool; a trail for walkers and joggers; and a fitness center, conveniently open 24 hours a day. The hotel will also transport guests to the Chase Oaks Golf Course.
Rooms at the Hyatt Regency North Dallas come furnished with a king-sized bed and a pillow-top mattress. In addition to coffeemakers, refrigerators, and microwaves, the hotel also provides Wi-Fi and a daily USA Today free of charge. For accommodations specific to individual needs, guests are invited to call ahead to personalize their stay.
In 1998, following his passion for real estate investing, Bharat Lall created Pinnacle Hotels USA, a company focused on buying and revitalizing declining hotels. Under Bharat Lall’s guidance, Pinnacle USA leveraged the down market to acquire hotels at severely reduced prices. Since its inception, Pinnacle USA has acquired 26 hotels, many of which have since been sold. After streamlining its operations, Pinnacle USA’s portfolio currently includes nine hotels, six located throughout southern California, as well as its two newest additions in Texas and a single hotel in Ohio. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California.
Pinnacle USA’s current collection of hotels offers over 1500 guest rooms. Many of its hotels include amenities such as onsite dining, free internet service, complimentary parking and shuttle service, swimming pools, as well as 24-hour fitness and business centers.
Following its success in America, Pinnacle USA extended its operations into the international arena. Pinnacle currently oversees 4 resort/spa-style properties in Thailand.