#1 Hotel Investor Christmas Gift:
 Real-Time Property Performance Data
O.H. Hospitality Secures New Investors for 2004 Expansion Plans; Timely, Accurate Financial Data Creates
Foundation for New Builds

December 19, 2003 - When Kent Oliver and George Hovland, co-founders O.H. Hospitality, started their company they wanted to develop hotels in key ‘crossover’ destinations desirable to both meeting planners and vacationing families.   Their goal was to operate in markets where the two segments met, and leverage the markets to multiply room nights and occupancy while softening each segment ’s fluctuations.  In 1997 they found the perfect area at the western tip of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota.  Known as “The San Francisco of the Northeast,” adjacent to one of the most beautiful harbors in the country, Duluth, Minnesota, has more leisure attractions per capita than any other similar metropolitan area, with the bonus of being home to hundreds of businesses nearby.

Thanks to a string of solid business decisions O.H. Hospitality has grown over 100 percent per year since its incorporation. It now operates seven properties carrying a variety of flags with four more in development, including one on the Florida coast.  “We created a formula that is working for our company and its investors; we are expanding our business into new markets and experimenting with concepts we never tried before,” said George Hovland, O.H. Hospitality’s Managing Member for the past six years.  “This spring we break ground in Minneapolis on a 200-room full-service Radisson, with a waterpark, attached to the Earl Brown Conference Center.  The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is a great metro business market that also pulls vacationing families from a large surrounding region.  We see it as an excellent investment opportunity.”  Bringing different investor groups together for new projects and staffing properties with first-class professional management teams is a core competency for O.H. Hospitality.  

Internet Business Practices Aid Investors 

In the past three years O.H. Hospitality learned valuable lessons at the hands of market forces and the economy, but the company’s expansion never slowed.  “Our industry is constantly changing and we are evolving with the environment.  What we are seeing now is a trend toward Internet business practices, both in hospitality marketing and in financial services and investor communication,” said O.H.’s George Hovland.  “To accommodate guests’ increasing Internet usage we developed a new website that provides online booking and enhances the appeal of each property by focusing on the nearby attractions. We also moved our accounting, financial analysis, and investor reporting processes online as a foundation for future growth.  We are uploading property operating information to headquarters daily with an Internet-based application called Webvue from Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., and we centralized accounting for all our hotels on Aptech’s Profitvue enterprise back office application.  The savings in FedEx fees alone will be $10,000 to $12,000 per year, but the real benefit is our investors’ ability to access their property financial performance numbers online anytime from any location.  Our company wanted to gain more control of its financial product and we are applying technology as a force multiplier.”

Until recently O.H. Hospitality was outsourcing its accounting work, but by generating and centralizing its own operating statistics, occupancy, ADR and other performance measures in-house each day for its properties, O.H. Hospitality is able to build P&Ls for each hotel and its investors real-time.   Hovland continued, “Now that we have automated and control our own central accounting process we can look at each property’s profit and loss statement anytime we want.  We can evaluate where they are expense-wise, and based on this we can recommend courses of action to our managers.  In the past we had to wait two to three weeks after month-end close to get P&Ls to our investors; our new system shows us revenue and expense performance at will because property information is uploaded to us nightly.”  

Performance Measurement Reporting Attracts Investors
O.H. Hospitality provides performance-based evaluations for all its properties to drive up profitability through revenue generation and expense reduction.  “Our company’s objective is increasing return on investment to meet our investors’ expectations,” said George Hovland.  “To live up to those expectations, attract new partners, and prepare for expansion it was essential we develop an Internet strategy that allows us to put financial performance measures in our investors’ hands on a timely basis, not just once a month.  Investors have a right to know how their assets are performing; our new financial systems can provide that information for any number of properties.  We also use fiscal performance as one means of evaluating our managers’ abilities.  Managers should be rewarded constantly for a job well done, and that takes an acute awareness of what is going on with the property’s finances.  We reward our managers on performance with profit sharing packages when goals are met.  Performance-based evaluation should be part of everyone’s management style.”

Each of O.H. Hospitality’s properties is different, and each has a separate mix of investors.  For several years the company used its own internal chart of accounts that did not follow the customary accounting practices for hospitality but worked for the company’s unique structure.  With their new accounting systems, one of the first things O.H. did was create a chart of accounts for its properties that is consistent with hospitality industry accounting standards.  “All our hotels have separate joint venture ownership, with the unifying financial factor being Kent Oliver, a co-founder of the company and partner in all of our properties,” said Hovland.  “Kent built partnerships that include bankers, real estate developers, and private individuals.  As we grew we knew we would have to upgrade our accounting and financial reporting to keep our investors happy and allow us to add properties.  The Web-based accounting solutions we are adding will streamline our operation and give us the ability to attract new ownership groups and assets as we move forward.”

