Plano-based Aimbridge Hospitality is making bold moves during a crippling pandemic for the hotel industry, naming a successor to the company founder and laying out an ambitious plan to add 120 properties to its portfolio in the next 120 days.
Aimbridge’s plans for expansion come at a time when the hotel industry is suffering massive revenue shortfalls caused by COVID-19 and local restrictions to stem the pandemic’s spread.
The company’s incoming president and CEO Mike Deitemeyer fully understands the severity of the current economic conditions. He said Aimbridge has had to function through the pandemic with at least 20,000 fewer staff due to layoffs and furloughs.
As the industry’s largest third-party management company, Aimbridge handles $10 billion in annual revenue for its hotel owners, CFO Judy Hendrick told CFO Magazine this week. The pandemic has cut Aimbridge sales by 86%, though Hendrick told the magazine “we do not fear downturns; during such times, we have an opportunity to gain market share.”
Deitemeyer is similarly optimistic about the big picture, and believes the company is positioning itself to bring back lost jobs when leisure and business travel recover.
“Our income is certainly suppressed,” Deitemeyer said, “But if you believe in the recovery of our space, the fact that we’ve added hotels… when the economy and hotel occupancies return, we’re going to be in a great position.”
Aimbridge has added 128 properties to its portfolio to date and plans to add another 120 in the next three months. The company said the growth is made possible because of corporate support during unprecedented times.
Private equity-backed Aimbridge has seen “historic organic growth” this year in new properties across all of its verticals, including extended stay, select service, and international segments, according to the company.
It’s taking on management agreements for hotels across North America, including the Hyatt House Chicago, the Renaissance Charleston Historic District in South Carolina and the Element Ontario in Canada. But it’s also raking in agreements in the U.K., announcing this week it will add 31 Jupiter Hotels properties. The expansion brings Aimbridge’s property count in the U.K. to around 160 hotels.
The 17-year-old hotel operator named Deitemeyer its new president and CEO this week, effective Jan. 1. Deitemeyer was previously CEO of Interstate Hotels & Resorts and served as Aimbridge’s global president after the competitors merged last year.
Deitemeyer takes over from Aimbridge cofounder Dave Johnson, who will move into the new role of executive chairman overseeing mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and new business opportunities.
“We are pleased to have positioned ourselves for growth,” Aimbridge Hospitality CEO Dave Johnson said in a statement. “As we leverage our scale to add value, owners are responding by adding Aimbridge as managers.”