One of A Kind
Our proven strengths in Real Estate, Sales & Marketing, Food & Beverage, Financial Controls and developing genuine service cultures produce sustainable cash flow growth as well as increasing asset value.
HOTEL & RESORT MANAGEMENT
REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE
Who We Are
Orion Hotels, Inc. is a strategic partnership and alliance of highly successful, proven and professional hoteliers dedicated to the single goal of supporting and operating hotels to maximize their performance.Tired of getting excuses from your Asset Managers or Management Company instead of results…?
Our depth and breadth of combined industry expertise encompasses over 250 years of producing results by enhancing asset value regardless of conditions or circumstances, while at the same time creating exciting environments where our associates thrive and our guests become lifetime friends.
A hospitality investment is a complex vehicle requiring each aspect to be not only performing at peak effectiveness at all times, but most importantly, to be synergistically in concert with all other disciplines of the operation to ultimately produce the required return on investment. This requires attention to detail, sound leadership, technical know-how and a team of proven experts who enthusiastically work well together to achieve a common goal of producing extraordinary results through extraordinary service and sound marketing techniques.
While Orion Hotels, Inc. is a young entity, its principals and partners are by no means new to the hospitality industry, management, consulting and ownership as evidenced by the following summary of the executive team and our background:
Franz Gmeiner, CPA
Mr. Gmeiner is founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Orion Group in South Africa, www.oriongroup.co.za. Over the past 20 years the Orion Group has grown into a formidable real estate, hotel management and consulting organization with group assets of about $120,000,000 USD and employing over 800 people. Its real estate fund is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. Its commercial portfolio includes hotels, office buildings, industrial, warehouses, shopping centers, retail showrooms, and investment and business services. In 2010 Orion Hotels & Resorts division, which currently operates very successful full service hotels, resorts, casinos, corporate and safari lodges throughout South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho will be expanding to the Americas in partnership with Orion Hotels, Inc. USA. In addition to sharing a common name and common goals, The Orion Group South Africa and Orion Hotels, Inc. USA also share some key fundamental principles based on integrity, quality and building extraordinary teams to accomplish extraordinary results.
Sergio F. Ortiz
Mr. Ortiz is a 35 year hospitality industry veteran. He earned his BS degree in Hotel & Restaurant Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and has since worked in all aspects on hotel operations, acquisitions and development. He has truly learned the business from the ground up, working with all segments, sectors, sizes (from 37 to 500 rooms) and concepts including limited service, full service, budget and luxury. He always succeeds in finding ways to maximize opportunities and make his hotels the very best in their class. Mr. Ortiz is a real estate licensee in Texas, specializing in commercial and hospitality real estate investments and development. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Hotel Association.
Sr. Vice President Development and Real Estate
Ray Hankamer, Jr, CHA
Mr. Hankamer has been managing commercial real estate transactions since 1967, providing real estate brokerage and advisory services for hotels, industrial, office buildings, multi family, farms and Texas ranches through his own firm Hankamer & Associates, Brokers, LLC. For over 40 years, he has also owned and managed his own real estate portfolio including several Holiday Inns, Hampton Inns, Best Westerns, Ramada, and various resorts throughout California, Colorado, and Texas. This gives him a unique insight into the needs of real estate and hotel investors/operators. Mr. Hankamer has also consulted for dozens of hotel and restaurant developments throughout the country and Central America. Additionally, he has provided operations and asset management services of hotels, night clubs, restaurants, lounges, coffee shops, gift shops, resorts, banks, life insurance companies, savings & loans, as well as private equity firms and individuals. Mr. Hankamer is actively involved and participates in most hotel investment conferences throughout the world. He is a sought-after speaker, writer and lecturer in hospitality, travel and real estate matters. He is an influential authority in the industry and he sits on or chairs various industry related boards and associations. He is an expert witness and is frequently quoted as an authority in real estate and lodging industry matters. He is also a frequent contributor to commercial real estate journals and periodicals.
