Hotel Online  Special Report




Jerry Ellenburg, an Outsider to the Hotel Industry, Conceived the
eSuites Hotel Brand Out of His Own Frustration of Not
Finding a Hotel that Met His Needs
On Track to Break Ground in Tampa, Jacksonville, Raleigh-Durham and Phoenix

TAMPA, Fla., June 11, 2007 - Officials today offered the first look at a new hotel brand that fuses lifestyle design and amenities with high-tech infrastructure and services, one designed specifically to address the unique lodging preferences of the next generation of travelers. Called eSuites Hotels(TM), the upscale boutique concept was created by Jerry Ellenburg, an outsider to the hotel industry who conceived the brand out of his own frustration of not finding a hotel that met his needs.
The first four hotels are expected to break ground in Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla., Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Phoenix, Ariz. The company will target markets that have no fewer than 5,000 rooms within the immediate area, with the new hotel accounting for approximately 4 percent of the room count.
The company already is negotiating for additional sites for a second development round with a goal of building up to 300 hotels. eSuites Hotels has no plans to franchise the brand in its initial stages.
eSuites Hotels will develop upscale, boutique hotels with an average daily room rate between $140 and $160. "Because of our superior product and service, we intend to attract guests from both the limited and full-serve segments," Ellenburg, chairman of eSuites, said. "In both cases, we'll offer a much better product at a far more attractive price."
A sampling of eSuites Hotels' features and amenities includes:

  • oversized double-bay guest suites, including signature "spaSuites(TM)" with hot-tubs in each room, and "sportSuites(TM)" which include athletic equipment in each room;
  • upscale dining in a casual, three-meal restaurant featuring organic selections; a full bar that will include an eclectic selection of wines to appeal to the growing number of wine-savvy guests and an expansive high-end beer menu, including local micro-brewery products.
  • tech-savvy meeting rooms conveniently located in the lobby and on each guest room floor;
  • a spacious, free-standing,  glass-fronted fitness center offering the latest high-end equipment, and personalized training programs;
  • a "tech concierge" to help guests with the latest technology available on free ultra high-speed wireless and wired connectivity throughout the hotel;
  • built-in water purification system in each suite;
  • spacious lobbies featuring stained, raw concrete floor reveals underneath plush carpet throws; and
  • Lincoln Towncars and Navigators for complimentary airport pick-up and delivery, and also at the disposal of guests for local transportation, replacing the normal hotel van.
"I began this process seven years ago, originally wanting to franchise and build hotels," Ellenburg noted. "I looked at virtually every concept, including the most recently introduced brands, and couldn't find a concept that encompassed all the elements that today's hotel guest wanted. My original sticking point was technology. The more I looked at existing hotels, the more frustrated I got. I couldn't find a concept that offered cutting-edge technology; high quality dining; a great bar atmosphere to enjoy hand-crafted wines and beers; a fitness center that had sufficient size and equipment, as well as personal training options; a personal luxury car for transportation, rather than a van; leading edge, but timeless interior and exterior design; service levels that made me feel special without smothering me; and a price that gave me great value for a high quality lodging experience. Most hotels offered only certain of those items, but none came close to offering them all in one package, and certainly not at the price-points that we will utilize.
"eSuites Hotels began as a hobby, something to do while wiling away my time waiting in airports," he said. "I would work up a wish list on the back of a cocktail napkin. After a while, I had a whole book of napkins, and then it hit me. If I felt this way about hotels, what about the next generation of hotel guests, who are more tech-savvy and tired of the same hotel offerings? Working out the specifics soon became a passion. It took seven years to fine-tune the final vision, but it was worth every minute."
The final step toward achieving the vision occurred in May when the company completed a $127 million financing to build the first four hotels. To carry out the vision, Ellenburg sought out industry veteran Sam Winterbottom, former senior executive with Starwood and with Carlson Hotels, to be president and chief executive officer, and Bryan Langton, former chairman, president and CEO of Holiday Inns, Inc. Worldwide, as vice-chairman. "After 30 years of business travel, I believe I know what the public wants in a hotel, but I'm smart enough to realize that I don't have the expertise to run one," Ellenburg added. "I sought out the best in the industry and was fortunate to attract two of its most respected leaders."
Every aspect of the hotel has been designed with a fresh, outside-the-industry view that was backed by solid market research. "We tested our ideas extensively before we committed this kind of capital," Ellenburg noted.
All four of the properties will be eight-story, 224-suite prototype configurations made from tunnel-form concrete construction, resulting in all-concrete walls and floors, which in turn will provide maximum sound-proofing. Each eSuites Hotel will contain 11 high-tech conference rooms and a state-of-the-art business center featuring both PC's and Mac's, along with scanner-copiers, printers and faxes, enabling the guests to conduct business as if they were in their own offices.
Three types of suites will be offered, with a typical 468-square-foot guest space that features two rooms, nine-foot ceilings, a chiropractic-quality bed, and a second bed in the living room/office area for multiple occupancy. A large custom-built workstation with built-in network ports, analog modem jacks and multiple power outlets will comfortably accommodate computers and peripherals. Additionally, the workstation will include a desktop computer which will synch up to Blackberrys, iPods and other portable equipment. The spacious bathroom will feature a three- by six-foot walk-in shower, a glass-top vanity with abundant storage, and extensive lighting.
The sportSuite will offer a professional quality exercise cycle or elliptical trainer. The spaSuite features a whirlpool-style tub/spa inside the master bathroom. All rooms will have an Inn-room(TM) theater with two high definition televisions and a surround-sound system with full iPod integration.
Based in Tampa, Fla., eSuites Hotels is on a mission to re-invent the hotel experience with a new and stimulating combination of technology, decor, dining, and guest service. 

 eSuites Hotels LLC
7154 Trysail Circle
Tampa, Florida 33607
Phone: 727-469-8900


Also See: Bryan Langton, Former CEO of Holiday Inn Worldwide, Named Vice Chairman of Yet to Launch Hotel Brand - eSuites Hotels / May 2007
Sam Winterbottom Named President and CEO of eSuites, a New Concept Hotel Brand / May 2007



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