Hotel Industry TOP ICONS
journeys to the executive suite.
One thing is for sure: all are titans of the hotel sector and their decisions have created jobs and wealth here in the United States and in major markets worldwide.
The following are Real Estate Forum’s Top Icons in the hotel sector.
By John Jordan
ARCHIE BENNETT JR.
This hotel industry veteran that
began his career with the development and management of the
Holiday Inn in Galveston, TX,
was appointed chairman emeritus of Dallas-based Ashford
Hospitality Trust Inc. on Jan. 19,
2013. The previous day, Bennett
resigned as chairman of the hotel
REIT, as per company guidelines,
on his 75th birthday. Bennett now
also serves as an advisor to
Ashford Hospitality and continues to serve as chairman of Dallas-based Remington Hotels, a hotel
management company that operates 70 hotels in 23 states. In his
storied career, Bennett has been involved in the development
and management of hundreds of hotel properties valued at
more than $1 billion. He was a founding member of Industry
Real Estate Finance Advisory Council of the American Hotel &
Motel Association and served as its chairman on two separate
This veteran hotel investor currently serves as chairman, president and CEO of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, a Bethesda,
MD-based luxury hotel REIT. Pebblebrook, which was orga-
nized in December 2009, own 25 hotels in 16 markets, comprised of 19 wholly-owned properties and a 49% joint venture
interest in six others. Previously, Bortz served as president and
chief executive officer of LaSalle Hotel Properties from its
formation in April 1998 until his retirement more than 11
years later. Under his leadership, LaSalle Hotels grew to 31
upscale and luxury full-service hotels and resorts, with more
than 8,400 guest rooms in 14 markets in 11 states and the
District of Columbia.
The founder and chairman of
Great Neck, NY-based McSam
Hotel Group LLC is a native of
Taiwan who dropped out of high
school to help his parents manage
a family-run motel in Los Angeles.
Chang, who in 2008 earned the
Hotel Enterprise Leader award
from the International Leadership
Foundation, initially operated
hotels and restaurants in the suburbs of Baltimore. However, his dream of developing and owning lodging properties in New York City began in 1997 when
he purchased and built a Comfort Inn there. Since then, he
has completed more than 25 hotels in the Big Apple and, in a
2009 story in the New York Times, was dubbed “the hotel king of