Full-service hospitality management company Charlestowne Hotels is expanding its portfolio with three new boutique Origin Hotel Collection properties under development in the US
In 2020, Charlestowne and national hospitality developer The Thrash Group inked a deal for Charlestowne to oversee Thrash Group’s entire portfolio of owned hotels. Charlestowne, which manages a portfolio of more than 50 hotels, added 10 properties in the company’s largest single deal.
Five of the properties are part of the Origin Hotel brand, which includes the Origin Red Rocks in Golden, Colorado; Origin Lexington in Lexington, Kentucky; Origin Raleigh in Raleigh, North Carolina; Origin Westminster in Westminster, Colorado; and the newly opened Origin Austin in Austin, Texas.
Three new properties under development include the 91-room Origin Baton Rouge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, slated for spring 2023; the 123-room Origin Atlanta for summer 2023; and the 118-room Origin Kansas City for winter 2023.
Michael Cady, chief marketing officer at Charlestowne Hotels, describes Thrash Group as a “top-class developer, who is very entrepreneurial.”
Cady said Thrash Group was looking for a management company that exuded a similar spirit.
“We met and instantly knew they’re really savvy business individuals, and they’re creative developers and transparent on their intentions. We liked that. They really came up with what Origin was, and our job was to figure out how to get it out to the guest,” he said.
Cady added that Thrash Group is “the brains” behind finding the real estate deals, while Charlestowne uses its expertise to formulate hotel branding, food and beverage concepts, pre-opening operations and more for each property.
Cady emphasized that having strong partnerships is key in difficult times such as the pandemic.
Cady said the Origin brand fits well into Charlestowne’s portfolio, sharing a brand ethos sense and alignment with its communities. However, what differentiates Origin is its strong wellness-centric offerings, including large gyms.
Thrash’s hotels are full-service independent and all have at least one food and beverage outlet, and each hotel’s dining concept is built to match what its local market needs. Cady said about 125 rooms is the sweet spot.
In terms of where the group likes to find deals and build, Cady said Thrash focuses on markets with neighborhoods that are expected to be the next hot spot. Executives then figure out how to anchor the neighborhood to blend locals with leisure-transient travelers.
The project in Austin, “for example, is in the Mueller development, which is an impressive development just outside of the city that has all the different components of mixed-use space,” he said.
The Origin Hotel Red Rocks is about a 10-minute drive to the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater; “they just crush [it] on business,” Cady said.
For its Kansas City project under development, Thrash is working closely with the city to develop a beer garden and trolley spot.
“They do a lot of development with the city to improve not just the hotel but the whole area,” he added. “They’re thinking much bigger-picture.”
When it comes to new construction versus conversion, Cady said it depends on the deal, and Thrash is capable of both.
Labor is a significant concern as Origin hotels are all full service, which requires more staffing.
Cady noted that because Origin promotes an independent and entrepreneurial mindset, employees are more apt to work there.
“Trust me, it’s not like we don’t have staffing problems, of course we do. But when you have more of a story, more of an independent, entrepreneurial spirit of ‘Do what’s best, you don’t have to follow [standard operating procedure] one, two and three,’ employees dig that,” he added.
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