• MCA Banner Ad 4 728 x 90
  • Digital - This Space Available
  • MidFirst Bank Banner 728 x 90
  • Coan Payton & Payne 2023 Banner 728 x 90
  • Advanced Exercise 2022 Banner 728 x 90

Isenberg, Gosch conversation at CREJ hotel conference

CREJ is producing a hotel conference on May 13. Photo credit: Ellen Bruss Design.

Walter Isenberg couldn’t have picked a better name than Sage Hospitality when he co-founded the hotel management, investment and development firm 35 years ago.

That’s because if there was ever a “hotel sage” in Denver, it would be Isenberg.

Hundreds of fortunate people can get a front row insight into what makes Isenberg tick later this month.


Walter Isenberg

That is because a highlight of the 2019 Hotel Summit & Expo will be a conversation between Isenberg and Philip Gosch, an attorney with a commanding knowledge of the hotel industry.

The conference will be held from noon until 3:45 p.m. May 13 at the Kimpton Hotel Born at 1600 Wewatta St. in Lower Downtown.

CREJ producing conference

The conference will be produced by the Colorado Real Estate Journal. It will immediately follow the Workplace and Interior Architecture Conference, also produced by CREJ.

The hotel conference will be largest gathering of hotel owners, developers, franchise property managers, brokers, lenders and contractors in the region in 2019.

Gosch, in addition to being a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, has an extensive background in the hospitality industry.

Before joining Brownstein, which for the third consecutive year will be the title sponsor of the CREJ hotel conference, Gosch served as a senior vice president and chief counsel for Wyndham International.

Gosch is looking forward to his conversation on stage with Isenberg at a conference that will feature a Who’s Who of hotel experts addressing a wide variety of topics.


Philip Gosch

“I think it is a unique approach to highlight an individual who has done so much for our industry and community,” Gosch said.

He said the accomplishments of Sage are well-known since it was launched in 1984.

What makes Isenberg tick?

“I find with a lot of successful people there is a real story behind what they’ve accomplished,” Gosch said. “I really want to explore Walter’s humility and humanity.”

Isenberg started Sage just before the Denver area economy, along with the hotel industry, was dragged down by the crash of oil prices that crippled the COLT states – Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas.

Sage has evolved into a hotel and restaurant juggernaut. Isenberg, who keeps his finger on the pulse of the market, told Rebchook Real Estate Corner that from 2013-2019 the downtown hotel market supply has increased by 50%, the largest increase in such a short period.

CBD hotel surge unprecedented

“That is certainly the biggest inventory increase in such a short period that I have seen in my lifetime,” Isenberg said.

Such a “significant increase in supply in the CBD (central business district) is perhaps the bad news,” Isenberg said. “The good news is that generally, to date, we have kind of kept pace with all of the new supply. Demand continues to grow, along with the supply.”


Nicole Ament

Indeed, Nicole R. Ament, a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, said that the Denver hotel market remains increasingly attractive to national investors.

“The question everyone wants to know is where we are in the cycle,” Ament said.

“I think everyone is hoping we are not in an extended plateau with large dips and bounces.”

Ament bullish on hotels

Despite the surge in hotel building, “This market still has room for growth and upward movement” in both daily room rates and occupancies, she said.

In addition to Ament, Gosch and Isenberg, Hannah Smith, a consultant with STR, will provide a look at the current state of the national and regional lodging industry.

Richard Scharf, president/CEO of Visit Denver, will provide an overview of the state of the Denver tourism industry.

Other topics at the conference will include a broker market update, opportunity zones and hotels; current strategies and approaches of independent management companies; and the sharing economy and hotel alternatives.

Who’s Who of speakers

Conference participants include:

  • Michael Cahill – CEO & founder, HREC Hospitality Real Estate Counselors;
  • Mark J. Darrington – Senior Vice President | CBRE Hotels | Capital Markets, CBRE;
  • Tyler Dumon – Associate, HFF Inc.;
  • Brett E. Russell – Managing Director-Denver, Senior Partner, HVS;
  • Michael Everett – President, NuovoRE;
  • Erik J. Jensen – Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP;
  • Grant Sabroff – Senior Vice President of Business Development, Concord Hospitality Enterprises;
  • Navin C. Dimond, President & CEO, Stonebridge Cos;
  • Chip Wilson – Managing Partner, Dakota Ridge Real Estate Advisors;
  • Bryan J. Auchterlonie – Founder, Destination Capital;
  • Peter Mack – Founder and CEO, Collective Retreats
  • Brian Corbett – Founder & Chief Experience Officer, Inspirato (invited/unconfirmed); and
  • Scott Shatford – Founder & CEO, AirDNA.

Last, but not least

Closing out the conference will be the 30-minute conversation between Isenberg and Gosch.


The upcoming hotel conference will be the largest event of its kind this year in the Rocky Mountain region.

If you scratch the surface of just about any deal, there is a story behind it. The Rebchook Real Estate Corner looks at the what and who that make the Colorado commercial real estate industry spin every Tuesday and Thursday online at CREJ.com. The people behind the deals are passionate about what they do, whether they focus on offices, apartments, industrial, retail, land or lending. They also are passionate about their clients. Given the cyclical nature of commercial real estate, those who prosper in it have plenty of stories to tell. I hope to share them with you. 

This column includes news stories, in-depth looks at deals, profiles, Q&As and pieces on the latest trends. Contact John with story tips at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.

Kris Oppermann Stern is publisher and editor of Building Dialogue, a Colorado Real Estate Journal publication, and editor of CREJ's construction, design, and engineering section, including news and bylined articles. Building Dialogue is a quarterly, four-color magazine that caters specifically to the AEC industry, including features on projects and people, as well as covering trends…