As a young man, Larry Blumberg was exposed to the hospitality industry by his uncles, who were independent hotel owners. He would go to their hotels and ask questions, listen to desk clerks, night auditors, room attendants or anyone who would share their knowledge. To a large degree, the foundation of our company is built on those conversations and how Larry recognized that the greatest asset of his company would be the associates. When Larry opened his first hotel in 1973, he carried out that vision and began his journey of developing his company into what it is today… an award-winning management company.
Throughout this journey, Larry felt the importance of empowering people to make decisions. By offering suggestions and encouragement to associates, a culture of initiative and motivation was developed. This environment was based on appreciation and respect for our associates. Today, this same consideration and service-centered approach is maintained with our guests and our owners. Larry says, “It’s the difference you feel when you walk into one of our hotels”.
Barry Kraselsky, our past president, and Larry were childhood friends, a connection that followed them throughout college. Barry’s family was in the retail shoe business and Larry’s family had a longtime, local department store in Dothan, Alabama. Larry and Barry’s business sensitivity to guests and associates developed from their similar retail experiences. When Barry had the opportunity to join Larry in 1983, he said “it felt natural right from the start”.
“Everybody talks about teamwork,” Barry says, but “Ours is one organization that lives it passionately every day – in our home office and in each of our properties.” Larry and Barry feel it is important to mentor our associates and give them every opportunity, and the tools, to succeed. The ever-growing possibility for advancement has enhanced the building of teamwork among our associates and this sense of pride and accomplishment is reflected in our guests’ experiences. The mantra ascribed many years ago still applies to our hotels today – LBA Hospitality… We stand out because of what is inside!
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