Indigo Road to venture into hotels in 2020

Larry Spelts [left], president of Indigo Road Hospitality Group's Lodging & Lifestyle Adventures division, first met the company's founder Steve Palmer [right] two decades ago working at the Relais & Châteaux Planters Inn in Charleston, S.C. Photo credit: The Indigo Road Hospitality Group

The Indigo Road Hospitality Group, a Charleston, S.C.-based company that operates 24 restaurants throughout the Southeast, launched a new hotel management and consulting division. The team, led by hospitality veteran Larry Spelts, plans to launch two boutique projects in 2020.

The company plans for the new Lodging & Lifestyle Adventures division to integrate its food-and-beverage operations experience with additional hospitality services, including property management and operations, financial structures and revenue strategy, sales, marketing and design. Spelts will head the division as president.

"As we looked to begin this next chapter for The Indigo Road, the hotel industry was a natural fit, given our current concepts coupled with our passion for hospitality," founder and managing partner Steve Palmer said in a statement. "Larry is a longtime friend, and I've respected his work over the years. I look forward to working alongside him as these next two projects come to fruition."

Palmer and Spelts first met 20 years ago at Charleston’s Relais & Châteaux Planters Inn, where they expanded the hotel and opened the Peninsula Grill. Since then, Spelts has held a variety of roles, including VP of business development with Charlestowne Hotels, president/chief development officer at Expotel Hospitality and president of Village Hospitality.

"It is my experience that restaurant development and operations often present some of the greatest obstacles to a hotel's success,” Spelts said in a statement. “With The Indigo Road's expertise in food and beverage, we are poised to build an attractive portfolio of lifestyle-focused boutique hotels.”