Hunter: Hoteliers look for growth opportunities in 2016
Hunter: Hoteliers look for growth opportunities in 2016
07 APRIL 2016 8:15 AM

Leaders from HP Hotels, Coakley & Williams and Affordable Suites of America chatted with HNN during breaks at the Hunter Hotel Conference about 2015 highlights and projects set for 2016.

ATLANTA—Leaders of management companies and an extended-stay brand chatted with Hotel News Now during the March Hunter Hotel Investment Conference about the latest news and developments within their companies. 

Affordable Suites of America
Affordable Suites of America, an extended-stay brand headquartered in South Carolina, experienced a solid 2015, according to COO Chris Rutherford. He said the brand notched record revenues and occupancies during the year.

The brand’s properties are mostly located in the southeastern part of the U.S. because the company is familiar with that area, Rutherford said. In 2015, Affordable Suites of America opened properties in two new locations: one each in Virginia and Indiana. With a new hotel in Indiana, Rutherford said the brand is looking to expand more outside the southeastern region in the future.

“We’re open to about anywhere,” he said. “We’re licensed in every state, so we’ll build anywhere that somebody brings us a deal to.”

Rutherford said the brand, whose guests stay an average of 22 nights, put together a deal for a property in North Carolina toward the end of 2015 and construction will start on the new build in 2016. Going forward, Rutherford said the company plans to grow the brand through franchising.

“I think now is the time to strike. Our numbers are hot, so I think it’s an easy time to get one off the ground quickly,” Rutherford said.

HP Hotels
Management company HP Hotels had a number of brand conversions in 2015, according to President and COO Charles Oswald.

He said the company converted a Cambria Suites into a DoubleTree by Hilton in Oklahoma City; two independents in Alabama and Kentucky into hotels in the Curio Collection by Hilton soft brand; and a Springhill Suites in Wisconsin.

Oswald said the company has hotels in the pipeline for 2016, including a new Hampton by Hilton hotel in an Atlanta suburb near the new ballpark; a new Home2 Suites property in a suburb of Little Rock, Arkansas; a takeover of a Hilton Garden Inn property in Kansas City; and offers out on multiple full-service hotels.

“Each will ultimately be brand conversions to the family of the big ‘H’ or the big ‘M,’” Oswald said.

Going forward in 2016, Oswald said the HP Hotels team plans to enhance its technology to “make sure everything (they) do can go mobile.” He said the company also plans to focus in on clientele and delivering to investors.

“Our focus is going to be that we make sure that we keep tightening up processes to deliver to our investors,” Oswald said. “And we think that when we deliver the highest return on invested capital back to our owners, that’s going to create growth for us and (loyalty).”

Coakley & Williams
Coakley & Williams Hotel Management Company added approximately 10 properties to the company’s portfolio in 2015, according to Mark Williams, VP of development.

He said several of the company’s properties performed well last year.

“We’ve had several hotels that just totally knocked the cover off the ball,” Williams said.

He said one such example is the 224-room Quality Suites The Royale Parc Suites in Kissimmee, Florida, which the company bought a year and a half ago. Guest service scores have reached a new level.

“We got the right staff in place, got the right team moving (and) got the right strategies going, and we were able to increase that hotel’s revenue by 100% compared to last year,” Williams said.

He said the company plans to better serve clients by hiring additional people and shifting employees who already work for the company into other roles to find areas of opportunity and for efficiency.

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