The Adrian Loveridge Column – Hilton Hotel!

2019 is a year of several notable anniversaries in the travel and tourism industry that include the maiden flight of Concorde on 2nd March and 1969 and the Boeing B747 ‘Jumbo’ on 9th February 1969. Both aircraft in their own way changed the face of air travel as we knew it and in the latter case would transform mass tourism forever.

Hopefully, in the coming months we will see our Barbados Concorde Experience re-open and contribute significantly in terms of revenue and attraction interest.

I however, would like to focus on the 100th anniversary of Hilton Hotels. The founder, Conrad Hilton, visited Cisco in Texas during 1919 on a mission to buy a bank. When the deal fell through he walked across the road into a two-story red brick building, then called The Mobley Hotel, a 20 room motel, where he noticed several workers, from the nearby ‘Roaring Ranger’ oilfield, dubbed ‘roughnecks’, standing in-line waiting to check-in. The owner (Henry Mobley) had rented the property’s 40 beds into eight-hour blocks corresponding to shifts.

While this is widely thought to be Conrad’s first lodging venture – as a boy – he was involved in partially converting his father’s (a Norwegian immigrant) general store in New Mexico into a 10 room hotel.

Thanks to the ‘Roaring Ranger’ in just 20 months the Texas Pacific Coal and Oil Company, whose stock had skyrocketed from $30 to $1,250 a share was drilling 22 wells in the area. Eight refineries were soon open or under construction and the city’s four banks had $5 million in deposits.

Investment capital and aspiring millionaires soon overwhelmed the little town of Ranger, as well as nearby Cisco. But the only one tale endures of a fortune made because oil was easier to find than a good place to sleep,’

Conrad Hilton had learned the banking business from the ground up in his hometown of San Antonio (New Mexico), in 1913 joining a local bank and within two years had become its President.

After purchasing The Mobley Hotel for $40,000, later that year from the profits earned, he bought the Melba Hotel in Fort Worth. A year later in 1925 The Waldorf in Dallas was acquired and the first hotel to bear his name, The Dallas Hilton, was built, which now operates under the Hotel Indigo banner.

By 1923 he owned five Texas hotels and by 1930 had become the largest hotel operator in the region.

During the Great Depression, Hilton was nearly forced into bankruptcy and lost several of his hotels. He eventually regained control of his remaining eight hotels, largely as a result of previously buying a string of oil leases that kept him in business.

In 1954 the first Caribbean property opened, The Caribe Hilton in San Juan (Puerto Rico) which claims to have invented the Pina Colada.

In 2017 the brand boasted 570 Hilton hotels and resorts in 85 countries across six continents. Properties are either, owned by, managed by, or franchised to independent operators by Hilton.

Be My Guest is an essential read for anyone seriously involved in the hospitality industry and as the book states in its front cover ‘The inspiring saga of the man behind one of America’s great success stories’.

Happy 100th anniversary to all who played their part in helping Conrad Hilton become – The Innkeeper to the World.

37 comments

  • This weekends press confirms this government has taken the Hilton hotel off the selling block.

    Liked by 1 person

  • PoorPeacefulandPolite

    Will ordinary Bajans ever get a chance to invest in the industry again since Sunset Crest in the 60’s ?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @PoorPeacefulandPolite

    Is the tourist industry one wants to invest in at this time?

    Like

  • Talking Loud Saying Nothing

    @ David here is the link to this story.

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/238728/sale

    I wonder what the real reason was for their decision. Perhaps it was a genuine fear of public reaction. If the Hilton were sold then every asset owned by the people of this country would also be at risk of sale.

    Today’s post by Senator Caswell and more recently by SSS would suggest that Mia’s mob are steering our system towards crony capitalism. The fear of the unknown from “Joe public” is the only card left in the deck that is causing Mia to meander.

    Like

  • Adrian Loveridge

    PP&P,

    Maybe you do not know that the Barbados taxpayer owns the single largest number of hotel rooms on the island. Number 2 is currently Elegant Hotels which is a publicly listed company that anyone can purchase shares in.

    Like

  • So govt release statement informing all that the Hilton would not be sold
    The boondoggle (Hilton)along with the taxes would strangle the people to death
    How smart.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    “Any one that sells every thing he owns must buy everything he wants.” A good old time Bajan proverb. The Tax payers have paid for Nedham Point at least three times.

    Like

  • PoorPeacefulandPolite

    Mr Loveridge:
    “Owning shares” in a public corporation supported passively (and unconsciously) by taxpayers, can hardly be the way to participate in the tourism sector to make us ever feel an intrerest in “playing our part”. In the case of the Sunset Crest model to which I alluded, Barbadians purchased cottages and condo apartments in private partnerships or sole owners and rented them very lucratively to tourists for their self-cater holidays. It’s time to privatize Elegant as well as the Hilton.

