News for the Hospitality Executive
Fisher Property Group Names Peter Willis Senior Vice President
of Hotel Acquisitions & Business Development
PALM BEACH, Fla., February 24, 2009—Fisher Property Group, a privately held real estate holding company, today announced that Peter Willis has joined the company as senior vice president to spearhead hotel acquisitions and business development. In his new role, he will be responsible for sourcing, negotiating and structuring transactions for hotel assets and management contracts. Immediately prior to joining Fisher Property Group, Willis was senior vice president at The Kor Group, where he played a lead role in sourcing, negotiating and underwriting hotel investments and management contract prospects in addition to supporting strategic acquisitions and corporate planning efforts.
“Peter brings extensive hotel investment expertise to our executive team,” said Jeffrey H. Fisher, Fisher Property Group’s CEO. “He played an instrumental role as our vice president of acquisitions at Innkeepers USA Trust prior to its sale in July 2007. Fisher Property Group will leverage his 20 years of experience in the lodging industry, in acquisitions, repositioning and dispositions, as we seek ways to take advantage of the opportunities available in the current and anticipated economic climate.
“We believe the opportunity for hotel acquisitions will increase substantially over the next 18 months, and we intend to be a major investor,” Fisher added. “Our immediate focus will center on securing a Programmatic Joint Venture partner for the investment platform to be well-positioned to execute our growth plan. Our acquisition strategy is to identify assets opportunistically where we can add substantial value through repositioning, rebranding and/or changing management. We have retained Flint Creek Partners, a well regarded investment banking, venture capital and financial advisory services firm to lead our efforts in securing the financing platform.”
The Programmatic Joint Venture with Fisher Property Group will provide a qualified investor with the unique opportunity to partner with Fisher Property Group’s fully integrated, proven, private operating platform that has the expertise, track record, and capabilities of a publicly traded hotel REIT. The Joint Venture will focus on acquisition, conversion, repositioning, and management of upscale extended-stay and premium, select-service hotels in infill locations in the top 25 United States MSAs and in growing U.S. coastal markets. Fisher Property Group will focus on aligning with the premium lodging flags: Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and Hyatt, all brands with which Fisher Property Group has had long, strong and successful relationships.
Willis rejoins the executive team of the REIT, formerly known as Innkeepers USA Trust, including CEO Jeffrey Fisher and Senior Vice President of Hotel Development Richard Mielbye, who will continue to lead the effort on all ground-up developments, as well as other senior executive team members. During his tenure at Innkeepers from 2002 to 2006, Willis was vice president of acquisitions, where he oversaw $500 million in investments involving more than 18 hotels.
Willis is a graduate of the University of Florida and a member of the Cornell Hotel Society.
About Fisher Property Group