McKibbon Hospitality President of Hotel Management Randy Hassen said the company is moving into the lifestyle segment to meet the wants and needs of today’s travelers.
TAMPA, Florida—McKibbon Hospitality is delving into new and exciting spaces such as dual-brand openings and lifestyle hotel openings, said Randy Hassen, president of hotel management at the company.
According to the company’s website, McKibbon has 81 managed hotels in 30 cities across 18 brands, with more in the works.
McKibbon is jumping into the lifestyle hotel space, Hassen said, and opened its first AC Hotel, the AC Hotel by Marriott Asheville Downtown in North Carolina, in the past year.
“One of our most significant milestones over the past year was opening our first AC Hotel,” he said via email.
Hassen added that the AC brand is “already unique,” but through the Asheville project, McKibbon added in its own flavor with elements such as pieces from a local art collection “and a stunning rooftop bar with locally-influenced food-and-beverage offerings.”
McKibbon is excited about opening properties in the lifestyle space, he said, but continuing to open legacy brands is also important.
“We also just celebrated the opening of a new Hampton Inn & Suites in Buckhead just outside of Atlanta,” Hassen said. “That area is booming, and we’re happy to have a presence there.”
McKibbon’s growth strategy is fueled by consumer preferences, Hassen said, which is why lifestyle hotels fit into the company’s plans.
“Many travelers are seeking lifestyle hotels that offer unique experiences,” he said. “By working with brands such as Aloft and AC Hotels, we’re able to deliver on that. We’re also able to work in local elements that travelers are demanding like art, food and beverage and live music.”
Another project McKibbon is looking forward to is the opening of its first dual-branded hotel, a 300-room AC Hotel and Residence Inn in Charlotte, North Carolina, Hassen said. The hotel will have “an independent rooftop bar overlooking Uptown Charlotte.”
“We’ve also added a penthouse suite on the 22nd floor that will be available for short-term rentals,” he said. “Then in December, we’ll open Hotel Arras in Asheville. This project is transforming Asheville’s oldest and most iconic building and will also include high-end condominiums and two independent restaurant concepts by a local chef. These are both exciting projects that are shaping the direction we’re heading in as a company.”
More on the company, Hassen
McKibbon Hospitality is a fourth-generation, privately-held company, Hassen said, and recently celebrated its 90th year.
Hassen has worked at McKibbon throughout his entire hospitality career, which he started in college at the Days Inn Athens as a part-time houseman in 1991. He then moved from GM positions to director of operations, to SVP of operations and then to his current role as president of hotel management.
Hassen said throughout his career at McKibbon, he’s learned that it is important to take care of the guest in every way.
“The customer is the No.1 reason we’re in business,” he said.