Meet the Team at The Highland Group

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The Highland Group Professionals

Professionals at the Highland Group have backgrounds in real estate and hospitality. Skill sets encompass hotel operations, food and beverage operations, finance, analytical research, marketing, valuations and other skills, uniquely relevant to the hotel industry

Please read bios below:

Mark SkinnerPartner

Mark SkinnerMark has completed market and feasibility studies for all types of hotels including limited-service, full-service, convention center, resort and extended-stay properties. His experience includes most primary and secondary US hotel markets across 44 US states, Canada and 3 European countries. Mark Skinner is a frequently quoted expert on extended-stay lodging.

His research and comments have been featured in dozens of publications including: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Barron’s, Hotel & Motel Management, Lodging Hospitality and Business Travel News. Mark has more than 30 years experience in the real estate and hotel industries, working exclusively in the hotel sector since 1994. He has been a partner in The Highland Group since 1999.

  • Directed research and analysis for the International Society of Hospitality Consultants Hotel Capital Expenditure Study presented at the UCLA Hotel Investment Conference in 1995.
  • Development strategy consulting for an upscale extended-stay hotel brand – Hilton Hotels 1997
  • Site selection and market analysis training seminar for economy and mid-price extended-stay hotel brands – Extended Stay America 1997
  • Quarterly and annual research into extended-stay hotels 1997-2016
  • Annual research into corporate housing (short-term furnished apartments) 1999-2016
  • Research and analysis of billing and accounts payable settlement methods in the corporate apartment industry 2001
  • Hotel development and management company staffing and compensation survey and report 2002
  • Corporate brand development & investment analysis consulting for an upscale extended-stay hotel brand – Intercontinental Hotels Group 2003
  • Market, financial and investment analyses for a portfolio of premium brand select service hotels 2005
  • Research and report on the US Bed & Breakfast and Country Inn industry 2005, 2007
  • Research and report on marketing practices in the US Bed & Breakfast and Country Inn industry 2006
  • Development strategy consulting for an upscale extended-stay hotel brand – Hyatt Hotels 2006
  • Corporate Housing “By Owner” research and report 2009
  • Developed a forecasting model to evaluate the potential return on investment from branding a portfolio of luxury hotels 2009

Mark Skinner

  • CapEx: Do You Spend Enough? Lodging Hospitality December 1995
  • Outdated Formulas Mortgage Banking July 1995
  • A Formula for Hotel Capital Reserves Real Estate Forum November 1995
  • Guest Speaker at National AAHOA Conference, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2008
  • Quarterly article for The Extended-Stay Quarterly 1997-1999
  • Guest Speaker at National Real Estate Forum Conference, Chicago, March 1999
  • Publisher The Extended Stay Lodging Report 1997-2016
  • Guest Speaker The Atlanta Hotel Investment Conference 2002-2016
  • Guest Speaker The International Hotel Conference Monte Carlo 2003
  • Publisher The Corporate Housing Report 2000-2016
  • Guest Lecturer Georgia State University
  • Guest Speaker The Appraisal Institute Atlanta 2008
  • Guest Speaker The Midwest Lodging Investor Summit Chicago 2008-2011
  • The Extended Stay Hotel Market: Hotel Yearbook 2009
  • Extended-Stay Hotel Article Series Hotel News Now 2010-2015

Serviced Apartment Summit Interview – New York City – April 2019

My Place Conference Interview – San Antonio – September 2017

Kim BardoulPartner

Kim provides feasibility studies and market analysis for all types of proposed and existing hotels. Additional services she provides includes due diligence for acquisition, impact studies for major franchises, financial analysis and litigation support. Kim has extensive experience in under-served & secondary markets and offers a specialty in boutique hotels. As author of The Boutique Hotel Report, she contributes expertise & insight on independent, lifestyle and soft brand collection hotels. Her boutique hotel projects have resulted in some unique experiences including projects involving a historic psychiatric hospital, a sizeable power plant and a well-known musician’s home.

As an expert on the Boutique Hotel sector, Kim writes articles for various publications including Hotel News Now, Atlanta Business Chronicle and Lodging.

Kim serves as a Board Member and is President-Elect for the Atlanta Hospitality Alliance.

