History & Founders

Our History of Hospitality

Bob Hunter of Hunter Hotel Advisors created the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference (HUNTER) more than 30 years ago. Back then, hospitality conferences catered solely to major industry players, little attention paid to emerging entrepreneurs. Bob dreamt of a conference where all could learn, connect, and do business in a welcoming environment. Through a partnership with the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University, a new hospitality conference was born.

Bob’s hometown of Atlanta, hosted the first HUNTER conference in 1989. HUNTER has since grown into the premier hospitality conference where relationships and deals are made. HUNTER welcomes anyone involved in the financing, management, and development of hotels — franchisors/franchisees, owners, management companies, lenders, consultants, designers, lawyers

Today, HUNTER hosts more than 2,000 guests from around the world. HUNTER is the place to build new connections and reconnect with old friends. Consider yourself invited to the best hospitality networking event of the year.


  1. 1989

    Inaugural Conference

    The first Hotel/Motel Investors Conference was held February 26–28, 1989, bringing together a total of 127 attendees.

    1989 Conference Program

  2. 1996

    First International Attendees

    The 8th Annual Hotel/Motel Owners & Investors Conference brought in attendees from Ontario, Canada. The conference took place March 10–12, 1996, the same year the Olympics were held in Atlanta.

  3. 2009

    Name Change to Hunter Hotel Investment Conference

    On March 15–17, 2009, the conference is held as Hunter Hotel Investment Conference for the first time. The conference venue is also changed to it’s current home: the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The first Hunter Conference award is presented.

  4. 2015

    1000+ Attendees

    The 27th Annual Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, held March 25–27, 2015, brings in more than a thousand attendees.

  5. 2016

    First Endowed Bharat Shah Leadership Series

    March 16–18, 2016, the Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series joins the 28th Annual Hunter Hotel Investment Conference (founded at Georgia State University, The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration).

  6. 2021

    First Industry Conference to Return After COVID-19

    The 32nd Hunter Hotel Investment Conference returned May 10–12, 2021.

Our Founders

Hunter Hotel Advisors

Bob Hunter founded Hunter Hotel Advisors in 1978 and built the business into one of the nation’s leading hotel brokerage companies. With over five decades of experience selling hotel properties, Bob possesses invaluable knowledge about the industry. He has cultivated relationships with lenders, franchisors, management companies, lawyers, and accountants. To foster relationships within the hospitality industry and support hotel entrepreneurs, Bob founded Hunter Hotel Investment Conference with the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University. Over the last thirty years, HUNTER has grown into one of the leading hotel conferences in the nation.

Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration

The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration is the oldest and largest hospitality administration school in Georgia. Named in honor of the late founder of the Days Inn Hotel Company, his legacy of excellence serves as the foundation of their vision to prepare graduates to be the next generation of hospitality executives. They offer certificate, bachelors, and master’s-level programs. CEOWORLD ranks them 15th among the top hospitality and hotel management schools in the U.S. and Eduniversal ranks the school’s Regynald G. Washington Master of Global Hospitality Management program #23 in the nation. Their mission is to develop hospitality leaders in a global society.