Since the late 1970’s, the principals of H&W have been involved in the ownership, operation and development of hotel real estate. The Lexington, Kentucky based company began as a family business when Don Howard, Sr. purchased a Howard Johnson’s. It has since evolved to the H&W of today — a full service hotel firm equipped to handle Hotel Development and Hotel Professional Management.
H&W 2000 & Beyond
H&W is a regional hotel development and management company based in Lexington, KY. The company began business in 1985, evolving from the family business started by Don Howard, Sr. in 1979. H&W has a track record of successfully operating its own franchised hotels and operating hotels under management contract with individual investors. The company has developed new limited service hotels and has realized substantial profit from the sale of hotel real estate. H&W has experience with most major hotel chains including Hilton, Marriott, Choice, Best Western, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and Wyndham brands.
Today, H&W continues to work with other hotel companies and investors that need a development and/or management arm. H&W will continue to prove its staying power by maintaining the flexibility to take advantage of industry trends. Diverse real estate holdings – hotels, commercial warehouse space, office space, and residential property – and the ability to perform diverse business services – hotel development and professional hotel management – provides H&W a business model that takes advantage of economic growth periods and has the ability to maintain competitive operations during economic recession.
The goal of the company’s operating division is to increase room sales which in turn increases the net operating income and the market value of the hotel real estate. Guest service and hotel level sales training coupled with the development of effective marketing programs are priorities. A challenge affects the company’s ability to improve guest satisfaction and build income is to maintain a well trained and motivated staff. H&W has shown the ability through the years to hire and develop long term general managers for their facilities. A creative and substantial compensation package will be used to reduce employee turnover and attract the best available people.
In summary, H&W will continue to build long term real estate income for the owners and their equity partners by updating its hotel portfolio and developing competitive limited service hotels that are properly capitalized, well operated, and located in growing markets. H&W will take advantage of existing trends in commercial real estate or invest in other forms of income producing real estate when it is financially feasible. H&W will continue to assist other hotel owners, investors, and hotel lenders with their hotel management and development needs. Finally, H&W will assist its “career” employees in meeting their personal and professional goals.
1985 H&W Management Company Co., Inc
When the company was founded, H&W started with 2 hotels owned by the Howard’s that were built in the late 1960’s. During the initial growth phase (1985-1988), 4 hotels built in 1973 were purchased. These 100 room full service facilities required substantial capital to maintain the minimum product quality required by the franchisor. The real estate “collapse” in the early 1990’s coupled with a dramatic increase in development of limited service hotels a few years later was a serious threat to H&W’s business. To remain competitive, H&W began building an average of one new limited service hotel every other year beginning in 1989. By 1995, the company had also sold off its older full service hotels.
On the fee management side of the business, the company secured several management contracts from individual owners or lenders that repossessed hotels, and has served as a court appointed receiver for financially troubled hotels. While the total number of hotels that H&W has developed, owned, and/or managed is over 30, the total number of hotels operated at any one time is usually around 10. H&W grew to its largest size in 1994 when it was operating 14 hotels. Since that time, H&W has purchased, sold, and built hotels. H&W’s management clients have included individual investors, two banks, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
H&W establishes strategic partnerships with other hotel companies and investors that need an acquisition, development and/or management arm. One such “partnership” was negotiated in late 1997. Buckhead America, franchisor of Country Hearth Inns granted H&W a master developers license. In exchange for developing Country Hearth Inns, H&W receives favorable franchise terms and area protection. H&W also has an agreement with Buckhead to sell franchise licenses on their behalf. Since signing the agreement, H&W has built 3 Country Hearth Inns, sold franchises for 2 others, and recruited two more master developers.