Sr. Vice President Sales & Marketing
John C. Rowe
During his highly successful 20-year career in senior level sales and marketing leadership, Mr. Rowe has been a dynamic hands-on sales executive and critical thinker with a natural ability to implement and manage multiple projects. He possesses uncanny instincts to identify exceptional sales talent as well as motivate and build cohesive sales teams that produce results enthusiastically and capture increasing market share aggressively. He is a well-respected and trusted sales partner to all his clients, teams and peers. His illustrious career includes assignments at the legendary St. Anthony in San Antonio, corporate sales with Marriott Rivercenter and Riverwalk, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, New Orleans Marriott, and many Hilton hotels nationwide. He has been a business owner, having his own travel agencies. Mr. Rowe is also a Certified Association Sales Executive (CASE) and has had intensive sales training with Hilton, Marriott and Wyndham hotels.
Sr. Vice President Food & Beverage
Mr. Perez’ hospitality career spans over 26 years in food & beverage operations with free standing restaurants and hotels in the United States, Caribean and South America. He has a proven track record of strong leadership and successful financial performance as well as food & beverage concept development. He has been successful with three, four and five star hotels and restaurants, particularly developing new and exciting concepts that endure and are highly profitable. Mr. Perez’ hands-on leadership style creates enthusiastic and committed teams with a minimum of turnover. His experience includes corporate roles with Wyndham Worldwide, Park Hyatt, Omni Hotels, Interstate Hotels, Hilton Hotels, and Helmsley New York Palace in addition to other full service hotels such as The Driskill. He has broad experience at a corporate level overseeing large hotel portfolios as well as hands-on at the property level. He has also overseen very large projects such as hotel renovations and openings. His strengths are in leadership, marketing, financials controls and service. He is also extremely knowledegable of food and wine, is bilingual, a former chef and executive recruiter for the hospitality industry.
Sr. Vice President Accounting
Mr. Clinton Turner, a graduate of Grambling, Louisiana State University with a degree in accounting, has been a tough and successful hotel controller, corporate controller and senior vice president of finance for over 20 years, including several years as an auditor for the IRS. Mr. Turner’s sterling ethical standards and impeccable integrity have earned him a solid reputation as a money-maker and business builder, placing him as a confidant and close associate to CEO’s, particularly as Senior Vice President of Finance at The Lancaster Group. His skills and talents identify him as a financial controller with a keen understanding of hotel operations, cost controls, cash management and effective hotel accounting. He skillfully balances the needs of owners, guests and employees to consistently produce extraordinary financial results regardless of circumstances.
Sr. Vice President Training and Development
With over 20 years in hotel operations, Karim was most recently General Manager of the famed The Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, where he successfully incorporated the quality standards traditionally associated with luxury hotels while maintaining the exclusive style of a thriving independent design hotel. A proven, effective, and influential mentor, he has held various leadership positions within hotel operations and food and beverage. His inspiring leadership, attention to detail, and passion for service excellence have earned him a number of coveted recognition accolades while working with Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis. He has been a long standing board member of the prestigious and exclusive international Les Clefs d ‘Or. Mr. El-Raheb’s extensive hotel experience is complemented by an entrepreneurial background as a businessman and as a Texas real estate broker, giving him a broader in-depth understanding of asset management from an owner’s perspective.
ORION HOTELS CAPITAL MARKETS
Our exclusive international network of capital funding, mezzanine, bridge financing, conventional loans, private equity, limited partnerships, investors and investments, makes Orion Hotels Capital a unique financing and investment resource. Our access to worldwide hospitality investment opportunities, capital and support makes Orion Hotels Capital an easy one-stop shop for lenders, developers, owners, investors and borrowers.
ORION HOTELS & RESORTS MANAGEMENT
Sales, Marketing and Revenue Management
In today’s extremely competitive environment, state of the art revenue management techniques are more important than ever to maximize market share. Our skills and success producing results by maximizing yield from leisure, corporate, groups and transient markets make us particularly effective operators, maximizing top line opportunities and market share. We maximize web based channels as well as Global Distribution Systems (GDS) and develop well-targeted intense client/partner relationships that generate qualified leads with a high conversion rate.