  • Strategic advisory services on a portfolio of 42 distressed hotels
  • Participant in branding identity think tank for studied boutique projects
  • Advice on hospitality strategies specific to gentrifying rural downtowns
  • Comparable market studies to benchmark independent boutique performance
  • Dual-branding analysis
  • Lodging product improvement and quality control recommendations for a resort municipality following a large-scale evaluation of multiple Florida resort markets
  • Analysis of development opportunity for luxury independent boutique hotel collection
  • Bi-annual analysis specific to the Southeast for lender
  • Market, financial and investment analyses for a portfolio of premium brand select service hotels
  • Market analysis support in development of a forecasting model to evaluate the potential return on investment from branding a portfolio of luxury hotels
  • Market research and analysis for brand development of economy and mid-price extended-stay hotels in Canada
  • Target market identification and evaluation for full-service hotel development of Embassy Suites
  • Annual research into corporate housing/short-term furnished apartments
  • Estimated revenue loss on a group of hotels as a result of highway construction
  • Return on investment analysis following completion of a brand mandated product improvement plan

  • Guest Speaker – The Lifestyle/Boutique Hotels Investor Conference, Miami, 2012
  • Guest Lecturer – Georgia Tech University, Atlanta
  • Panel Moderator – “Should you Outsource your F&B” – LBHDC, Miami 2013
  • Panelist – “Boutique Hotels: Alternatives in Traditional Positioning” – Hotel Data Conference, Nashville 2014
  • Panel Moderator – “Development in Secondary & Tertiary Markets” – NATHIC, Chicago 2014
  • Facilitative Speaker – Hotel Owners/GMs-Cultural Exchange Vignettes – BLLA, Las Vegas 2013
  • Speaker – “What’s in the Pipeline”- AAHOA, San Antonio, 2017
  • Panelist – Un-branding the Brands – Southern Lodging Summit, Memphis, 2019
  • Panel Moderator – “What about the new hip brands” – Meet the Money, Los Angeles 2017
  • Panel Moderator – “Pay Attention to the Bottom Line” – Hotel Data Conference, Nashville 2018
  • Annual speaker – “Owning and Operating Boutique Hotels” at Hunter Investment Conference, Atlanta 2016-2019
  • Panelist – “Boutique Hotels and the Wellness Sector” – Meet the Money, Los Angeles 2019
Lisa JohnstonConsultant

Lisa JohnstonLisa has been with the Highland Group since 1995.She has conducted feasibility studies, impact studies, appraisals, and market reviews for all lodging types throughout the United States. With a BSBA in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Denver, Lisa has previously been employed by a hotel and real estate developer, Pannell Kerr Forster and Holiday Inn Worldwide.

Lisa specialized in hotel consulting as a compliment to a family tradition of motel ownership. Her family background gives her a unique perspective as an industry professional. In addition to general hotel consulting, Lisa has also appeared as an expert witness for impact issues, and has assisted in the due diligence and underwriting for securitization of hotel loans for single-asset and portfolio transactions.

Carlos CrovatoConsultant

Carlos CrovatoCarlos’ experience in the lodging industry covers more than ten years. He has performed impact, feasibility, and market studies for all types of hotels, including full-service, limited and select-service properties in addition to resorts, extended-stay, and all-inclusive hotels domestically and internationally. Most recently, Carlos has focused his work experience on hotel dynamics and growth in emerging markets in Latin America and the Caribbean.

He returns to The Highland Group after gaining experience with Ernst & Young, HVS, and IHG. Carlos graduated Summa Cum Laude in International Hotel and Tourism Management from Johnson & Wales University and holds an MBA in International Business from EAE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. He also holds certificates in finance, revenue and asset management from Cornell University. Carlos, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, has many interests, including reading, being a member of a swim team, and traveling the world for business and pleasure.

Conni AtkinsonResearch Associate, Office Manager and Bookkeeper

Conni AtkinsonConni’s experience includes market research for proposed and existing hotels, statistical research projects, full charge bookkeeper and IT support. Conni has worked in the hospitality industry at various levels for over 25 years. Conni graduated top of her class at Southeastern Academy with a travel industry training certificate. She also graduated with high honors from Georgia Perimeter College with an Associate Degree in Business Administration.

Conni is currently pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Accounting with a minor in Information Systems Management. Selected Research and Analysis: Hotel Market research in primary, secondary and tertiary markets across the United States. Database creation for all Highland Group statistical research projects & reports. Annual research into corporate housing (short-term furnished apartments) since its inception in 2000. Statistical research for PAII (Professional Association if Innkeepers International). Statistical research for all Highland Group extended-stay lodging market reports.