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The Lodging Opportunities Group Is Formed to Acquire, Operate Hotels
Focus Will be on Troubled U.S. Properties


NEW YORK, June 2, 2011—Two experienced hotel and real estate professionals, Marty Schiffman and Morris Lasky, today announced they have partnered with two high-net-worth, New York-based families to create The Lodging Opportunities Group (LOG) to acquire and operate hotels.  The investors have chosen LOG as their exclusive entry platform into an industry that is believed to be highly opportunistic at this time.  The new company’s executive team collectively brings more than 150 years of hotel and real estate investment experience, having owned, controlled or consulted on assets valued at more than $8 billion in the aggregate.

LOG, a New York-based company, will focus on opportunistically acquiring troubled, institutional-grade hotels located in urban and suburban U.S. markets, in segments ranging from luxury to economy.  All LOG hotels will be managed by a sister company of Lodging Unlimited, Inc. (LUI), a 40-year-old, third-party hotel management company based in Chicago.  LOG and LUI will be joined by their western affiliate, Lodging Unlimited West, located in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Marty Schiffman will lead the company as president.  He has been a real estate industry leader for more than 30 years, having participated as managing principal and in senior management roles in over $1 billion in transactions in all asset classes for such investment management companies as Sonnenblick-Goldman, Lehman Brothers and Carl Marks & Co. 

“There are a growing number of funds entering the hotel industry,” Schiffman said.  “We believe we are different from many of those players because they include a high percentage of financial buyers and we have a hands-on, intensive management approach to creating solutions.  We will differentiate ourselves from other investors by seeking out highly challenged, deep turn-around assets that can benefit from enhanced management, investment and repositioning.  We have the expertise, capital and patience to revitalize assets that more traditional funds may find too complex or encumbered.”

Morris Lasky will be chairman of the board of The Lodging Opportunities Group.  He brings more than 40 years’ experience to the position.  He is president of Lodging Unlimited Inc., which has operated or consulted on more than 300 hotels valued in excess of $7 billion.  The company is an active participant in the troubled hotel management industry, and provides litigation support, development consulting, and crisis consulting.  “The hotel industry is just now coming out of an economic tornado that severely impacted all segments and markets in the country,” Lasky said.  “We seek hotels that are in situations that may be difficult to untangle or require substantial work to turn the property around.”

LOG is seeking situations as much as it is seeking assets.  Typical investments sought by the company include, but are not limited to hotels:
  • Under the effective control of a creditor through foreclosure, in-process foreclosure, receivership or creditor-in-possession agreement;
  • Filing bankruptcy and in need of a plan, new management and recapitalization;
  • In need of funding for non-bankruptcy reorganizations;
  • Where creditor/owners prefer to hold the asset into a better future climate through a joint venture consisting of newly infused capital and management;
  • Where the owner is merely “hanging on” to forestall a large negative taxable event;
  • Which cannot be refinanced and where additional capital to make up debt shortfalls make the difference;
  • Where “follow-on” investment to protect a portfolio hasn’t been achieved or where cross-collateralization of some or all of the assets is creating pressure;
  • Where owners are pressured by personal guarantees;
  • Where hospitality properties are within a general real estate portfolio and, rather than a spinoff, a buy-in opportunity exists in exchange for new management and new capitalization;
  • Where a property in development has experienced construction overruns, or has been unable to secure full financing, and needs additional funds.
“As we come out of this recession, there are hundreds of properties with seemingly insurmountable problems,” Lasky said.  “These types of properties are our sweet spot.  We have the people and systems in place to perform due diligence quickly, complete the acquisition quickly and take over a single property or portfolio in less than 24 hours.”

Additional information about The Lodging Opportunities Group may be found at www.lodgingunlimited.com, or by calling Morris Lasky at (312) 595-1390, or Marty Schiffman at (212) 909-8420.

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Contact:

Jerry Daly, Patrick Daly
Daly Gray, Inc.
703 435 6293
jerry@dalygray.com

 
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