|By Paul Owers, South Florida
Sun-SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 14, 2008 - The father of the extended-stay hotel concept is bringing his latest venture to South Florida.
Jack DeBoer, who developed Residence Inn and two other chains, has plans to build about 30 Value Place hotels in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties during the next few years.
The extended-stay chain expects to open in Margate, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens by next summer. It hopes to have about 100 hotels in Florida by 2012.
Value Place, based in Wichita, Kan., says it caters to small-business travelers and budget-conscious professionals who may pay their own bills for lodging. Rooms are furnished studios with full kitchens, and rates are set by the week. The South Florida hotels will charge $300 to $400 a week. The chain's entry into the market comes as commercial real estate development is slowing.
"Our product is clean, low-priced, safe and simple," DeBoer said Wednesday. "We deliver a lot for the dollar."
Value Place considers Extended Stay America its main competition in South Florida, said David Redfern, president of Value Place's real estate services. H. Wayne Huizenga founded Extended Stay in 1995, and it was sold to The Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, in 2004. That same year, Blackstone bought the Boca Resort and Club from Huizenga.
"This part of Florida has become almost nonseasonal for extended-stay travelers," Redfern said. "That's changed over the last 20 years."
Value Place has more than 100 hotels nationwide, and the business plan calls for 100 locations a year for the next decade.
"They may be very well positioned in this climate to take advantage of consumers counting their pennies," said Scott Berman, who leads the hospitality consulting practice for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Miami.
DeBoer sold Residence Inn to Marriott in 1987. He founded Candlewood Suites and sold it to InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in 2003. DeBoer also started Summerfield Suites, now part of Hyatt.
In 2001, he noticed a void in the extended-stay market for economy hotels targeting owners of small- and medium-size businesses.
The first Value Place opened in Wichita in 2003, and the company began a franchise program a year later.
The privately held company does not disclose annual revenue.
Value Place and other extended-stay chains don't need as much visibility as traditional hotels, but they must find cost-effective locations, said Scott Brush, an independent hotel consultant in Miami.
"They don't need to be at the corner of I-95 and the main exit in town," Brush said. "How well they do will be dictated by whether they can deliver a good product with a price that's acceptable to the market."
Paul Owers can be reached at powers@sun-sentinel .com or 561-243-6529.
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