I will be traveling to New York City to attend the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show this weekend. I have been trying to figure out how many I have attended so far. The number must be around 12. I have had some interesting experiences during my IH/M&RS show visits. When I first worked for Hotel & Motel Management magazine, the publication would throw a huge party each year. There were usually hundreds of people there. I remember a couple of staff dinners where the bill approached my monthly salary. I suspect those types of events are long gone given the economy we are in today.
One of the things I have most enjoyed about my New York visits are the celebrity sightings, and I am not usually the type of person intrigued by this. I am more apt to get excited about meeting a prominent journalist—like Tom Brokaw, for example. (I did see Tom during one of my visits.) Last year, Alec Baldwin emerged from a building just as I was walking by. (He did not say hello or congratulate me on my Green Lodging News success. Sooo disappointing.) I will never forget one of my first years in New York for the Show when my boss called me down to the bar at the Essex House Hotel where Telly Savalas was having a drink. I sat next to him and got his autograph. He was on the phone with a lady he called "baby." Anyone familiar with Telly would agree that would have been no surprise. Telly's famous line: "Who Loves Ya Baby?"
I will never forget seeing Tony Randall filming a commercial at the Museum of Television and Radio, or running into Pat Robertson of Christian Broadcasting Network fame in one of the aisles at the Show. Or, of course, seeing the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders at the Show. (Hey, I AM a guy.) Last year, while walking down one aisle at the Show, a gentleman recognized me from my website and newsletter photo. He got so excited, I thought he was going to have a panic attack. To be honest, I did not particularly enjoy the moment. In fact, if it happens again this year, I am out of there. :-)