CHEVY CHASE, MD—When two of the three founders of your management company are Cornell University graduates who met while playing for an Ivy League championship-winning football program, it’s not surprising that there’s a focus on strengthening the team by keeping its “players”—associates—content.
“Our management philosophy is referred to as ‘the Virtuous Cycle.’ It begins and ends with associate satisfaction,” said Joseph Bojanowski, president of PM Hotel Group (PMHG), based here. “The company believes that with satisfied associates come numerous rewards—high retention; efficiency in operations; higher profitability and achievement of owner objectives; superior service levels that garner guest preference and loyalty; and associate recognition, reward and growth opportunities, resulting in higher levels of satisfaction [for both]guests and associates.”
When the two former football players—Dave Pollin and Robert Buccini—along with fellow Cornell graduate Greg Miller founded PMHG (then PM Hotel Strategies Inc.) as an affiliate of real estate owner and developer The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG), the focus was in the select-service hotel segment in the mid-Atlantic region. However, “since day one, the executive team planned to expand outside of the mid-Atlantic,” noted Bojanowski. “The geographic diversity brings a greater stability to the operating platform and allows the company to attract the best and brightest talent.”
PMHG currently manages 48 hotels throughout the U.S., from select-service through independent luxury, with the majority of the hotels carrying upper-upscale, full-service, Hilton and Marriott flags. Full-service hotels comprise roughly 75% of the company’s total room count.
Bojanowski, who has more than 20 years of experience in hospitality management, mapped out the firm’s operating mission as “maintaining assets at the optimal quality level; nurturing relationships with clients and guests; achieving optimum financial performance each and every day; and adhering to the highest ethical standards.”
When asked how the firm achieves those goals, Bojanowski said, “PMHG provides the necessary scale to bring best-in-class systems, people and structure, but remains nimble enough for the executive team to deliver a hands-on approach to its entire third-party management portfolio. This practice results in premium market share and profit margins.”
He continued, “We provide the full array of third-party management services, including technical services for hotels under development/construction; hotel management services, such as PM Food & Drink Innovations Group; digital strategies; revenue management; capital project and renovation management; market feasibility analysis; and kitchen design.”
PMHG has had some highlight properties join the portfolio over the past couple of years. Last year, PMHG took over the management of the historic Hotel Du Pont, a 12-story, 217-room property in Wilmington, DE, that was commissioned by DuPont Company President Pierre S. du Pont and opened in 1913. BPG purchased the hotel and plans a restoration project for it in the near future.
The beginning of calendar year 2018 has seen a number of portfolio additions. “In January, we opened the 310-suite Embassy Suites by Hilton New York Midtown Manhattan, the only Embassy Suites in the city,” said Bojanowski. ”We also took over management of the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place in January, our first entry into Florida, and launched the PM Food & Drink Innovations Group to oversee our expanding portfolio of restaurants and bars. Last month, we opened the second Canopy by Hilton in the U.S., Canopy by Hilton Washington, DC Bethesda North, and have a second Canopy opening in a few months in Portland, OR.”
Last month, PMHG also unveiled its new corporate headquarters, designed by architecture and design firm Gensler. The new office, known as “The Support Center,” is located in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of northwest Washington, DC, and southern Montgomery County, MD.
“The office now has a more spacious layout, brighter workspaces, and areas for collaboration between team members,” said Bojanowski. “The neighborhood has numerous dining and retail choices during or after work. And, commuting options are improved with the transit hub linking the Metro Red Line and Montgomery County’s Ride On bus service across the street.”
However, he said that not everything is coming up roses recently for PMHG. “The Washington, DC, metro area year-over-year comparisons have been unfavorable in Q1 due to the presidential inauguration in 2017,” he said. “We opened two hotels and took over management of two separate hotels in Q1.”
PMHG has a number of projects in the pipeline. Besides the aforementioned Portland project, the company will manage the upcoming Canopy in Austin, TX; a Westin in Greensboro, NC; a Marriott and a Home2Suites in Washington, DC; a Homewood Suites in Wilmington, DE; and a yet-to-be-branded hotel in Denver.
When asked where he sees the company in the future, Bojanowski sees the firm on the same course it has been following for 20-plus years. “PMHG is a privately held hotel management company focused solely on achieving the objectives of its ownership groups,” he said. “The company does not see that mission changing in the future. It will continue to strategically grow its portfolio, strengthen its relationships with brand partners and attract the best and brightest in our industry.” HB