GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO—Not all principals are as hands on as the ones at Greenwood Hospitality Group. Maybe that’s why the hotel management company is celebrating 10 years in business.
“As Greenwood has evolved, we have remained cognizant of the need to add additional resources as required to support the needs of the portfolio,” said Aik Hong Tan, principal, Greenwood Hospitality. “We have assembled an experienced and talented corporate team whose members have a keen focus on revenue generation and F&B disciplines. A significant level of growth has occurred with first-time hotel developers on numerous new-build projects. We have acquired effective expertise and gained extensive experience in helping hotel developers deliver their projects in a cost-effective and timely manner. Greenwood has earned the trust and confidence of our owners and cultivated brand alliances that rely on enduring quality and superior results.”
For Greenwood, its vision has always been to “be the leader for hotel and management companies,” said Tom Conran, principal, Greenwood. “We do not look to become the largest hotel management company in terms of having the highest number of hotels. Instead, we are focused on managing a portfolio of hotels that are of the highest quality. Therefore, we define ‘leader’ in the sense that our hotels are the leaders in their individual markets.”
To ensure each hotel in its portfolio consistently achieves high performance, the management company works only with “like-minded owners.”
“We work closely and in a collaborative manner with them to ensure that their individual investments are appropriate and provide the returns commensurate with their objectives,” he said.
A key driver of Greenwood’s success is the company’s ambassadors (known also as employees). “To deliver on this promise, we invest significant resources in recruiting and retaining superior talent at the property level,” Conran said. “Recognizing the importance of developing an exemplary hotel leadership team, all of our managers go through our Management Development Program, which consists of 12 modules (one per month). The focus of the program is to develop leadership skills and ensure that dialogue and interaction with our ambassador level is respectful, collaborative and efficient.”
Then, there’s Greenwood’s cultural platform, which is centered around the following acronym: EFFECT (engagement, fun, flexibility, empowerment, community and trust).
“These fundamental core values are intertwined into our daily activities and actions,” he said. “As our management portfolio grows, these values become organic in nature. Our emphasis on promoting deserving ambassadors has earned us their loyalty and enhanced our reputation as an employer of choice i
n each market that our hotels operate.”
There are currently 24 hotels in Greenwood’s portfolio and five more under development. “We welcome the opportunities to continue our growth in the lifestyle section with brands such as Autograph Collection, Tribute, Renaissance, Curio and Tapestry, to name a few,” Conran said. “At the same time, our independent portfolio is growing year-over-year.”
Greenwood is primarily focused on upscale, full-service hotels, especially properties where there are opportunities to differentiate F&B offerings from their competitive set.
“We operate under core brands, soft brands and independent assets as well,” Tan said. “Approximately 60% of our portfolio is composed of properties with unique and singular characteristics. Our approach in establishing creative service initiatives together with top-of-the-market F&B offerings has positioned Greenwood properties as leaders in their respective markets.”
What makes Greenwood different than its competitors is its leadership team, which is “very engaged with both our owners and hotels,” Conran said.
The organizational structure at Greenwood is basically flat.
“We pride ourselves on being highly accessible to our owners,” Conran said. “The three principals [William Kohl is the third] are actively engaged in the daily activities within the portfolio. We work closely with our owners in defining their investment objectives and developing effective business plans to achieve them. We are proud to have earned the trust of our clientele, and we enjoy a current 90%-plus retention factor with them. In fact, our portfolio includes several owners with multiple assets under our management platform.”
The company’s principals are constantly challenging themselves to improve. “With one of our core values being ‘excellence,’ we do not accept the status quo,” he said. “We strive to continuously find ways, either through more effective processes or advanced technology, to increase the revenues and maintain effective cost controls. We have the humility to recognize the need to learn from other companies and professionals (including those outside the hotel industry) who are leaders in their respective areas of expertise. We benchmark our performance to those who do extremely well in order to identify ways that we can be better.”
As far as challenges over the years, just like many other companies when first starting out, Greenwood had to build its reputation. “We were fortunate to have a handful of owners put their trust in us during Greenwood’s early years,” Conran said. “We also had to earn the confidence of the brand companies wherein the hotels we managed would maintain the highest of standards to meet the needs of our guests, owners and the brand alliances we enjoyed.”
Over the years, Greenwood has transformed itself into the company it is today.
“As we celebrate the 10-year milestone of Greenwood, we are grateful to our owners who put their trust in us and proud of the accomplishments of our ambassadors,” Conran said. “We are grateful for the awards and recognition that we have had from the hospitality community over these many years. We will not rest on our laurels but will remain focused on achieving excellence at our hotels and providing growth opportunities for our valued ambassadors. We are focused on manageable growth and adding to our managed portfolio with assets that fit our core competencies. Through this growth, we will strategically improve the quality of our portfolio and position Greenwood as the leading management company of upscale hotels in the U.S.” HB