National Report – In early February, Wyndham Hotel Group bought Dolce Hotels and Resorts for $57 million in cash. Dolce’s 24 hotels, located in North America and Europe, will grow Wyndham’s managed portfolio by nearly 40 percent.
Steven Rudnitsky, president and CEO of Dolce Hotels and Resorts, said the process of finding a deal with Wyndham was quick, beginning just prior to Thanksgiving in 2014, and spurred on by Dolce’s fast growth. In the six years Rudnitsky has been with Dolce, the company has transformed into an asset-light brand, concentrated on meetings with a lifestyle component.
During 2013 and 2014, Dolce opened The Alexander, its first lifestyle conference hotel in Indianapolis; the Dolce CampoReal Lisboa, a 151-room resort in Portugal; and the Q Center hotel, in St. Charles, Ill.
“That kind of growth drove some of these dialogues, and we were gaining traction as a result,” Rudnitsky said. “We were limited by access to capital as a small company, which you need to foster more deals.”
Rudnitsky is looking at Dolce’s acquisition by Wyndham as a means to access greater reserves of capital in order to ramp up expansion. Dolce already signed management contracts with two 180-room hotels in Versailles and Annecy, France, a 202-room lifestyle conference hotel near Cincinnati and a 200-room urban lifestyle hotel in Palm Springs, Calif.
“We are a nimble company with a very specific focus within the meetings segment, and Wyndham is one of the largest hotel companies in the world,” Rudnitsky said.
For Rudnitsky, the coming days will involve a smooth integration with Wyndham. After that, he plans to leave the organization, expecting “new opportunities to unfold in due course.”