5 questions with Kim Sims, president of Chesapeake Hospitality

Hotel Management asked Kim Sims, the president of Chesapeake Hospitality, what his focus will be in the new year. For Sims, Chesapeake will emphasize its focus on full-service hotels and upper-upscale projects. He also has some new F&B tricks up his sleeve.

Hotel Management: How will the hotel industry fare in 2015 in terms of overall operating metrics and profits?

Kim Sims: Generally, we see continued increases in room revenue fueled primarily by ADR growth, resulting in improved operating margins. The only caveat to that is those markets that are heavily reliant on government businessmay see increases, but at reduced levels to the overall market.

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HM: What specific or significant goals have you set for your company in 2015?

KS: Measured company growth with an emphasis on full-service, upper-upscale hotel projects. Also a focus on improving food-and-beverage operations through a branded, scaled concept that incorporates menu designs dedicated to ease of execution and capitalizing on corporate pricing benefits. Lastly, the continuous improvement of recruiting and talent acquisition processes.

HM: What challenges—within the industry or within the world at large—have the possibility to upset the current general optimism within the industry?

KS: We remain very optimistic for 2015. Terrorism remains as one of the top risks that could negatively impact our economy and the hotel market. An Ebola outbreak in the United States is a lesser, but potentially serious threat.

HM: In 2015, where are you concentrating your company’s growth and expansion?

KS: We consider our sweet spot to be in the upscale and upper upscale chain scales as defined by Smith Travel Research. In our 57-year history we have developed an expertise in re-branding and re-positioning hotel assets.

HM: What areas within the hotel industry will deserve the most attention in 2015 that may not be on our radar now? For example: Labor issues, government/economic issues, etc.

KS: Gauging the financial impact that the Affordable Care Act will have on our industry in 2015. How do we address ballooning health-care costs going forward? Also, as competition increases for hospitality talent we need to be highly aware of managing escalating salaries, wages and benefits.

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