The annual Americas Lodging Investment Summit begins at the JW Marriott and NOKIA Theatre in Downtown L.A.

(Save the date: RealShare L.A.comes to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, CA on March 27, 2013)

LOS ANGELES-More than 2,500 hotel owners, investors, lenders and other hospitality professionals are gathering here for the start of the three-day Americas Lodging Investment Summit, the annual meeting   that brings together hoteliers with other experts to identify trends that will shape the industry in the years ahead.

The conference is jointly organized by the Washington, D.C.-based American Hotel and Lodging Association and Burba Hotel Network, a Costa Mesa, CA-based firm that promotes hospitality and tourism events worldwide. It is being held at the NOKIA Theatre and adjacent JW Marriott, across from Downtown’s Staples Center.

Much of the net proceeds from the convention will be used to fund college scholarships for students who plan a career in the lodging industry.

Conference registrants will have their choice to attend more than three dozen panels, with topics ranging from promising US and international markets to renovating older properties in order to improve their profitability.

A keynote speaker tonight will be Shelia C. Bair, the former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. who wrangled many politicians and Wall Street institutions when she urged lawmakers and regulators to crack-down on the lending and investment practices of banks as the real estate market peaked about six years ago.

Appointed by President George W. Bush to head the FDIC in 2006, Bair resigned in 2011. She is now senior advisor to Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit group based in Philadelphia that advocates for a variety of public-policy programs.

Are you attending the Americas Lodging Investment Summit? What are you expecting for hotels in 2013? Add your view to the comments section below.