to Third-Party Management Role
Morris Lasky’s Lodging Unlimited to expand hospitality horizons
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — July 12, 2004 — Twenty years ago John Cauvin headed west from New York City to carve out his own niche in the hotel industry. Now he’s looking to expand that niche—and has taken a major step toward that goal by joining forces with veteran hotelier Morris Lasky’s Chicago-based management company, Lodging Unlimited.
Since 1984, Cauvin has owned and operated Windmill Inns & Suites, a group of six highly successful hotel properties in Oregon and Arizona. In April, Lasky announced that he and Cauvin had created a new management entity, Lodging Unlimited – West, for which Cauvin now serves as chief operating officer while continuing as president and c.e.o. of Windmill Inns & Suites. Like Windmill, Lodging Unlimited – West is based in Scottsdale.
“I’d gotten to know Morris through attending his Lodging Conference in Phoenix over the years, and when he decided to start an international hotel conference in Monaco in 2001, I offered my assistance because I know the country and the language,” Cauvin said. “I’d been wanting to expand my company through management contracts, Morris wanted to do the same at Lodging Unlimited, and when we compared notes we decided that a joint venture was the best way to go for both of us. In getting to know each other, we certainly found we have a lot in common.”
Not the least of those commonalities is each hotelier’s long hospitality career. Lasky has nearly 50 years’ hotel-management experience, the past 34 of them as president and c.e.o. of Lodging Unlimited, which he founded in 1970 and which since has delivered management, financial and/or consulting services to more than 250 lodging properties worth in excess of $6 billion. He also is founder and chairman of the Lodging Conference, a highly regarded annual business event that will celebrate its 10th anniversary this fall in Phoenix.
Cauvin’s hotel-industry experience spans more than 30 years. A graduate of Switzerland’s prestigious Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne as well as the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Cauvin worked for Sheraton Corp. in New York as an executive at the historic Sheraton St. Regis. Later he joined British lodging giant Trusthouse Forte, and as managing director opened the $40 million, five-star Garden City Hotel in New York.
Shortly afterwards, as Cauvin puts it, “the American entrepreneurial spirit captured me” and he headed west in 1984, in search of a lodging niche. He wound up in Oregon, where he purchased the two struggling Windmill Inns—one in Medford, one in Ashland—and, despite a severe recession in the Pacific Northwest, turned them into profitable properties within a year. He has since opened four more Windmill Inn and Windmill Inn & Suites hotels in Oregon and Arizona.
Yet another commonality Cauvin and Lasky share is their management philosophy.
“That’s one of the first things I discovered when I really got to know Morris—that we share similar philosophies,” Cauvin said. “Our management philosophy is based on three main tenets—integrity, partnership, and affirmation. Integrity, basically, is walking the talk, doing for our clients what we say we’re going to do. Partnership is accomplishing goals together, working together, for the good of all parties. And our philosophy of affirmation is directed mainly with our employees. That is, we praise them, we empower them, and we practice the Golden Rule of hospitality—that is, we treat them the way we expect them to treat our guests, and it translates into top-quality guest service. Morris has ingrained this philosophy into Lodging Unlimited for more than 30 years, I’ve ingrained it into Windmill Inns & Suites for 20 years, and it will be our philosophy at Lodging Unlimited – West.“
Cauvin said his and Lasky’s eventual goal is to have 30 to 35 hotels under contract coast to coast. He added that his experience as a hotel owner and operator, coupled with Lasky’s reputation as a leading hotel manager and financial/operational consultant, will be major selling points as the partners seek management contracts across the country.
“Morris knows management from the management-company side and I know management from the owner’s side—and that’s a tough combination to beat,” Cauvin said. “In addition, we have the Windmill Inns and Windmill Suites brands available, which could be used in a scenario where we take management of a group of hotels and feel that re-branding or repositioning would be appropriate.”
“I’m excited to be associated professionally now with John, after getting to know him both as a friend and a gifted, talented hotelier,” Lasky said. “Our joint venture will do a lot to gain him the same kind of industry recognition he deserves nationally as he has been enjoying in the Western United States.”
Cauvin will serve as a panel moderator at the upcoming Lodging Conference Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, and will be a speaker at the International Hotel Conference in Monaco, Oct. 17-19.
About Lodging Unlimited and Lodging Unlimited West
Lodging Unlimited Inc., Chicago, Ill., provides the highest level of management, consulting and marketing services for the hospitality industry. Morris E. Lasky, the company's Chief Executive Officer, began his hospitality career in 1956 and has since become one of the industry's leaders in acquisition strategies and operations expertise. He helped found and has been the Chairman of The Lodging Conference since 1995. It is one of the hotel industry's premier conferences and is held every fall at The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Lasky has directed Lodging Unlimited in $5 billion of management activity, development real estate and financing. For more information, call 312-595-1390 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lodgingunlimited.com.
Lodging Unlimited West is the west coast affiliate of Lodging Unlimited that owns and operates Windmill Inns & Suites, a lodging enterprise with six locations, three each in Oregon and Arizona. John Cauvin, President and CEO of Windmill Inns of America, offers a 110% satisfaction guarantee at the properties. He stresses the philosophy that true hospitality is going the extra mile. For more information call 480-443-0909 or visit www.windmillinns.com.
Barb Worcester, President
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