    To David:
    I’m sure Barbadians with capital would welcome opportunities to invest in foreign exchange generation or in import substitution enterprises should independent venture capitalists come forward.

    Like

  • A good ole bajan addage When uh invest in junk no matter how many times.. uh end up with junk
    Also ole thing can’t become new no matter how many coat of paint uh put on it
    Both addages at present time applies to the Hilton

    Like

  • The government of Barbados does not own Elegant Hotels, unless that has changed recently.

    Perhaps Mr. Loveridge may want to enlighten us.

    Like

  • Mariposa it is clear you don’t know anything about the Hilton Hotel’s finances.

    You’re only trying to defend the DLP’s decision to sell it.

    Like

  • Adrian Loveridge

    Robert, I suggest you READ my comments.

    Like

  • Robert Goren

    What i do know is that the Hilton.had racked up as part of its debt profile 27 million dollars owed to the NIS
    Employees savings which are due to them in their retirement years
    Now it is of question as to whether that 27 million loan which would have included interest and vat unceremoniously disappeared as part of Mia Houdini act when the tax waivers were ushered
    In any case the loan in itself which came out of the savings of the employees fund is sufficient reason and a red flag that says that the Hilton is in financial deep doo

    Like

  • David Bu or who ever is monitoring this website i have tried three times to comment on the Hilton
    Albeit it is the truth and my comments are not being posted
    The question is why

    Like

  • David BU are you not ashamed not to be posting my comment when it speaks to the Hilton debt profile of monies owed to the NIS
    Were you not the person kicking and screaming day after day about Transparency

    Like

  • What i do know is that the Hilton debt profile included 27 million owed to the NIS
    Employees saving due them in their retirement years
    Now it is of question as to whether that 27 million which includes Vat and interest unceremoniously disappeared as part of Mia Houdini act when the tax waivers were handed out
    In any case the loan in itself which came out of the savings of the employees fund is sufficient reason and a red flag that says the Hilton is in financial deep dooo
    Also a question as to if the Hilton has paid back the principle in full

    Like

  • Furthermore this govt when the sale was proposed hoot and hollered about the take on the sale would mean a lost to govt revenue
    Now if the Hilton was granted a tax waivers ( whuch most likely occured) would not those tax waivers be accounted as loss revenue to the govt
    Furthermore given that the loan to Hilton came from the employees savings
    Isnt present govt accountable in providing financial ststement via media as to how or if that loan was repaid

    Like

  • So what do we have here is a boondoggle rolling along on nostalgia and fantasy at Taxpayers cost
    Drum roll Please!

    Like

  • Mariposa

    You’re not making any sense.

    First, you wrote: “What i do know is that the Hilton had racked up as part of its debt profile 27 million dollars OWED to the NIS ……..”

    Secondly, you CONFUSED the issue further by your comments re:

    (a). “Now it is of question as to whether that 27 million LOAN which would have INCLUDED interest and VAT unceremoniously disappeared as part of Mia Houdini act when the tax waivers were ushered ….”

    (b). “Now if the Hilton was granted a tax waiver (which most likely occurred) would not those tax waivers be accounted as loss revenue to the govt?”

    You have to make up your mind what is this $27M?

    (1). Does this sum represent an ACCUMULATED TOTAL of NIS contributions DEDUCTED from employees’ earnings and employer’s NIS expense ………. and the hotel NOT paying the money into the NI Fund?

    (2). Or, was it a LOAN from the NIS Fund, and if so, WHEN was it disbursed?

    If the $27M was indeed a loan, (as you have stated), loans DO NOT INCUR VAT.

    You should also remember the tax write-offs DO NOT APPLY to LOANS………

    ………… but to TAXES deemed to be uncollectable for the PERIOD 1968-2000.

    It’s a pity (and misleading to you), that, similarly to how members of your fan club are quick to “tell” you “spot on,” “you’re correct,” or “keep digging” when you mention anything that’s in line with their agenda, they should be equally quick to “tell” you when you post nonsense and inaccurate or misleading information……. and correct you in the process.

    Like

  • If yah do not treat your own well, how can you treat tourist and tourism well? Once again the Barbados Tourist Board/Barbados Tourism Authority/Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc/Barbados Tourism Product Authority is going through worker turmoil. Why? If the tourism numbers are to be gone by they have been one of the best departments in government. Is it that there is a deeper problem?

    Like

  • We have model citizens that have had to give up investment income. All hands on deck right?

    Like

  • Artax whatever i wrote .What cannot be confused or misinterpreted is a fact that the Hilton debt profile included 27million borrowed from the NIS
    Now you can review or rewrite your spin on such a fact
    But it would not change or make a difference

    Like

  • All I did was to highlight the INCONSISTENCIES in your comments and asked you to VERIFY whether the $27M was a loan from NIS………… or if it was NIS ER and EE contributions deducted and with-held from the NI Department.

