ATLANTA — Hotel Equities, a full-service hotel ownership, management and development company based in Atlanta, takes over management of two Edmonton Marriotts this week. But that's just the first step in its plans for Canada.
Joe Reardon, senior vice-president, Business Development and Marketing, told CLN that the company has been looking at Canada for the past year and a half. “Marriott has talked about growth in Canada and Hilton is growing its brands in the Canadian market. It's a good opportunity to grow our infrastructure here and bring our award-winning results to this market.
“We researched the differences between Canada and the U.S. — currency, human resources and payroll, and had a deeper conversation with Marriott and Hilton along with our vendors and purveyors,” he said. “We are a top preferred management company with Marriott in the U.S.,and we are pleased to do business in Canada.”
The deal to manage the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott-Edmonton North and the TownePlace Suites by Marriott-Edmonton South, begins on Monday. “We had a chance to visit and spend time with the ownership group and it continues to ‘check off the boxes’ we were looking for,” Reardon said, adding that he is “absolutely excited” about the two Canadian properties. The hotels are owned by Iliyan Hospitality.
Hotel Equities is working on four new developments in Canada, including a new build in Toronto East, and hotels in Ottawa. The company has 108 hotels in 27 U.S. states, plus the two in Canada.
“We want to have at least eight to ten [Canadian hotels] onboard, in development, under construction or open and operating by the end of 2018,” said Reardon. “Whether it be branded or independent, we work closely with owners to add quick value to the hotel and provide award winning results,” said Reardon.
Hotel Equities' existing portfolio consists of Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Starwood, Hyatt and independent and boutique hotels.
During its three decades of operation, Hotel Equities has received a long list awards, including some for its founder and president, Fred Cerrone. “We are a different, unique, authentic organization,” said Reardon. “We have a culture embedded in the last 30 years starting with our founder. We have 12 value statements we live and breathe by. We hold our associates in high regard, encouraging work/life balance as well as a balanced scorecard and of results.”
Hotel Equities also has a management training program for college graduates. “It's extremely hard to find great managers and keep them. Our turnover is half the industry average. We promote GMs to regional officers, and regional officers to vice presidents. A lot of individuals stay with us— they don't have to leave as there is we offera wide range of opportunities. We say, 'Hire an attitude and teach them the business.'”
Hotel Equities owns 16 of its hotels, and thus looks at everything from a “ownership lens,” said Reardon. “We think, 'if it were my money, would I spend it that way?” said Reardon. “We look at our relationships as long term and work closely with owners from inception in all facets of the partnership.”
The company's range of services includes pre-development, pre-construction, opening and operating. “If someone comes to us with a piece of dirt, we look at what brand would work. We have that exchange beforehand. We work with the owner on brand selection, help them through the application process, underwriting, and all the way through open and operating. This is the real expertise we provide our owners that make us different than most.”
“We have a Rolodex of 30 years in the business. Here are the architects we recommend. We give operation and design feedback and make sure we are aligned with the owner and brand the entire way.”