The luxury hospitality market has been one of the hardest hit real estate asset classes, but options for luxury operators are limited to respond to the crisis. Hotel managers Eric Prévette, Carlos lopes and Teresa holden aim to fill this void. The trio got started Luxury hotel advisors to help guide leaders through these unprecedented market conditions. The boutique business will provide advice on asset management, acquisition, disposal and marketing.
“Obviously, the pandemic was a factor in our decision to launch,” Prevette told GlobeSt.com. “We see the luxury segment that will need more assistance than the other segments. As a rule, their investments are higher and their operating costs are higher. It is a stressful time for the industry, but for the luxury segment in particular. “
Lopes adds that the luxury sector has a long way to go to recover and will need to make changes to respond to new market conditions. “We felt that the luxury segment was under-represented. We don’t plan to return to pre-pandemic occupation until 2022 or 2023, so we are focusing our services on counseling, ”he told GlobeSt.com.
Already, the new company has assembled a team of top hotel executives to serve on the company’s board of directors and plans to open offices in Los Angeles, Dallas, New York and Miami. The company plans to provide tailor-made services and develop strategic plans for operators to appropriately respond to market challenges, which may vary from property to property. “Depending on the hotel or the market we are in, there are several options available to us, and they should be considered very carefully,” explains Prevette. “There are operational changes that need to be looked at. There is technological integration to reduce labor costs or maintenance issues that need to be carefully considered. He adds that some strategies could include reducing dining spaces for properties with multiple dining options, reconfiguring equipment or even adopting residential spaces or long-term residences in some properties.
The pandemic has not yet ended and some of these strategies will take a cautious approach. How to respond to an ongoing crisis, and more importantly, how much capital should you spend will be key questions for clients of the firm. For LHA executives, the answers to these questions depend on the return of travel segments. “The question we’re grappling with to some extent is how permanent are the changes companies make to their travel,” says Prevette. “Some of the indications we’re getting is that companies are comfortable with zoom calls and other reporting work may become permanent. Businesses don’t see the need for business travel the way they did.
The company’s executives have extensive experience in the management, ownership, operations, marketing, brand development and acquisitions of international hotels with a client roster that includes Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, RockResorts, Bel Air Hotel Company, Cap Juluca Resort and Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat.