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Potomac Hospitality Services Creates Modus Hotels Brand and
Appoints Kevin Sawatsky as Vice President
Business Development

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 15, 2011—Officials of Potomac Hospitality Services (PHS) today announced that the company will expand its third-party management portfolio to include branded as well as non-branded hotels to add to its own proprietary Modus Hotels brand.  Concurrently, the company announced that hotel industry veteran Kevin Sawatsky has joined the firm as vice president of new business development.

Modus Hotels is the brand launched earlier this year by PHS, uniting the independent hotels that the company owns and manages in three major gateway cities, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago.  Modus Hotels  is a collection of down-to-earth and approachable boutique or lifestyle hotels.  The current assets compete in gateway cities at a price point similar to Courtyard by Marriott or Hilton Garden Inn.  Unlike much of its competition, however, each Modus hotel offers a distinct personality and allows its guests to create his or her own unique experience.

There currently are nine hotels in the collection with a 10th, Avenue Suites, slated to open near the Georgetown area of Washington D.C. in October.  “With our brand in place and the hotel industry outlook improving, it’s time to begin offering to a broader audience our unique approach to the hotel stay experience,” said Aaron Katz, president of Potomac Hospitality Services and Modus Hotels.  “Kevin will help us expand into additional cities and solidify our position in the three gateways where we currently operate.”

Over a 25-year hospitality career, Sawatsky has worked in hotel operations and third-party management, gaining insight and experience in all facets of the business. A seasoned management contract developer, he was instrumental in launching third-party management operations for Island Hospitality and spearheaded the growth of Coakley & Williams Hotel Management Company, through much of the last decade.  Earlier in his career, Sawatsky served as general manager and director of operations for numerous hotels over 15 years.

Value-Oriented Approach to Boutique Brand Operations
The company specializes in three- to four-star select-service hotels, and resorts, particularly those that have been adapted from some other use.  A classic Modus hotel has a clearly defined personality and typically features larger-than-average guest rooms with kitchen facilities.

By joining the Modus brand, hotel owners can take advantage of the company’s economies of scale in purchasing, distribution channel management, and operations.  In addition, Modus’ proprietary systems can improve operations, expand marketing reach and refine revenues for its managed hotels, without the owner paying brand fees or being required to complete a usually expensive Product Improvement Plan (PIP).  This pricing approach gives Modus a distinct advantage over conventional franchisors or operators.

“There are many ways to successfully operate a hotel,” Sawatsky said.  “Modus’ specialty is helping hotels clarify their own identity and value proposition.  We like to build on a property’s unique characteristics so that it stands out as an individual, memorable experience, rather than try to make it conform to any one paradigm.”

Flexibility is a distinguishing characteristic of the company and brand.  Hotel owners can enter into a full third-party management agreement or select from a full complement of support services on an a la carte basis to create the optimum hotel. In addition, PHS is aggressively pursuing expansion via acquisitions or joint ventures.

About Potomac Hospitality Services
An affiliate of Cafritz Interests, Potomac Hospitality Services (PHS) has successfully owned and operated hotels and lodging facilities since 1976. Led by well-known Washington, DC real estate developer Conrad Cafritz, PHS is a full service hotel management company providing a complete range of management and investment services with a flexible suite of options for specific involvement or as a complete third party management relationship. Modus Hotels is the consolidation brand for PHS owned and managed properties, and is an affiliated firm of Cafritz Interests, which operates in a number of market sectors including office, hotel, restaurant, residential, senior living, student housing and industrial real estate. In addition to acquisitions and development, Cafritz also provides comprehensive property management services. For more information, visit

Chris Daly/Lauralee Dobbins, media

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