Mike and Aida Paulin give
employees a ‘piece of the rock’
WAIKIKI BEACH, Hawaii –September 5, 2008 - Mike Paulin, Owner
& CEO of Aqua Hotels & Resorts, a full-service hotel management
company, executed the final details of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan
that converts Aqua into Hawaii’s first ‘employee-owned’ hotel company.
This significant achievement makes it possible for Aqua’s 500 employees
to become ‘co-owners’ of the growing Waikiki-based hotel company.
Aqua’s new and unique hotel ownership status is unprecedented in the
Islands. Aqua believes hospitality is a highly personal business
and this model further motivates employees, who are the cornerstone of
the company’s success, by giving them a ‘piece of the rock’ for their diligent
work and loyalty.
According to Paulin, “Aida (Mrs. Paulin) and I are sharing 30% of the
company with our employees. Each member of the Aqua ohana is eligible
to become a co-owner of Aqua after a fixed vesting period.” The value
of the initial percentage share of the company is just over $8 million.
At a later time, the Paulin’s plan to allocate more ownership of Aqua to
Paulin believes that the company’s product is its employees and its
structure is the service it provides. “I have no doubt that Aqua’s
ESOP will attract the best people in the industry to our organization contributing
further to our highly regarded service,” added Paulin. “Our ESOP
comes at a time when Aqua’s excellent customer satisfaction ratings are
leading Waikiki hotels.”
Currently, three Aqua hotels rank in the top 10 of the consumer-driven
TripAdvisor ratings and Aqua Waikiki Wave was awarded “Hawaii Region #1
“Best Hotel Values for 2008” by Budget Travel magazine.
While still a fairly ‘new’ company, Aqua’s employees have worked very
hard to provide excellent service to their guests and create a highly respected
Hawaii hotel brand. “Employee ownership is our way of thanking our
ohana for making Aqua the Waikiki leader in guest service and we’re thrilled
to make Aqua the first employee-owned hotel company in Hawaii,” added Paulin.
“Employee briefings to explain the benefit and qualification process are
scheduled. There is no cost to the employee for their participation
in this benefit.”
Michael Paulin, Owner & CEO, Aqua Hotels & Resorts
designed his first Hawaiian vacation experience upon graduating from the
University of Southern California. It was 1964, and the idea of “Condo/Car
Holidays” was a new concept in Kauai. Together with Los Angeles entrepreneur
Peter Ueberroth, Michael acquired a travel agency and began merchandising
villas and apartments as travel packages. Six short years later, this venture
formed Colony Hotels, which later became the fourth largest condominium/hotel
management company in Hawaii.
In 1978, Michael teamed with renowned Hawaii hotelier Andre S. Tatibouet
to create Aston Hotels & Resorts. Soon, with the largest Hotel-Condo
management company and one of the largest operators of vacation accommodations,
the concept of “condotel” was born. Nine years later, Michael left Aston
to spearhead his own management company, Marc Hotels & Resorts.
Over the next ten years, Michael grew Marc Hotels & Resorts into
one of the largest and most successful hotel operations in Hawaii, managing
22 properties throughout the Hawaiian Islands. In 1997, he sold Marc Hotels
& Resorts to Sunterra. He returned to Hawaii in early 2000 to form
Aqua Hotels & Resorts, which launched in 2001.
Michael is recognized internationally for his work. He serves as Chairman
of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), which is the world’s largest
public-private tourist organization, and has been awarded a prestigious
PATA Life Membership. In 1996, Michael’s colleagues throughout the hotel
industry honored him as Chairman of the Hawaii Hotel Association.
With his heart and home in Hawaii, Michael looks forward to collaborating
with both local and mainland Hotel-Condo investors, and continuing to develop
this fast-growing segment of the tourism industry. http://www.aquaresorts.com
Since January 2008, Aqua has added three hotels to its growing portfolio
– Park Shore Waikiki, Aqua Waikiki Beachside and Aqua Honolulu Prince,
increasing its Waikiki presence to 13 unique properties and adding new
employees who will also become eligible to share in the success of the
About Aqua Hotels & Resorts
Aqua Hotels & Resorts, a full-service hotel management company,
was founded in 2001 by Hawaii hotelier Mike Paulin who started out as a
merchant seaman sailing Hawaiian waters in the 1950’s. Since then,
he has launched several Hawaii hotel companies including Colony Hotels,
Marc Resorts and, with Andre Tatibouet, grew Aston Hotels to International
prominence. In 2005, the company launched the Aqua Boutique Collection,
appealing to the sense of style and attitude of today’s savvy traveler.
In 2006, the Aqua Lite Line was added to represent the company’s transitional
and value product. In late 2007, the Aqua Elite brand was unveiled
offering sophisticated style and a unique combination of exceptional guest
service and innovative technology appealing to both business and leisure
In 2007 and 2008, Aqua Hotels & Resorts was ranked the #8 ‘Fastest
50’ growing Hawaii Company by Pacific Business News.
Currently, Aqua’s chain-wide inventory of unique properties is located
exclusively in Waikiki where it is TripAdvisor's most ‘honored’ hotel company.
Visit www.aquaresorts.com for more information about the company and
individual hotels. For reservations, see your preferred travel agent or
call Aqua toll free at 1-866-406-2782.