Food & Beverage
Excellent food & beverage is a critical component of great hotels and resorts. Unfortunately due to the difficulty and skills required to develop and operate successful concepts that are profitable, many hotels and resorts today treat this area as a step-child, or necessary evil, which often results in mediocrity, unsatisfied guests and loss profit centers. We know this part of the business very well and enjoy making food and beverage operations a unique, profitable and distinguishing feature of our hotels.
Service standards, training and having a genuine passion for extraordinary service at all levels of a hotel operation require finesse, skill, empowering leadership, respect and compassion. None of these can be legislated through memos or proclamations, but can only be achieved through constant training, leading by example and clear, supportive coaching as well as strict standards that require precise procedures but allow - and encourage - employees’ warm personalities to shine through with a sense of ownership.
No hotel, regardless of perceived greatness, can ever be truly successful without having strict but prudent financial controls and systems that produce results. Our methods enable us to maximize top line along with bottom line results, by implementing sensible systems of cost controls, based on accurate forecasting and management follow through that enable proactive cash management. Dependable net operating income (NOI) or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is the best way to ensure long-term asset value and sustainable growth.
CONSULTING and TASK FORCE SERVICES
If you are an owner, asset manager, management company or operator and need short or long-term management support, we can assist with professional, low-key, non-disruptive, and non-intrusive in-depth reviews and assessments of your operations, revenue enhancement, marketing, market analysis, financial controls, food & beverage, and team building concerns. We will prepare a clear, simple yet detailed brief with specific action plans for effective results or if you choose, we can implement the recommended solutions ourselves. Additionally, we can also provide short term or long term management services during a transition.
For a no-obligation, confidential consultation, please click here for a RFP or call us at 713-305-8512.
and External Resources
The following resources, advisors and consultants support Orion Hotels, Inc. operations, marketing, acquisitions, legal, design and financial performance:
LUXURY HOTELS CONSULTING AND SUPPORT
The Lancaster Group, has owned and operated some of the most distinguished luxury hotels in the world, including The Lancaster Hotel in Houston, The Jefferson in Washington DC, The Argyle in LA, The Tremont in Chicago, Maison de Ville in New Orleans, The Fairmount in San Antonio, The Cotton House in Mustique, the Grenadines, Victoria House in Belize, Casa Encantada in Antigua, Guatemala, and others. Mr. J.W. Sharman, Jr., CEO, is a founder and former Chairman of Small Luxury Hotels of The World, based in London. Under his direction, style and knowledge, his hotels have been at the top of their markets and are frequently recognized as some of the best hotels in the world.
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AND SUPPORT
TLD Architects, Inc. based in Houston, Texas was founded in 1995 by Tim Dykes as a small independent practice. Since its inception, the firm has quickly grown to a full service architectural firm providing expert design and project management services in hospitality (hotel and restaurant), residential and retail design. TLD Architects’ extraordinary strengths and skills are frequently demonstrated when achieving subtle balances of design and function, combined with tasteful excitement, interest and enduring timelessness.
INTERIOR DESIGN AND SUPPORT
Bordelon Design Associates, Houston, Texas. Maria Bordelon is an extremely talented and highly acclaimed hotel and restaurant designer. She has garnered over 25 prestigious and coveted design awards over the years. Her ability to create tasteful, warm, distinctive and beautiful environments on time and on budget, distinguishes her as an exceptional hotel designer who is constantly in high demand.
GAMING INDUSTRY OPERATIONS
Gaming Education Research Institue (GERI) is an influential, highly respected and rapidly growing gaming industry resource developed at the University of Houston - Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management. It was founded by professor Jim Wortman, a global gaming industry veteran, lecturer, author and consultant. GERI is the educational arm of the National Indian Gaming Association.