Focused corporate management practices and market positioning are foundational to O.H. Hospitality’s success and expansion.  The Duluth-Superior area has a huge leisure market from June through October because of its urban attractions and the area’s abundant natural resources and outdoor sports.   The company built its flagship hotel, the 107-room Hawthorn Suites, within the walls of the historic Marshall Wells warehouse in Duluth, at one time one of the largest hardware distribution centers in the US.  The property’s conference rooms and indoor pool have contributed to making it a favorite with corporate travelers.  Among its other hotels O.H. Hospitality also owns and operates Barkers Island Inn and Conference Center on the shores of Lake Superior, and The Suites at Waterfront Plaza, also located within the Marshall Wells warehouse, which includes a business center and conference rooms to serve its growing corporate segment.  

About O.H. Hospitality 

O.H. Hospitality, LLC. is a mid-sized regional hotel management company located in Duluth Minnesota.  Established in 1997 by Kent. A. Oliver and George Hovland III, O.H. Hospitality, LLC. has over 75-years of experience in motel development and operations and 30-years of commercial development expertise.  O.H. Hospitality operates motels in both Minnesota and Wisconsin including limited service, full-service, franchised and independent motels.  Both national and international franchise companies have recognized O.H. Hospitality motels, and its managers, for numerous awards.  Some of which including Quality of Excellence Award by Holiday Inn Express & Suites (Intercontinental Hotel Group), Most Improved Hotel and Sales Growth Awards by Country Inn & Suites (Carlson Company) Quality of Excellence Awards by Hawthorn Suites (U.S. Franchise Services), and General Manager of the Year by Hawthorn Suites (U.S. Franchise Services).  

Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. is known for valuing human relationships and evolving technology offerings as the market dictates, a commitment that has earned the company 100% customer loyalty of its 700 users over the last three decades.




George Hovland, Managing Member
O.H. Hospitality  
5713 Grand Avenue
Duluth, MN  55807
(218) 628-2822

Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. 
135 Delta Drive 
Pittsburgh, PA 15238 
Telephone: (800) 245-0720 or (412) 963-7440
Email:  vueinfo@aptech-inc.com

Also See #1 Owner Group Priority: Performance Management for Investors / The Melrose Hotel Company Studies New Process toHospitality That Includes Goal Setting, Goal Tracking, and Data Analysis / December 2003
Big Box Hotels, Boutiques Share Design Styles; Standardize Data, Financials To Support Long-Term Growth of Real Estate Parent / October 2003
Economy Brightens: H.I. Development Corp. Picks Enterprise-wide Business Intelligence, Back Office Technology to Drive Growth / September 2003
CHIP, Other Ownership Groups Eye New Scorecarding Tool To Communicate Common Vision of Enterprise Priorities, Control Costs, Raise Profit Margins in Tough Economy / June 2003
Dolce International Clicks Through Smith Travel Data To Chart Growth Plans, Increases Market Share 4 Percentage Points / June 2003
The Melrose Hotel Company Installs Business Intelligence Software to Stay Above RevPAR Curve / May 2003
Pineapple Management Benefits: Technology Vendor Invests in Back-Office System Advances for Operators; ‘New Economy’ Demands Greater Efficiency in Hospitality Operations / Mar 2003
Minnesota Hotel Operator Builds Success With Locations Near Chain Restaurants, Web-Based Centralized Accounting / Feb 2003
Business Intelligence Software Identifies, Controls Costs; Focuses on Improving Profitability for Hoteliers in 2003 and 2004 / Dec 2002
Mid-Sized Management Firm Bursts into Creative Boutique Market with Added Services, Web-Based Centralized Accounting / Sept 2002
Marriott, Hilton Management and Real Estate Firm Dominates New Construction Niche With Business Intelligence Software, Relationship Financing / Aug 2002
Starwood, Host Marriott Shine at New York Hospitality Investment Conference; Edge Ahead with Business Intelligence Tools, Rely on Aptech Applications / June 2002
Hotel Undergraduates Shift With the Industry Towards Business Intelligence / March 2002
Interstate Hotels Partners with Aptech to Install ASP Model; ASP Back Office Provides Value to Hotel Owners With Ability to Reduce Capital Outlay, Eliminate Maintenance Costs, Bring Faster Processing Speeds / June 2001 
Jill Wilder Named Vice President and Officer of Aptech Computer Systems Inc. / May 2002
Survival Tactics; New Technology Directions Surface in Business Intelligence Survey / November 2001 
Aptech Opens Business Intelligence Door for Small to Mid-sized Management Firms / October 2001

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.Online Search

Home | Welcome! | Hospitality News | Classifieds | Catalogs & Pricing | Viewpoint Forum | Ideas/Trends
Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.