Tech-focused brand and management company Life House has acquired the management contracts of Imprint Hospitality’s independent hotel portfolio. The transaction represents Life House’s first merger-and-acquisition transaction, with several more expected to close later in 2021.
The Imprint Hospitality portfolio includes independent properties across the West Coast, including The Historic Taos Inn in Taos, N.M.; Casa Secoya in Sonoma County, Calif.; Loyal Duke Lodge in Salida, Colo.; and Salida Inn and Monarch Suites in Salida, Colo.;, among others to be announced at a later date. The hotels will be operating with their existing independent branding, with Life House exploring opportunities to reposition select properties to one of its current or future lifestyle brands.
“Life House’s acquisition of Imprint Hospitality’s management company represents the launch of an aggressive M&A strategy to supplement our strong asset light growth since inception of the business,” said Bryan Dunn, Life House’s head of growth. “With nearly 30 unique independent hotels under management across the chain scale spanning a dozen states in the U.S. and Mexico, we are better positioned than ever to add value for owners as the market continues on its road to recovery.”
The two companies connected, Dunn said, through a “deep shared passion” for the Mountain West, as well as a “mutual appreciation” for the nuances associated with owning and operating small hotels in seasonal demand environments.
Imprint Hospitality was founded by hotel industry veterans Alexandra Walterspiel and Matthew Seim. Following the close of the transaction, the founders will join Life House’s advisory board and will remain long-term owners of the real estate through various affiliated investment vehicles.
“We are pleased to have identified a like-minded and forward-thinking partner in Life House who has the ability to materially improve the performance of our portfolio,” said Walterspiel, managing partner of Imprint Hospitality.
“As we’ve become more familiar with Life House and their value proposition, it’s clear they are the right partner to manage our unique hotels and in so doing, providing our team with additional bandwidth to focus on future real estate transactions in our target markets,” added Matt Seim, managing partner of Imprint Hospitality.
The deal represents a commitment from Life House to its West Coast expansion efforts following November’s opening of Life House Lower Highlands in Denver. Life House has five additional deals under contract across the West Coast.
“We are thrilled to finalize this transaction with Imprint Hospitality and their experienced management team and happy to be able to help solve problems for hotel owners and our peers in the industry during these difficult times,” said Rami Zeidan, founder and CEO of Life House. “Matt and Alex have been great to work with and we are excited to expand our presence in Colorado following the opening of our Denver hotel while entering strategic submarkets in California and New Mexico.”
After its recent $30 million financing round, Life House and its partners are actively seeking additional M&A opportunities across the independent hotel space. Life House is looking to acquire asset light management businesses from owner-operators who seek to focus their time and energy on real estate ownership, in which context Life House can create a liquidity event alongside adding incremental value to the real estate through its management platform. Life House has 27 hotels signed, open or under development, 12 of which are branded Life House.
The transaction between Life House and Imprint Hospitality was facilitated by Destination Capital, a Denver-based real estate advisory firm led by Bryan Auchterlonie.