Gulph Creek Hotels’ News
2009 Year-End Review
Wayne, PA, January 25, 2010 – As we breathe a sigh of relief that 2009 is over, we are prepared for an equally challenging 2010. We expect market conditions to improve in 2010, but know that progress at each of the hotels in our managed portfolio will continue to require a focus on business fundamentals and a market leading intensity. Despite the economic downturn, 2009 was a defining year for our company. We added three new hotels to our managed portfolio, including a 200-room select-service hotel, our first full-service hotel and our first independent hotel. An overview of the new hotels is presented below.
SpringHill Suites Newark Liberty International – the hotel is located within a three-hotel cluster close to Newark’s Liberty International Airport. Since takeover, we have streamlined operations, saving more than $200,000 in annualized operating expenses. Our management team, led by Marriott and Hilton veterans Abby Kushner and Sandy Padua have done a nice job of improving our RevPAR Index to a market leading position in the highly competitive Newark Airport market.
Crowne Plaza Philadelphia City Avenue – the hotel renovations were completed in October 2009 following the conversion from a Holiday Inn. Upon takeover in May 2009, we realigned the hotel’s organizational structure and renegotiated every contract in the hotel, resulting in annualized savings in excess of more than $500,000. Our management team, led by Russell Peskin, has significantly enhanced guest service levels at the hotel, garnering a recent 89 percent guest satisfaction score. Our RevPAR Index has climbed since the takeover with a dedicated sales effort and support from the sales teams at our other hotels.
Tidewater Inn – we took over management of this 103-room independent hotel in mid-October 2009. Upon takeover, we closed the hotel’s underperforming restaurant and in three weeks opened Hunters’ Tavern with an eight-draft beer tap system, a casual menu and more guest friendly orientation. To date, the restaurant has outpaced historical sales, in a space 1/3 the size of the original restaurant. We are in the process of renovating and re-launching the closed main ballroom, fixing perpetual building issues and furnishing the closed fourth floor in a Ralph Lauren style decor. In 2008, the hotel experienced an operating loss in excess of $1 million. We anticipate that the hotel should cover debt service in its first year and generate a strong return thereafter. Our management team is led by Thad Hoy, a veteran of the Inn at Perry Cabin. Thad has brought a highly-experienced team and a more personable, guest-centered culture to this Eastern Shore landmark hotel.
We look forward to continuing to improve the performance of each of our hotels and growing our managed portfolio of first-class hotels in 2010. We are planning to hire a Director of Sales and Marketing in the first quarter to oversee efforts to drive hotel revenue and improve market share. We are focused on improving reporting systems through our website extranet and customized formats. We have two hotel project sin development which should break ground this year and an upscale, select-service hotel on Maryland’s Eastern SHore which should break ground next year. We are actively mining new opportunities to grow with our owner/partners through acquisitions, rehabs, new development and troubled asset takeovers. We appreciate the support and guidance of our owners, investors, franchisors and advisors and wish you all a great 2010.
About Gulph Creek Hotels
Gulph Creek Hotels is recognized as a leading hotel management company in the Mid Atlantic region. Gulph Creek’s portfolio of managed hotels continues to outperform the market and exceed financial return expectations. Gulph Creek Hotels was founded in 1996 and currently manages five Hilton, Marriott and IHG branded hotels and one independent hotel totaling 1,000 guest rooms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.