    You have now “confirmed” the $27M was borrowed from the NIS. Therefore, IF it was indeed a loan (shares and investments due to NIS), then surely you MUST agree that:

    (a). The sum did not incur VAT

    (b). It cannot be written off as uncollectable taxes.

    However, YOU mentioning:

    (1) “Now it is of question as to whether that 27 million LOAN which would have included interest and VAT unceremoniously DISAPPEARED as part of Mia Houdini act when the tax waivers were ushered ….”

    (2) “Now if the Hilton was granted a tax waiver (which most likely occurred) would not those tax waivers be accounted as LOSS REVENUE to the govt?”

    ……… is INDICATIVE of someone who was ATTEMPTING (unsuccessfully), to SPIN the issue.

    Like

  • Artax you can highllight remove add review shorten lengthen
    It does not removed the fact that Mia has given huge tax waivers to big business which might included the Hilton
    As of yet no one knows if the Hilton has repaid the 27 million dollar loan which is owed to the hard working people of barbados which was borrowed by way of the NIS
    If you can refute those facts then i wiukd listened
    Anything else u say is hogwash

    Like

  • Talking Loud Saying Nothing

    @ GP,

    Instead of pulling down your nemesis the great Bush Tea you would do better to talk about a subject that you are familiar with.

    “Passengers quarantined at Gatwick after Barbados flight”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-47466627

    Like

  • With Tourism taxes at an all time high initiated by govt policy
    The last thing barbados needs now is a Travel advisory which warns tourist of crime in Barbados and mentioning Maxwell as a high crime area to avoid

    Like

  • Travel Advisories are issued on all countries by the US do you know?

    Like

  • No i dont
    So you are missing the point
    Not my fault
    Awaiting govt response
    Are u a govt official
    Spoken like a poliitician

    Like

  • What I’ll do is REFUTE your comment re: “It does not remove the fact that Mia has given huge tax waivers to big business which might include the Hilton…”

    FACT: “tax waivers” were NOT given to big businesses, (unless of course, you’re referring to the 40 years tax concessions you gave to Sandals).

    FACT: the writing off of taxes due for the period 1968-2000, but deemed to be uncollectable, benefitted NOT only big businesses, but micro and medium sized businesses, sole proprietors…… and people of diverse social strata as well.

    FACT: The old Hilton Hotel was imploded on October 24, 1999 and the NEW Hilton opened in January 2005. If the hotel owed taxes and, according to you, may have been included in tax write offs, then it would have accumulated taxes due from 1968-1999.

    As such, you should be asking Barrow’s colleagues why taxes for the periods 1968-1976 and 1986-1994 were allowed accumulate and remain uncollected. And a similar question should be asked of Tom Adam’s colleagues, relative to the periods 1976-1986 and 1994-1999.

    As it relates to “As of yet no one knows if the Hilton has repaid the 27 million dollar loan which is owed to the hard working people of Barbados which was borrowed by way of the NIS…….”

    ……… don’t you think you should have ascertained that information from Richard Sealy before coming to BU? He would have been privy to the details of any repayments during his 10 years and 3 months tenure as Minister of Tourism.

    Anyhow, I dun wid you and dat.

    Like

  • re Talking Loud Saying Nothing March 6, 2019 3:48 PM

    @ GP, Instead of pulling down your nemesis the great Bush Tea you would do better to talk about a subject that you are familiar with.

    SIR
    I SAID WHAT I MEANT
    I MEANT WHAT I SAID
    AND I STAND BY WHAT I SAID
    I USUALLY Talk about subjects that i am very familiar with. Thank you

    Like

  • @ Adrian Loveridge

    I READ your article, but I was responding to a comment made by PPAP “It’s time to privatize Elegant as well as the Hilton.”

    Like

  • @ Blogmaster David

    How about an article on government’s recent decision to open the flood gates to Caribbean nationals?

    Like

  • Adrian Loveridge

    Robert,

    I repeat that Elegant Hotels is a publicly listed company where anyone can purchase shares. It is NOT owned by Government,

    Like

  • @Robert Goren

    You could share your opinion on the matter? Email the Confidential link at the top of the BU page if you find the time.

    Like

  • @ Adrian Loveridge

    I hope PoorPeacefullandPolite reads your comment.

    Like

  • With Barbados economy and barbadians household caught in a juggernaut of financial uncertainty and insecurity
    One duffus has the mitigated gall to point readers in a direction that has nothing to do with the financial realities compromised of difficulties which is burdening this country
    We have a govt who has been hhell bent on performing radical sugery on a very sick patient and in so doing has used the poor and vulnerable resources to pay the patient bill
    In the meanwhile lining the pockets of tnose to whom govt is privy in giving a helping hand
    All which makes sure that the patient dies

    Like

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