3 Southern operators discuss growth, plans for future

Hospitality Ventures Management Group operates 42 hotels, including the Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine (Fla.) Beach Oceanfront Resort. Photo credit: Hospitality Ventures Management Group (Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort)

In 2020, Hotel Management is spotlighting hotel management companies from all corners of the U.S.

This installment focuses on three companies based in the South: Hospitality Ventures Management Group, PeachState Hospitality and Naples Hotel Group.

HVMG targets portfolio sweet spot

In 1990, a decade before starting Hospitality Ventures Management Group, Robert Cole founded Impac Hotel Group. Eight years later, with a portfolio of 55 hotels, Impac then merged with Servico Hotels & Resorts to form Lodgian, a public hospitality company with 143 owned or operated hotels. A year and a half in as CEO, Cole said he decided “running a public company was not in [his] heart and in [his] DNA” and left to start HVMG. There, he hoped to replicate what worked at Impac while learning from its mistakes. “One of the things I learned, probably the hard way, was bigger is not always better,” Cole said. Today, with 42 properties in its portfolio, the president/CEO seemed pleased with where HVMG sits. “We are big enough where we have all the internal resources and skills and competencies that all of our much larger competitors have, yet we’re small enough where each individual hotel matters,” he said. Looking ahead, he said the company is targeting 50 new hotel deals over the next five years, which with dispositions, he estimated would take the company to 60 to 65 total properties.

Headquarters: Atlanta

Number of properties: 42 hotels

Number of guestrooms: 6,933

Website: www.hvmg.com

Contact: Mary Beth Cutshall 678-646-5880 [email protected]

PeachState Hospitality manages 15 hotels, including the Aloft Alpharetta (Ga.). Photo credit: PeachState Hospitality

PeachState transitions from construction to management

Founded in 1988, PeachState Hospitality didn’t join the hotel operating business until 2001. Up to then, it had nearly exclusively stuck within the merchant development business, building hotels and selling them before or at certificate of occupancy. But, after nearly 50 properties, Ricky Raman, the company’s COO and son of founder/CEO Danny Patel, said the company decided to make the switch. “After you do so much merchant developing, you kind of have the bug of why can’t I manage and why can’t I be an owner/operator?” said Raman. For nearly 15 years, the company did it all, owning, operating, developing and constructing, until in 2015, it decided to stop doing internal construction due to its growth in size and scope. That growth peaked a few years later, when the company opened eight properties during the 2018 calendar year. Today, Raman said PeachState—with no openings slated for 2020, one hotel under construction and one slated to break ground in the coming months—is taking the time to ramp up its newest properties before it hits the ground again in 2021.

Headquarters: Warner Robins, Ga.

Number of properties: 15 hotels

Number of guestrooms: 1,346

Website: www.pshga.com

Contact: Harsh Trivedi 478-971-4400 [email protected]

Naples Hotel Group manages 15 hotels, including the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Trinity (Fla.). Photo credit: Naples Hotel Group

Family-run Naples aims to keep portfolio size intimate

In 2010, after years of owning, operating and developing hotels together, Mike and Hayley Bou-Sliman saw an opportunity to bring their daughter and son, Brittany and Andrew Bou-Sliman, into the family business and created Naples Hotel Group. A decade later, Brittany Bou-Sliman, VP of marketing and business development, said the company has since seen steady and continuous growth, but is looking to expand. “While we’ve had a lot of growth in Florida, and it’s been convenient for us obviously, [but] our company is structured for management development contracts outside of Florida and we are seeking opportunities now,” she said. As it grows, she said the company is aiming to build a portfolio of 35 hotels in the Southeast. “Family is everything to us,” she said. “I mean, it’s literal because our company is run by Bou-Slimans, by family ... but also with our work family, with our intimate portfolio size, it allows us to remain close and approachable to our team members but also as well as our clients.”

Headquarters: Naples, Fla.

Number of properties: 15 hotels

Number of guestrooms: 1,520

Website: www.napleshotelgroup.com

Contact: Brittany Bou-Sliman 239-206-4273 [email protected]