ANAHEIM, CA—After nearly 40 years managing hotels, Wincome USA is launching its new hospitality division, Wincome Hospitality. With the new endeavor, the real estate investment, development and management firm plans to focus on hospitality management, leveraging not only its own business, but those of other owners as well.
According to CEO Paul Sanford, despite Wincome USA’s track record of successfully developing, elevating and managing the properties it owns, the company name didn’t advertise the core focus: hotel management. With the new name, the business is much clearer, allowing the company to go after new hospitality management contracts. The new division will provide services in development, finance and accounting, sales & marketing, human resources and reservations.
“Wincome has been flying under the radar,” Sanford said, noting that its portfolio has included apartment buildings, office developments, hotels and restaurants in Orange County, CA, and in the greater Dallas, TX, region. In 1988, the company acquired a small property located across from the main entrance to Disneyland in California.
“This boutique hotel came to be known as The Carousel Inn and Suites and was a trendsetter for the Disneyland Resort market during the mid-1990s,” he said. Beginning as its GM, Sanford brought a host of business knowledge to the role. “This mix of service and location led to more than three decades of success at this property and helped Wincome establish its footprint in the Anaheim hotel market.”
Wincome’s latest venture is the 618-room Westin Anaheim Resort, set to open late summer 2020, which the company has been gearing up for with new hires. Amid the new-build’s launch, Wincome is building up its hotel management and corporate teams.
“Separately, Wincome USA has a very talented development team, including a director of construction, architect and multiple development project managers with backgrounds and experiences in architecture, engineering, design, procurement and construction administration,” he said. “Keeping the development team under the Wincome USA name allows the company to develop world-class hospitality projects and non-hospitality projects, such as residential, retail or mixed-use.”
According to Sanford, Wincome Hospitality is looking for more opportunities in California as well as emerging hotel markets in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas.
“Wincome has proven to be ahead of the market in so many facets of the evolving hospitality industry. This has come about by leadership’s process of pushing constant innovation and by evaluating a hospitality project for its highest and best use. This process includes evaluating the asset location, market mix, emerging markets, architectural and design opportunities. This careful evaluation of the asset avails opportunities to increase market presence, capture more demand and achieve financial success beyond market expectation,” Sanford said.
In addition to the Westin Anaheim Resort, Wincome has two others in its portfolio: Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa, a Tribute Portfolio hotel, in the heart of Costa Mesa, CA’s arts district; and The Anaheim Hotel, an independent property.
Wincome’s team has been able to transform these properties in their respective markets; for example, after a $20-million renovation, a Wyndham hotel in Costa Mesa was officially rebranded as the Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa. The property was awarded Marriott’s Franchise Hotel of the Year Award for Distinctive Properties in 2017 and 2018.
Wincome also acquired the Anaheim Plaza Hotel and converted it to The Anaheim Hotel, with entitlements to potentially redevelop into another hotel, Sanford said.
Along with these transformations, Wincome’s corporate team has established centralized teams to handle human resources, marketing, social networking, revenue management, finance, accounting and reservations.
“With an award-winning track record and Wincome’s comprehensive corporate team now in place for the launch and management of the new Westin Anaheim Resort, these resources are available to be leveraged to help other hotel owners manage their hospitality properties,” Sanford said.
According to the CEO, Wincome’s employee turnover is lower than the industry standard with close to 40% of its employees at Wincome for five years or more.
“Wincome is an emerging company with a big heart for its employees, communities and guests. There is a true sense of family among its employees,” Sanford said.
Having such depth and loyalty within the teams is critical, especially given hospitality’s current labor climate. Despite this, the company continues to focus on progression.
“Successful companies create opportunities even when faced with challenges. The hospitality industry is ever-evolving and always has challenges, so why wait when the resources are there to be leveraged?” Sanford said.
Aside from its recruiting methods, Wincome is also looking to technology to leverage its properties and remain ahead of the curve.
“The hospitality industry is always adapting to the challenging times, whether it is economic fluctuations or technology—it’s a balance of focusing on the development of talent while constantly evaluating costs and new innovations,” Sanford said. “For example, mobile payment is widely accepted in China but not in the United States. What’s the cost of implementation and is the marketing value worth it to be an early adopter? That’s something Wincome is looking at for our hotels.” HB