It’s been a little more than a year since Scarlett Hotel Group officially launched, and the company’s founders said they’re focused on growing in the select-service management space while sticking to the company’s culture.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee—Scarlett Hotel Group launched in January 2017 with the purpose of introducing a new type of management company to the hotel industry, and principals with the company said they’re still focused on their employees and opportunities that fit the Scarlett culture a little over a year into the business.
Andrew Scarlett, principal, said Scarlett was born after an out-of-the-blue conversation he had with the company’s two other founding Principals, Rob Sadoff and Zio Pekovic, about what they saw in hotel companies and what they thought hotel management companies should be.
“We decided we wanted to join this company … to work together with the GMs and have an entrepreneurial, collaboration point-of-view,” Scarlett said.
Sadoff added that the three felt “the industry needed some new blood and a bit of a refresher.”
“Specifically, out of the larger companies, it was just feeling that hospitality (was) becoming less hospitable and the interactions between the corporation and onsite management seem to be somewhat at a disconnect.” he said. “So we felt like this is a great time to get into the management space and (create) what we wanted to do.”
Scarlett Hotel Group is approved to manage Marriott International and Hilton select-service brands, Sadoff said, and it currently has a portfolio of four properties: the Hampton Inn and Suites Sarasota/Bradenton Airport; the Fairfield Inn and Suites Omaha Downtown; the Residence Inn Clearwater Downtown; and the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Gainesville.
A people-driven business
A lot of hotel companies claim to be people-first businesses, but Sadoff said the Scarlett team felt like that sentiment was fading in the industry.
“Our experiences in what we’re seeing … is that’s just not the reality, and what’s going on industrywide is (why) we’re … together to bring our culture across the platform and focus more on making hotel management fun again,” he said.
There are currently approximately 100 employees across Scarlett’s four hotels, Sadoff said. The company has a start-up feel, he said, and maintaining one-on-one connections with all team members is important.
Scarlett said he wants employees to look forward to the leadership team visiting their properties.
“When we visit a property, they’re looking forward to showing up (and) not worried about what we’re going to say and how we’re going to say it,” he said.
Sadoff said the goal is “to be more in touch with what’s going on in and around our properties and less concerned about getting a large-scale corporate feel.”
“Another thing we pride ourselves on, too, is there’s just not corner offices that people need to stand in line and wait to make an appointment to come visit us,” he said. “Those days are long gone. Our team members can literally text us, call us, any hour of the day.”
The select-service segment is where Scarlett is focusing its growth right now, and Sadoff added that the company is looking at upper-select, upper midscale hotels in “strong locations in secondary markets, which seem to be the best fit and where we’ve had a great deal of success so far.”
“One of our (mottos) is we’re patiently persistent,” he said. “We’re looking to make targeted decisions in terms of what’s going to drive our growth. We’ve been pretty fortunate to have a really strong investor base, and even though we’ve averted the temptation to grow (our portfolio) too fast … all three of us need to really believe in a deal.”