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PHOENIX-Hotel owners and operators need to get back to the basics of providing top-notch services to customers. That’s the word from hotel mogul John Q. Hammons, who built a hotel empire on that simple principle.

Hammons, the founder, chairman and CEO of one of the nation’s leading hotel chains, John Q. Hammons Hotels Inc., was on hand to impart that advice to more than 400 hotel operators and service providers at the 2002 Lodging Conference at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, where he was honored with an award for his achievements.

The 83-year-old hotel legend knows what he’s talking about. For 44 years, he has been a leading innovator in the lodging industry with more than 100 properties and 13,711 rooms spread throughout the country.

To spread that word, Hammons unveiled his biographical book, “They Call him John Q: A Hotel Legend,” at this week’s gathering. Written by Susan M. Drake, the biography maps Hammons’ rise from a Depression-era child growing up near Joplin, MO through his emergence as one of the leading hoteliers in the nation. Commissioned by his officers at John Q. Hammons Hotels in recognition of Hammons’ dedication to the industry, the book, published by Black Pants Publishing, was available for free to conference attendees.

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