Porter & Hedges LLP, Houston, Texas. Bryan K. Brown is a partner in the corporate section of Porter & Hedges. He represents and advises clients in merger and acquisition transactions as well as securities/capital market transactions, including private equity and venture capital investments, initial public offerings, public equity, debt offerings, and private placements. He has represented clients listed on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ Securities Market, Inc.
Some of the entities with which the operating principals, strategic partners and advisors have been involved include:
The St. Anthony hotel, San Antonio, Texas
Wynhdam Hotels Worldwide
Perry’s Steak Houses
University Hilton Hotel & Conference Center, Conrad Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management – University of Houston, Houston, Texas
The Driskill, Austin, Texas
The Fairmount, San Antonio, Texas
The Lancaster, Houston, Texas
Columbia Lakes Resort, West Columbia, Texas
Houston Medallion, Houston, Texas
Westchase Hilton & Towers, Houston, Texas
The Houstonian, Houston, Texas
Holiday Inn Surfside, Clearwater Beach, Florida
The Heritage Boutique Luxury Hotel, St. Petersburg, Florida
Inn on the Point, Tampa, Florida
Days Inn on Rocky Point Island, Tampa, Florida
The Ashley Plaza, Tampa, Florida
Holiday Inn Holidome, Columbus, Indiana
Hyatt Regency, Indianapolis, Indiana
The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Sheraton Mayfair, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Inverness hotel, Denver, Colorado
Del Lago Resort, Conroe, Texas
Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre, Dallas, Texas
Omni Dallas Park West, Dallas, Texas
Harrison Conference Centers, New York
Omni Mandalay, Dallas, Texas
Omni Southpark, Austin, Texas
Omni Berkshire, New York City, New York
UN Plaza Park Hyatt, New York City, New York
Helmsley Palace Hotel, New York City, New York
Orion Hotel Devonshire, South Africa
Orion Katse Lodge, South Africa
Orion Mohale Lodge, South Africa
Orion Mont-Aux-Sources , South Africa
Orion Piggs Peak Hotel and Casino, South Africa
Orion Hotel Promenade, South Africa
Orion Safari Lodge, South Africa
Orion Wartburg Hotel, South Africa
The Standard, Los Angeles, California
Montage Resort & SPA, Laguna Beach, California
Imperial Properties Real Estate, Houston, Texas
Pesce Restaurant, Houston, Texas
The Driskill Grill, Austin, Texas
Bistro Guerin, Houston, Texas
St. Regis, Houston, Texas
Ritz Carlton, Houston, Texas
Four Seasons, Houston, Texas
Various independent hotels and restaurants as well as numerous other flag affiliations including Hampton Inns, Holiday Inns, Best Westerns, Homewood Suites, Comfort Inns, Howard Johnsons, Ramada, and Mainstay Suites.
“They [Orion Hotels] also understand the hotel business which enables them to put together hotel deals that not only work on paper, but also continue to work after they are developed”.
John Bowen, PHD, CHE
Dean of the College and Distinguished Chair
University of Houston
Conrad N. Hilton College of
Hotel & Restaurant Management
“Sergio consistently exhibited an attention to detail combined with quality leadership without ever compromising the highest moral and ethical standards, a rare combination in business these days”.
J. William Sharman, Jr.
The Lancaster Group, Inc.
“Sergio's professionalism makes him a pleasure to work with and he is always committed to the highest quality project. From an architect's point of view, his ability to visualize potential creates an enthusiasm that also adds to the energy of the project. Sergio has shown an uncanny ability to discover unique project opportunities all of which seem to include buildings with great character and interesting histories that are in desired locations”.
TLD Architects, Inc.
“Through all the years that I have known Sergio, his integrity and passion for customer and employee relations have always been his focus as well as the foundation of his work ethic….his commitment to owners, customers and employees will be a great asset to any organization”.
Senior Vice President
Redstone – Hospitality Division
RFP – Request for Proposal
2900 North Quinlan Park Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78732