Laurel A. Keller, MAI, joined Newmark Knight Frank Valuation & Advisory in 2018 and serves as a senior vice president in the Cleveland, Ohio, office, where she is a member of the V&A team’s Hospitality, Gaming & Leisure specialty practice. Ms. Keller has substantial expertise in the valuation and advisory of hotels and resorts, amusement and theme parks, waterparks, family entertainment centers, golf courses, casinos, campgrounds and other leisure-related assets. She has completed appraisal and consulting studies for existing and proposed properties in 35 states and the Middle East. Ms. Keller has appraised individual assets ranging in value from less than one million to well over half a billion dollars. She has worked with various major hospitality brands and management companies as part of numerous assignments and has extensive knowledge of brand criteria, best practices and current market trends. She has also provided litigation support related to tax appeals.
Ms. Keller joined NKF after more than 12 years at Hotel & Leisure Advisors, a Cleveland-based hospitality and leisure appraisal and consulting firm, where she was vice president. At H&LA, Ms. Keller was responsible for completing appraisals, feasibility studies, economic impact studies, brand-on-brand impact studies and operational reviews for various hospitality-related assets throughout the United States. Unique property types included high ropes courses and zip lines, indoor waterpark resorts, simulated golf entertainment centers, brew pubs and artificial ski slopes.
Prior to Hotel & Leisure Advisors, Ms. Keller served in a similar capacity with Columbus, Ohio-based US Realty Consultants, where she was a senior associate. During her four-year tenure at USRC, Ms. Keller completed a variety of hospitality and leisure-related valuation and consulting assignments throughout the United States.
Ms. Keller began her hospitality career as dining operations manager at the 100-year-old Onwentsia Club in Chicago and as revenue manager and front office manager for Sheraton hotels in Cleveland.
- Board member, Ohio Chapter of the Appraisal Institute; public relations committee chair
- Member, Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association
- Member, Purdue Alumni Club of Cleveland
- Member, World Waterpark Association (WWA)
- Member, International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA)
Licenses and Designations
- MAI designation, Appraisal Institute
- Certified general real estate appraiser, states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and commonwealths of Kentucky and Pennsylvania
Speaking Engagements, Publications and Media
- Featured Speaker, “Build your network, build your knowledge,” Castell Project at HDC, Nashville, Tennessee; August 2019
- Panel moderator, “The true price (and value) of loyalty,” STR Hotel Data Conference; Nashville, Tennessee; August 2019
- Panelist, “Graduates that Win: Creating a Life in Hospitality that Works,” Castell Project at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana; March 2019
- Featured Speaker, “What is my hotel worth? An expert and entertaining explanation of the appraisal process,” Cobblestone Annual Conference; Denver, Colorado; March 2019
- Panel moderator, “Fee for all: How hotels are maximizing ancillary charges,” STR Hotel Data Conference, Nashville, Tennessee; August 2018
- Panelist, “Hotel Feasibility Study Industry Leaders,” Cobblestone Annual Conference; Minneapolis, Minnesota; March 12, 2018
- “In Ohio Markets, Occupancy Doesn’t Tell Whole Study,” Hotel News Now, March 2018
- Panel moderator, “The current pipeline: Building momentum or a developing problem?” STR Hotel Data Conference, Nashville, August 2017
- “The Financial Impact of Hotel Renovations,” Hotel News Now, December 2016
- Panel moderator, “Reinventing Obsolete Hotels,” STR Hotel Data Conference, Nashville, September 2016
- “Cleveland a ‘City of Choice’ for Development,” Hotel News Now, August 2014
- “Convenience Shops: Cash-Flowing Amenity Creep,” Hotel News Now, October 2013
- “Weight Loss Resorts are Boon to Developers,” Hotel News Now and Hotel-Online, August 2012
- “Lower-Tier Sale Prices Plummet; Upper-Tier Prices Soar: An Analysis of 431 Recent U.S. Hotel Sales,” Hotel News Now and Hotel-Online, March 2011
- “Value Place - A Hotel/Apartment Fusion,” Hotel-Online, July 2009
- “Unique Ways for Resorts to Radically Increase Revenue,” Developments magazine, April 2008
- “Ohio’s Lodging Market: Historical Analysis & 2006 Forecast,” Hotel-Online, March 2006
- “Indoor Waterpark Resorts Continue Impressive Growth in ‘05,” Hotel-Online, January 2005
- “Hotel Capitalization Rates Drop,” Hotel-Online, March 2004
- “Cleveland Market at Bottom with Improvement Predicted,” Hotel-Online, January 2004
In addition, Ms. Keller has been quoted in other publications, including Crain’s Cleveland Business and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and she has been featured on television segments for Fox News.
Ms. Keller earned a Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality management from Purdue University.