PARK CITY, Utah, June 13, 2011(www.hospitalitybusinessnews.com) Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, a hotel management and investment company that specializes in upscale urban hotels and resorts, announced that RSR Hospitality has acquired a significant ownership stake in Gemstone to capitalize on the rebound in the hotel industry.
RSR Hospitality is a hotel oriented platform comprised of The Related Group, Silverpeak Real Estate Partners and River Birch Capital. “This new relationship brings together an unprecedented level of real estate investment and financing expertise to our established management platform,” said Thomas Prins, principal, Gemstone Hotels & Resorts. “As investors, the organizations comprising RSR Hospitality have been involved in the acquisition, financing or management of over $25 billion of real estate. Our new structure allows us to invest directly or with others in order to acquire hotels, and subsequently operate them using Gemstone’s demonstrated unique approach to positioning and management.”
“We are in a new hotel environment, one that is certainly unprecedented,” said Jorge Perez, Chairman and CEO of The Related Group. “While the hotel industry recovery continues to gain momentum, a significant number of troubled assets remain, and many cash-flowing properties are capital-starved and need considerable investment. The ability to bring capital and proven turnaround capabilities are two key elements that will separate the winners in this cycle. This is an exceptional team that is capable of moving quickly and creatively.”
Gemstone will continue to focus on the 3½-star to luxury segments in the US and selectively evaluate opportunities beyond domestic borders as well. “We are opportunistic investors and have interest in both distressed and cash-flowing hotels with upside potential,” Perez added. “We are very bullish on the opportunitiesin the hospitality segment over the next five years, and strongly believe this new combination of financial and intellectual capital will give us an enviable competitive edge.”
Jeff McIntyre, Gemstone principal, noted that historically, Gemstone has been consistently ranked as one of the top operators of independent, luxury hotels and resorts. “There are a lot of opportunities surfacing in the independent segment, but we will also expand our management services to include branded properties. Regardless of affiliation, we will seek hotels and resorts that have the potential to stand out in their respective markets through our proven track record of repositioning properties, creating unique guest experiences, and operating with non-traditional and highly tailored approaches. We like complex properties where we can add value and generate sustainable financial premiums.”
Gemstone will continue to aggressively seek third-party management contracts, taking full advantage of the enhanced infrastructure and capacity afforded by its partnership with RSR Hospitality—without compromising the owner-oriented culture that has been a hallmark of Gemstone since its inception in 1994.
Headquartered in Park City, Utah, with offices in Stamford, Connecticut, Gemstone is a full-service management company that specializes in luxury and upscale hotels and complex resorts. Gemstone currently manages 14 properties in California, New York, Colorado, Utah, West Virginia, Idaho and New Mexico.
Established in 1979, The Related Group is the nation’s leading builder of luxury condominiums and one of the country’s premier multi-family real estate development firms. Founded by Chairman and CEO Jorge M. Pérez, The Miami based Related Group has built and managed in excess of $10 billion of real estate collectively compromising more than 70,000 residential units in Florida, the United States and Mexico. Over the last several years, the company has been actively acquiring debt and assets in the retail, residential and hospitality sectors throughout the United States.
Silverpeak Real Estate Partners is a real estate investment advisory business with more than $15.0 billion of assets under management, and was formed as the successor to Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners. Between 2000 and 2008, Silverpeak closed three opportunistic real estate private equity funds totaling over $7.2 billion in equity commitments that invested in office, apartment, hotel, and other property types located in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Silverpeak currently employs over 75 people globally in six offices: New York, Atlanta, London, Singapore, Tokyo and Mumbai. Led by Mark Walsh and Brett Bossung, Silverpeak’s North American business is currently investing in real estate opportunities. Silverpeak and predecessors have acquired over $3.0 billion of hotel assets comprising over 20,000 rooms in North America.
River Birch Capital, LLC is an asset management company founded by Bart McDade, Alex Kirk, Jim Ballentine and Rob Hedlund who worked closely together for over 17 years in various senior roles at Lehman Brothers. The firm invests globally in special situations in both debt and equity securities.