HM Exclusive: TPG Hotels & Resorts launches independent division

January is a time for new beginnings, and TPG Hotels & Resorts is kicking off 2024 with the launch of a significant new initiative focused on the upscale independent hotel sector.

With the launch of an upscale independent division called the Intera Collection by TPG Hotels & Resorts, “we want to recognize and showcase our deep experience managing properties within the independent space,” said Ben Perelmuter, president and COO of TPG. “We’ve been in the independent space for quite a while; we’re not all of a sudden emerging into the independent space,” he stressed. “But we developed a brand around it and we have a dedicated infrastructure to support it.”

Intera—meaning “from within” or “inside”—reflects the depth of independent properties TPG has owned or operated for several decades, from the company’s first independent property acquisition in 1964—the Warren Hotel in Warren, R.I.

“TPG has a very large investment in this platform,” said TPG Chief Development Officer Tim Muir. “We have approximately 130 hotels under management; 50 of them are independent—that’s 38 percent. Within the independent platform, we have a division of specialized people, resources, experts and technology in the processes of operating independent hotels.” The Intera Collection will emphasize TPG’s decades of experience as an owner, operator and management partner in the independent space.

Muir said many of their independent properties are in high barrier-to-entry markets like beaches, lakes, mountains, ski resorts, and destination markets.

“With the brands come lots of resources and support, whether it be revenue management, e-commerce, OTA management, or channel distribution,” Perelmuter explained. When TPG started to manage a growing portfolio of independent properties, they found that type of support was missing. “We’ve had to build that one block at a time over the years, and we’ve built up quite a bit of infrastructure to be very, very competitive and execute at a very high level within that space.”

Coming primarily from “owner/operator DNA,” Perelmuter acknowledges that the company is likely recognized primarily in the full-service, larger asset, branded space. However, managing independent properties alongside the chains has provided insight and wisdom that TPG is certain others can benefit from.

“We recognize that we’re very strong there, and we’re going to continue to focus on branded and full-service properties as well, but we have this capability [with independent hotels]. We have the properties, we have the assets, and we want to continue to grow there,” he said.

Perelmuter also shared that TPG’s growth in the marina space has also been a good complement to the independent properties. “If you look at some of the markets we are in, such as the Florida Keys and Nantucket, and on the west coast, there’s opportunities. Smaller upscale properties that are waterfront also often have a marina component, which we have the expertise in. Not many companies in the independent space also have the marina component.”

“Our expertise in independents is in our DNA,” said Muir. “Intera is a collection of our resources, and moving forward, this collection is going to pick up scale.” With assets in areas ranging from New England down to the Florida Keys, in the Cape, Block Island and Nantucket and New Hampshire, throughout Ocean City and the Norfolk (Va.) area, going west and southwest from Florida to Arizona, “it’s a big part of our identity. The story has really accelerated with the properties we’ve picked up in the last 12 months.”

Perelmuter joined the company in 2023 and Muir said that with the direction, leadership and people Perelmuter has brought on in the past year, “we have tremendous strengths in boutique independent properties. So, we are accelerating our resources and our people to grow the platform.”

Muir shared details about an independent hotel that TPG opened in New Orleans during the pandemic called One11, sharing that it was the first boutique independent property to open in 50 years in the French Quarter. The property is an adaptive reuse of a sugarcane factory, which TPG turned into an upscale boutique hotel. Because TPG has such investment and expertise in independent hotels, it simply made sense to formally recognize that expertise with its own division within the company.

The name, Muir said, is “reflective of our properties. It’s reflective of the high-value markets that we’re targeting. And I think it’s really reflective of Ben [Perelmuter] and his team of people, his experts and the resources that they have.”