It's been less than one month since Wyndham Hotel Group said former president and CEO Eric Danziger would be stepping down and replaced by Geoff Ballotti, and today Danziger assumes his new role as CEO of Hampshire Hotels Management.
The New York City-based Hampshire's brands include Dream and Night, which Wyndham gained the global franchise and management rights for in 2011. The company's 15-hotel portfolio of owned and/or managed hotels (with Chatwal Hotels & Resorts) includes 12 properties in New York and one each in Miami, Bangkok and Cochin.
Danziger told Hotel Management it's an ideal opportunity for him to build on his strengths. "I'm a builder of companies," he said. "I like to create a culture of enthusiasm, then create value. We've done that as a group at Wyndham, but for me to get to do this at Hampshire is a dream come true."
Hampshire was founded in 1986 by Sant Singh Chatwal and has had growth in its crosshairs for the past few years, most notably for its Night and Dream brands. In early 2012 the company announced a major growth initiative across India, thought the bulk of its portfolio is in New York City.
"The big emphasis [of my new role] will be the addition of a third-party management platform," Danziger said. "I want to bring some credibility to that--some leverage to take the company into third-party and asset management."
He said he's fond of Hampshire's lifestyle focus as well, and the fact that the new job is only a three-block walk from his NYC digs. "I absolutely loved everything about Wyndham--the people, the company," he said. "But this is a nirvana for me."
"The most fun I've had in my 42 years in the industry, other than being a GM, was working with all the small companies that I helped grow. It's in my DNA to build and it's what I like to do best."